The abdicated King Juan Carlos who secretly left Spain in 2020 has after almost two years first visited his family in Madrid. He spent 11 hours at the Zarzuela Palace in the north of the Spanish capital, Spanish media reported.
There Juan Carlos saw his son, King Felipe VI, and his wife Sofia. The palace spoke in an official statement about a “family gathering in the private sphere.”
Juan Carlos (84) had left at the beginning of August 2020. He voluntarily went to exile in the United Arab Emirates after being discredited over unclear financial transactions. The former monarch said he had come back to Spain to “normalize everything”. He plans to visit Spain again in a few weeks and hopes it will attract less attention from politicians and media.
The five-day visit that Wednesday started in Galicia, according to Spanish media would have been arranged with difficulty and through long negotiations. It also created tensions between the former king and his son Felipe and between the government and the royal family. On Sunday, an estimated 300 people protested in Madrid against Juan Carlos’ visit, clamoring for him to be prosecuted.
Juan Carlos ruled Spain from 1975 to 2014. He officially retired as head of state for health reasons, but he kept his title.
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