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BREAKING: King Juan Carlos of Spain leaves country in exile amid corruption scandal


King Juan Carlos of Spain is to leave the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, his home for half a century, as controversy around his financial affairs grows. The former monarch, who ruled Spain between 1975 and 2014, will leave for an undisclosed location. The announcement was made by the Royal Household.

In a letter to his son King Felipe, Juan Carlos wrote: “Your Majesty, dear Felipe: With the same desire for service to Spain that inspired my reign and in the face of the public repercussion that certain events are generating After my private life, I wish to express to you my absolute availability to contribute to facilitating the exercise of your functions, from the tranquility and calmness that your high responsibility requires. My legacy, and my own dignity as a person, demand it of me.

“One year I expressed my will and desire to stop developing institutional activities. Now, guided by the conviction of providing the best service to the Spaniards, their institutions and you as King, I communicate to you my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain. A decision I make with deep feeling, but with great serenity.

“I have been King of Spain for almost forty years and for all of them I have always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown, With my loyalty as always. With the affection and affection of always, your father.”

The allegations surrounding Juan Carlos have grown over the past months. He is under investigation over claims he hid money that came to him via a rail contract in bank accounts in Switzerland. In March 2020, Felipe VI declared publicly that he would not take any personal inheritance from his father and he withdrew the allowances being paid to Juan Carlos.

In recent weeks, the Spanish Prime Minister has unexpectedly spoken out about the former monarch. Pedro Sanchez, who leads a left wing coalition government, said he found allegations about Juan Carlos ”disturbing”.

King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI, on June 19 2014. He is widely credited with bringing democracy to his country after decades of fascist rule under Francisco Franco. In recent years, his reputation has been tarnished by claims of financial irregularity.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.