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 met with presidents of Spain’s autonomous communities during a conference in La Rioja Friday.
His Majesty was on hand for the meeting between regional and national officials, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
King Felipe with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, to his right, and the leaders of Spain’s autonomous communities. Spanish Royal Household
The presidents of the Basque Country and Catalonia, both members of anti-monarchist, nationalist parties, did not attend the meeting, despite pleas from the prime minister.
Catalan President Quim Torra has long been at odds with the central government in Madrid. And Basque leader Iñigo Urkullu said the central government was not complying with certain promises.
King Felipe called for “unity and fraternity” during a visit to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia today.
Their Majesties visited the city for the Feast of St. James and made an offering to the country’s patron saint.
Spanish Royal Household
Members of the Spanish Royal Family generally visit Santiago during the Feast of St. James. The King and Queen are also on a tour of the country following the pandemic lockdown.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited Catalonia last week on their ongoing countrywide tour.
A trip to Catalonia — in this case to a monastery in Tarragona — is notable because of the years-long political instability there. The region has also seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Pro-independence protesters were near the site but police kept them away from the King and Queen.
The Spanish Royal Family held a ceremony at the Madrid Royal Palace grounds to honor victims of the coronavirus pandemic.
Attending last week in the shadow of Almudena Cathedral were King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Letizia and Infanta Sofia.
Spanish Royal Household
The ceremony of state was one of several from Spain’s royals to honor the pandemic’s victims.
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.
Spain’s Princess Leonor, the heir to the throne, and Infanta Sofia took to social media last month to thank medical workers and other professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The princesses recorded a video posted on YouTube and on Twitter, part of the Royal Household’s effort to be visible and active during the ongoing lockdown.
Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and her sister also recorded themselves reading a section of Spanish literary masterpiece Don Quixote. Several personalities participated to mark World Book Day.
Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma, a distant relative of King Felipe, died of COVID-19 in late March. She was the world’s first royal to die of the disease.
Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma during the 1960s. Wikipedia
Princess Maria Teresa, who died in Paris, was a professor, feminist and political activist. Known as the “red princess,” Doña Maria Teresa was a Carlist, a descendent of an alternative pretender for the Spanish throne.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia have been tested for the novel coronavirus, media outlets reported today.
Her Majesty attended an event recently with Equality Minister Irene Montero, who has tested positive for the disease.
Spanish Royal Household
The King and Queen have cancelled much of their public agenda because of the outbreak.
Someone in Princess Leonor’s private school in Madrid had the virus. Media outlets reported the heir to the throne would continue attending, but authorities have since shut down classes.
Spanish authorities have confirmed a case of coronavirus at the elite Santa Maria de los Rosales private school in Madrid.
That’s where Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and her younger sister, Infanta Sofia, both attend classes.
Princess Leonor, King Felipe, Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofia. Spanish Royal Household
Several media outlets reported the case of the disease and said the princess and infanta would continue attending classes as normal.