King Juan Carlos of Spain’s health is in the spotlight again after he had to rely on support to walk into the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Luxembourg for the funeral of Grand Duke Jean. Juan Carlos leaned on the arm of an aide as he made his way into the church on Saturday, accompanied by his wife, Queen Sofia.
The king, who ruled Spain from 1975 until his abdication in 2014, also used a stick for support as he walked across the rain soaked pavement into the Cathedral. His mobility caused comment in many Spanish newspapers, magazines and online sites in the hours following the funeral. While Juan Carlos has used a stick publicly for several years, it is extremely rare to see him rely on the support of others to help him walk. However, he also lent on the aide’s arm for the short walk from the Grand Ducal Palace to the car which took him to the church and again at the end of the service.
Juan Carlos has suffered a series of health problems over the past few years and just weeks ago it was revealed that he had undergone surgery for basal cell carcinoma on his face. He appeared in public with bruising in March and in early April it was confirmed he had had an operation to remove cancer cells. The treatment was successful.
In April 2018, the king underwent surgery on his right knee while he has had to have several hip operations in recent years after suffering fractures in a fall on a controversial holiday in Botswana. He also had a benign lump removed from a lung in 2010.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia represented the Spanish Royal Family at the State Funeral of Grand Duke Jean. They joined royalty from across Europe in mourning the Grand Duke and in offering comfort to his family who, led by Grand Duke Henri, had followed Jean’s coffin on its final journey through the streets of Luxembourg where crowds lined the route to pay their respects.
Grand Duke Jean died on April 23rd 2019 at the age of 98. He was laid to rest in the family crypt following the funeral service.