The King of Spain has told his father he is grateful for his choice to go into exile. Felipe VI offered King Juan Carlos his ”heartfelt respect” after the former monarch confirmed he will quit Spain as controversy over his financial affairs continues to grow.
Felipe’s response was published by the Spanish Royal Household alongside the letter sent by Juan Carlos to his son, outlining his plans to live overseas.
The reply said ”His Majesty the King has conveyed to His Majesty King Juan Carlos his heartfelt respect and gratitude for his decision”.
The statement continued ”The King wishes to emphasise the historical importance that his father’s reign represents and the legacy of political and institutional work of service to Spain and to democracy. At the same time, he wants to reaffirm the principles and values on which those things are based, within the framework of our Constitution and the rest of the legal system.”
The short missive accompanied the longer and more emotional letter written by Juan Carlos, informing his son that he had decided to go into exile. The former monarch, who ruled Spain between 1975 and 2014, said ”With the same desire for service to Spain that inspired my reign and in the face of the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating, I wish to express to you my absolute desire to contribute to helping you exercise your role with the peace that your heavy responsibilities require…..guided by the conviction of being of the utmost service to all Spaniards, their institutions and you, as King, I tell you of my considered decision to move…away from Spain..”
Juan Carlos I became King of Spain in November 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. He is widely credited for helping to bring democracy to Spain but in recent years, his legacy has been tarnished by allegations of financial misconduct. He abdicated on June 19 2014 in favour of his youngest child and only son, Felipe VI.
Juan Carlos is currently under investigation by Spain’s Supreme Court over claims he hid money that had come to him via a rail contract. Last month, Spain’s Prime Minister made a rare intervention when he said that he found claims against Juan Carlos to be ”disturbing”.