King emeritus prepares imminent return to Spain

Juan Carlos plans a short visit before leaving again

2 min
Former king Juan Carlos in Abu Dhabi alongside pilot Khaled Al Qubaisi and his family, in an image shared on social media

Former Spanish king Juan Carlos I is preparing his imminent return to Spain, ARA has learnt from several sources. It would be the first time in almost two years that he visits the country where he reigned for four decades. His return, according to these sources, could take place in the next few days and would not last long, since his idea is to spend a few days or weeks in Spain before going abroad again. Consulted by this newspaper, a spokesman for the King's Household declined to comment and only stated "there will be clear information" when the time comes.

Juan Carlos's return is a highly sensitive issue for the Spanish monarchy and, in fact, there is still a debate between those who consider that his figure has to be rehabilitated and those who believe that his past (from his complicated love life to his economic activities) damage the image of the institution and hinder the future of the monarchy. Juan Carlos himself "sincerely regretted" the "past events of my private life" in a letter sent to his son two months ago.

The fact that the various investigations that the Tax Agency or the Prosecutor's Office have opened against the king emeritus have been thrown out reinforces the arguments of the former. Juan Carlos also managed to put an end to investigations by Swiss prosecutors. However, the former king is still facing proceedings in London for alleged harassment of his former lover Corinna Larsen, as British courts have not accepted his immunity.

Since he left Spain in August 2020, there have been several occasions on which he has considered returning. Now that he is no longer being investigated in Spain, he has everything ready to take the step. During all this time, Juan Carlos has lived in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, where he was hospitalised for covid, as this newspaper also reported.

Where will Juan Carlos live?

An important question is where Juan Carlos will live when he is in Spain. He himself explained in the letter he sent to his son, reigning king Felipe VI, his intention to settle somewhere other than the Zarzuela, the Spanish monarchy's official residence. "It is my intention to organise my personal life and my place of residence in areas of a private nature in order to continue to enjoy the greatest possible privacy," the letter read.

In fact, ARA's sources maintain he will probably not even go to Madrid on this first visit. Even so, in line with the differences that exist within monarchist circles, there are those who defend that his figure should be vindicated and that he should settle in the Zarzuela.

One of the options is that he live near Sanxenxo, in Galicia, where the 6mR sailing world championship will be held in mid-June. According to El País, Juan Carlos I assured Pedro Campos, organiser of the championship, of his "very certain intention" to attend after his yacht, the Bribón, was refitted during the winter.