King No Longer WWF Honorary President

Leaders of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund have decided to get rid of the post of honorary president, held until now by King Juan Carlos.

King with Bank of Spain president.

The group said that 94 percent of its leadership voted for the action today, which comes amid controversy over Don Juan Carlos’ elephant hunting trip to Botswana.

“Even though this type of hunting is legal and regulated,” the group said in a statement, “it has been considered incompatible by many associates with the honorary presidency of a group like WWF.”

Talk of Abdication Returns

Some Spanish politicians on the political left are raising the possibility of abdication amid controversy over King Juan Carlos’ hunting trip to Botswana last week, where he suffered a hip fracture.

The head of Madrid’s Socialist Party, Tomás Gómez, said such a trip was not what many Spaniards expected of their Head of State amid economic turmoil, as reported by El Pais.

Perhaps unlike other monarchies, people admire the Bourbon royals but also expect them to work hard and be much more like them. The trend comes from a long history of debate over whether Spain should be a monarchy or a republic.

The Socialist leader also said, “The moment has come for the Royal Household to consider, in this case the Head of State, whether to decide between public obligations and an abdication that will allow for a different life.”

Talk of abdication has come and gone over the years amid the 74-year-old Monarch’s somewhat troubled health. The Associated Press has this story about the debate.

Other politicians also see it as a mistake for the King, a long hunting and sailing aficionado, to be seen photographed in front of an elephant amid high unemployment.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited the King in the hospital. Government and Palace sources say Rajoy had been informed, as always, about the King’s activities, according to various press reports.