King Emeritus Juan Carlos has been transferred out of the intensive care unit after his condition improved following major cardiac surgery over the weekend.
The former King of Spain had a triple heart bypass – an operation which has been described as successful.
The 81-year-old’s condition has since ‘evolved favourably’ according to doctors, with the decision being made to move him out of intensive care.
It’s not yet clear how long Juan Carlos will be in hospital following the surgery. Doctors decided to operate after a routine medical check up in June this year. Bypass surgery treats obstructions in the heart to improve blood flow and it’s among the most common heart procedures in older patients.
The former monarch has been visited in hospital by most of his family, including King Felipe, who described him as being able to sit up in bed and tell jokes.
Juan Carlos retired from public life at the start of June 2019, just days before the check up revealed he needed cardiac surgery. Earlier this year, it was confirmed he had undergone an operation to remove a lesion from his face. Last year, he was in hospital for several days for surgery on his knee.
He became King of Spain in November 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. He abdicated in favour of his only son, Felipe, in June 2014. He is widely admired for his role in establishing democracy in Spain in the early part of his reign.