Former Spanish king Juan Carlos wants to return home and ‘doesn’t care’ if he damages his family’s reputation because he feels he’s ‘done his part’ for the country, expert says
- King Juan Carlos, 83, in ‘exile’ in Abu Dhabi since 2020 over corruption claims
- Former Spanish monarch abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son King Felipe VI, 53
- Political science professor said former king ‘doesn’t care’ about damaging royals
Former King of Spain Juan Carlos wants to return home and does not care about possibly damaging the Royal Family’s reputation by doing so, an expert has claimed.
Juan Carlos, 83, who abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son Felipe VI, 53, has been living in Abu Dhabi since summer 2020 after becoming the target of several probes in Spain over his financial dealings.
However, the elderly royal is reportedly hoping to see out his final years home, despite a majority of the Spanish public opposing his return.
Speaking to The Times, Pablo Simon, a professor of political science at Carlos III University in Madrid, explained Juan Carlos ‘does not care’ whether his actions damage his son and his family.
Former King of Spain Juan Carlos does not care about possibly damaging the Royal Family’s reputation by returning to the country after leaving amid a financial scandal, an expert has claimed. Pictured, Juan Carlos in 2018
Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son King Felipe VI, pictured with Queen Letizia, 49, during a recent state visit to Sweden
He added the monarch believes he has ‘done his part’ for Spain by playing an instrumental role in re-establishing democracy after the death of General Franco in 1975.
‘He’s indifferent to the possible damage he’s doing to the monarchy because he believes he’s done his part,’ Professor Simon said.
‘Knowing that he’s only got a few years of life left, he simply doesn’t care.’
In December, it was reported Juan Carlos had demanded to move back to Zarzuela Palace, the Spanish royal family’s residence in Madrid.
However a readers’ poll conduction by the Spanish publication 20 Minutos showed 42 per cent of people did not believe he should come back to Spain. Some 35 per cent were in favour of the royal’s return.
In spite of this, the former king still plans to make his move to Spain in the coming year.
Professor Simon said he believed the monarch’s only chance of rebuilding his reputation was to explain his behaviour on a televised programme, however, he added this could leave him liable for other legal proceedings.
Felipe VI and Letizia with Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 2006 following the birth of Crown Princess Leonor, ho is now 16
Juan Carlos is facing three separate criminal probes in Spain.
One is related to the use of credit cards linked to foreign accounts after his June 2014 abdication when he lost his constitutional protection against prosecution as a serving monarch.
Prosecutors are trying to establish if the scandal-hit former king accessed funds deposited in accounts held by a Mexican businessman and a Spanish Air Force official.
Spain has also launched its own investigation based in part on information shared by Switzerland about cash Juan Carlos allegedly received as part of his involvement in a high-speed Saudi Arabia rail contract.
Last month the ex-monarch’s lawyer announced he had paid more than POUNDS 600,000 in back taxes with interest and surcharges for the years since his abdication.
Spanish authorities responded by saying they were analysing the tax payments to see if they were ‘spontaneous, truthful and complete.’
Juan Carlos’ shock departure from Spain at the start of August led to an intense questioning of the country’s monarchy led by its left-wing vice-president Pablo Iglesias.
Several interviews by the former king’s ex-mistress Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, now living in the UK, have not helped.
She was implicated in the scandal surrounding Juan Carlos’ rule after it emerged he had given her a gift of EUROS 65 million.
Juan Carlos, who is married to Queen Sofia, 81, left Spain in August after it was claimed he allegedly received millions of euros from Saudi Arabia ‘s late King Abdullah. Pictured, Juan Carlos and Sofia in 2004
The 56-year-old blonde has claimed he gave her the cash gift because he was ‘adamant about taking care of her.’
She also insisted in a TV interview last year Juan Carlos was the ‘architect of his own problems’ and described his Middle East exile as the ‘ultimate defeat.’
Spain’s current king, Juan Carlos’ son Felipe VI, made a veiled dig at his exiled father and the scandals surrounding his family in his Christmas speech.
He said in a televised address ‘ethics are above family ties.’
Juan Carlos, in his letter to Spain’s current king Felipe VI announcing his decision to leave his homeland, wrote ‘Guided by my conviction I can offer the best service to Spaniards, its institutions and to you as King, I am communicating my decision to move away from Spain.
‘It’s a decision I am taking with deep feeling but with great serenity. I have been King of Spain for almost 40 years and during that whole time, I’ve always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown.’
He signed off the letter: ‘With affection as always, your father.’
It later emerged he had already left Spain by the time the letter was released by the Royal Household.
His departure sparked mixed reactions, with monarchists and right-wing politicians accusing the government of forcing him into exile and critics of the former king accusing him of an amateur attempt to protect himself and his son from the corruption scandals threatening the future of Spain’s dwindling royal family.
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