King Juan Carlos is said to have left Spain for the Dominican Republic, according to several media outlets.
The Spanish Royal Household said yesterday that Don Juan Carlos would move out of Zarzuela Palace and abandon the country amid claims of financial irregularities.
King Juan Carlos abdicated the Spanish throne in 2014. © Dany Virgili
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez today praised King Felipe for distancing himself from his father for the sake of the Crown.
Other left-leaning figiures, however, said Don Juan Carlos’ departure was akin to fleeing justice. His Majesty’s attorneys say he remains open to whatever officials may need.
King Felipe, meanwhile, continued with his agenda and has not commented on the crisis. He has resigned any inheritance from his father.
King Juan Carlos may be staying in Casa de Campo, a Dominican resort owned by the wealthy Fanjul family.
King Juan Carlos, the monarch who led Spain’s transition to democracy, will abandon the country, according to a letter to his son, King Felipe.
Authorities in Spain and Switzerland are investigating money King Juan Carlos is said to have received from the Saudi king.
Millions of dollars from Don Juan Carlos also ended up in the hands of Corinna Larsen, a businesswoman and socialite with whom King Juan Carlos had a close freindship.
Queen Sofia watches as King Juan Carlos signs papers related to his abdication in 2014 at the Madrid Royal Palace. Spanish Royal Household
King Juan Carlos was immune from prosecution but gave up his involability when he abdicated. The limits of his immunity during office are also in question.
Don Juan Carlos has not been indicted for any crimes and sources close to the former head-of-state say he did nothing illegal.
But King Felipe has formally resigned any inheritance from his father earlier this year. Don Felipe has also been under pressure to kick his father out of Zarzuela Palace.
King Juan Carlos with Queen Sofia. Spanish Royal Household
In the letter to his son, King Juan Carlos did not say where he was going, but said scrutiny into his private actions had contributed to his decision to leave.
King Juan Carlos was born in exile in Rome. He and his family engineered a return to Spain as a child. He then took over as monarch when dictator Francisco Franco died.
In 2014, amid financial crisis, scrutiny into his relationships and declining health, Don Juan Carlos abdicated the throne after almost 40 years.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia have been crisscrossing Spain for the past several week during a delicate time for the country and the Royal Family.
Their Majesties worked to be active during the pandemic lockdown and have been visible during the reopening, including visiting several museums and cultural attractions.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia at the Prado Museum in Madrid to launch the Spain for Sure tourism campaign in June. Spanish Royal Household
They have also visited beaches and walked through numerous communities. Their visits have been informal and meant to connect them with regular people.
The King and Queen in the Canary Islands. Spanish Royal Household
Spaniards, fed up with corruption, the Catalan crisis, recession and scandal, have taken out their frustrations on the governing class — including the Monarchy. Despite the Royal Family’s efforts, many people see them as not having done enough to fight COVID-19.
The King and Queen in Aragon. Spanish Royal Household
Then there’s King Juan Carlos, who is embroiled in a financial scandal related to $100 million gift from the Saudis, some of which may have ended up in the hands of a former lover.
King Felipe has disconnected himself from his father financially and discussions are ongoing about the elder monarch’s status within the Royal Family.
Members of the Spanish Royal Family released their Christmas cards ahead of today’s celebrations.
The card from King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia includes an image of the family in Asturias.
The official visit, earlier this year, was seen as a debut for Leonor, the Princess of Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia released a card with a picture of themselves.
Usually, the elder King and Queen release a cared with a Christmas-related image from an important work of art.
Members of the Spanish Royal Family have been extremely visible during their vacations in Mallorca.
The goal is to defuse all the talk of controversy surrounding King Juan Carlos, and also move past the recent public tension between Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia.
Earlier this week, King Felipe and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met at Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, and later Queen Letizia and Sánchez’s wife María Begoña joined in for lunch.
© Spanish Royal Household
The King also participated in the King’s Cup Regatta and awards ceremony, and held an evening gathering for local leaders at Almudaina Palace with Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia.
Earlier this month, King Felipe, Queen Letizia and their daughters — Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia — posed for pictures at Almudaina Palace and greeted reporters.
Queen Sofia, Queen Letizia, the princess and the infanta visited walked around a market.
More family members, including Infanta Elena and Princess Irene, Queen Sofia’s sister, joined the royals for a concert.
Members of the Royal Family and other close relatives also had dinner out together, as has become tradition.
King Juan Carlos, meanwhile, remains away from official activities. He missed the inauguration of Colombia’s new president because of health reasons, outlets reported.
Members of the Spanish Royal Family and the King’s broader family are vacationing in Mallorca as is customary.
But King Juan Carlos is absent. The Royal Household blames a minor health issue. But media outlets point to leaked recordings from Don Juan Carlos’ former friend, alleging potential financial irregularities.
Not only has King Felipe’s father stayed away from the summer spotlight, he recently scrapped plans to participate in a regatta in Galicia, according to media outlets.
King Juan Carlos. © Agencia EFE
King Felipe, who received Balearic Island leaders at Almudaina Palace in the heart of Palma de Mallorca, touched on the issue.
Don Felipe said his father was not in great shape and wanted to sail this month.
King Felipe with Baltasar Picornell i Lladó, president of the Balearic Islands parliament.
Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia were seen strolling with Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia.
Back in Madrid, the Supreme Court and parliament are both looking at the recordings. There does seem to be an effort to keep King Juan Carlos away from any further embarassment if possible.
Several Spanish news outlets have in recent days released leaked recordings from a German aristocrat who was friends with King Juan Carlos.
Corinna Larsen Adkins, also known as Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, has for years caused controversy in Spain and helped lead to Don Juan Carlos’ abdication.
Now, recordings from 2015 leaked by a disgraced businessman and former commissar, suggest the King used her as a figurehead for properties.
Leftist parties have called for an investigation of King Juan Carlos, but so far major parties and news outlets have given the issue scant or no attention.
The recordings also suggest Don Juan Carlos may have had money or properties hidden abroad, and may have taken advantage of an amnesty with tax authorities.
Members of the Spanish Royal Family were in Palma de Mallorca today for Easter services at the cathedral there.
It’s the first time in several years that King Juan Carlos, who turned 80 earlier this year, attended the services.
In the coming days, the family will commemorate the anniversary of the death of Infante Juan, Don Juan Carlos’ father.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in the European Parliament over the weekend honoring late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a towering figure in the continent.
Their Majesties arriving in the European Parliament. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
The Spanish Royal Household has increasingly used King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, King Felipe’s parents, as emissaries to important events. Both are close to numerous world leaders.
The King and Queen sitting behind former U.S. President Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
Kohl was a major booster of the European Union and Don Juan Carlos helped shepherd Spain joining the block.
The Royal Household excluded King Juan Carlos from an event at the Spanish Congress to commemorate the country’s transition to Democracy, according to several media outlets.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, to the right, and Congress Speaker Ana Pastor, in blue. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, helped steer Spain from dictatorship to Democracy.
But, according to media outlets, the Royal Household thought it was out of protocol for Don Juan Carlos to attend the ceremonies.
King Felipe during remarks a the Congress of Deputies Chamber. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
Media outlets reported that the elder King expressed his dismay about the snub to friends.