King Addresses Father’s Misdeeds

King Felipe’s Christmas Eve message today, his most important of the year, was relatively short and simple, focusing mainly on the COVID-19 pandemic and ethical scandals.

Specifically, His Majesty addressed corruption allegations against his father, King Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain from dictatorship to democracy in the 1970s.

King Felipe did not directly mention his father but he left no doubt what he was talking about. Don Felipe, among other steps, has resigned any financial ties and inheritance from his father.

“Together with our democratic principles and following the law, we must also preserve the ethical values that are at the root of our society,” said King Felipe.

Spanish Royal Household

The King’s speech this year was particularly simple. His background included Christmas declrations, one picture, flags and a copy of the Spanish Constitution.

Like years before, he encouraged Spaniards not to lose hope — this time amid the pandemic and its economic consequences.

Royals Release Christmas Cards

The Spanish Royal Family released this year’s Christmas cards this week.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia signed one card featuring the princess and the infanta posing in the community of Somao in the Principality of Asturias.

The Princess of Asturias Foundation picks a community to celebrate every year in concert with the Princess of Asturias Awards. Somao won this year.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia released a separate card, featuring a painting of the Nativity. They usually feature a piece of art with a Chrismas theme in their card.

The Royal Family used to release a card with multuple relatives but stopped doing so after they found it hard to get everyone together. Controversies and King Juan Carlos’ abdication have also reduced the number of people considered members of the core Royal Family.

King Juan Carlos Reveals Hidden Earnings

King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father and Spain’s former head of state, has revealed previously-hidden earnings to tax authorities in an effort to avoid prosecution, news outlets have reported in recent days.

That does not mean, however, that the former monarch is welcome to return to the country from an unofficial exile, despite rumblings in that direction.

King Juan Carlos. Agencia EFE

Don Juan Carlos, who left Spain for the Middle East earlier this year amid scandal, is declaring more than 500,000 euros in expenses from money donated by a Mexican businessman and friend.

Separately, Swiss authorities have been investigating $100 million the Saudi Royal Family is said to have gifted the King. Much of the money, media outlets report, ended up in the hands of a former mistress, Corinna Larsen, who has generated controversy for years.

Spanish authorities have been probing whether the money was a kickback for securing a high speed rail development contract between the Saudis and Spanish firms. Media outlets say the King’s attorneys believe that case will be closed because of lack of evidence.

Spanish tax authorities are saying King Juan Carlos does not have accounts abroad, news outlets reported. He is said to be addressing financial issues following his abdication, where he lost his legal immunity.

King Juan Carlos and King Felipe. Spanish Royal Household

Media outlets reported the King’s desire to return and spend Christma with family. The Royal Household and the government have said that’s premature.

The Socialist-led government has been facing pressure from both the right and left on the issue. Progressives in coalition partner Podemos have been attacking the monarchy. And while Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the press the Crown was not in danger, monarchists slammed him for not queting Podemos.

King Juan Carlos signing abdication papers in 2014. Spanish Royal Household

King Juan Carlos helped transition Spain from dictatorship to democracy, but even his supporters agree he erred in his financial dealings. His relationship with Larsen contributed to his abdication.