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The tribulations of a king without a crown: how the castle of Juan Carlos of Spain fell apart


Why did King Emeritus Juan Carlos leave Spain? For many years, in front of the cameras everything seemed to be going from strength to strength. But in the corridors of the Palacio de la Zarzuela, the pink story was —in…

CNN presents "The Expat King" 0:30

(CNN Spanish) -

Without a kingdom and under public scrutiny.

Thus ended the emeritus king Juan Carlos of Spain.

An avalanche of scandals and controversial decisions ended with a reign worthy of a fairy tale but without a happy ending, at least for him.

Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón was born in Rome on January 5, 1938. He is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of England and therefore, a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Felipe de Edimburgo.

It was in 1948 when Francisco Franco and Prince Juan de Borbón agreed to send him to Spain to be educated there, when he was already beginning to be considered the possible heir to the throne.

He received complete military training, both in the Spanish Army and in the Navy and Air Force, being the first Spanish officer to obtain the rank of lieutenant from the three institutions.

The fairy tale began to be written in Athens on May 14, 1962, when he married Princess Sofia of Greece.

There were two majestic ceremonies: the first in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of San Dionisio and the second - in an Orthodox Christian rite - in the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral of the Virgin Mary.

Decades later, that love story would turn into one of alleged deceptions and infidelities.

In November 1975 he was crowned King of Spain, just two days after Franco's death, thus restoring the Spanish monarchy.

Two years later, the monarch promulgated a series of political reforms that led Spain to the first democratic election after the Civil War, which won him many followers.

CNN presents the story of the monarch of the scandal 3:58

The castle falls apart

In front of the cameras everything seemed to go from strength to strength.

But in the corridors of the Palacio de la Zarzuela, the pink story was — actually — controversial.

An event that attracted world attention happened in 2007 during the Ibero-American Summit held in Santiago de Chile.

There King Juan Carlos told the then president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, "why don't you shut up?"

Visibly upset since Chávez had repeatedly interrupted the speech of the President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

This did not stop there.

In 2012, on a trip to Botswana, he suffered a fall in which he fractured his hip, for which he had to undergo surgery.

Months later, it became known what had happened on that trip after several Spanish media spread an image that showed him next to a dead elephant, which he had shot.

Faced with severe criticism, he had to stop being honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature, a position he had held since 1968.

The strongest blow came when it became known that the Spanish and Swiss authorities are investigating the finances of the king emeritus, on suspicion of hidden accounts in a Swiss bank.

According to prosecutors in that country, Juan Carlos I would have received in 2008, US $ 100 million from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, allegedly related to a contract awarded to a Spanish consortium for the construction of a high-speed railway line in Saudi Arabia, inaugurated in 2008, a Spanish government official with knowledge of the case informed CNN.

According to this same official and according to documents in Switzerland, not directly consulted by CNN, Juan Carlos I would have given Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein the amount of US $ 65 million.

She assures, first, that she had a sentimental relationship with the king emeritus and second, that said money was a gift.

The Swiss authorities suspect the commission of crimes related to aggravated money laundering and commission payments.

She has already testified twice before Swiss authorities, but no charges have been brought against her, her lawyer Robin Rathmell told CNN.

Nor against the king emeritus, as Juan Carlos's lawyer, Javier Sánches-Junco, assured.

According to the Spanish authorities, the investigation was focused on the fast train project and then the name of Juan Carlos I appeared in the case.

To CNN's request for comment, the lawyers representing Juan Carlos respond precisely that their client is not charged in either of the two countries and that if required by the authorities of Spain, he will be at the order.

On August 3, the King Emeritus traveled to the United Arab Emirates and has remained there ever since.

Through a letter he informs his son Felipe VI, that he had made the decision to leave Spain, "due to the public repercussions generated by past events in his private life."

These are events that continue to provide a lot of material to the world's media.

The longing to know what happens behind the walls of the Spanish Royal House is still alive.

The truth is that the history of this monarch has not yet ended.

King Juan Carlos

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2020-09-03

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