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Spain’s Royal Household moves quickly to dismiss reports King Juan Carlos is seriously ill


Reports that King Juan Carlos of Spain had suffered a deterioration in his health have been put aside. The Spanish Royal Household has told the press that speculation that the former monarch is gravely ill have ”no basis.”

As the reports circulated on the morning of February 15th 2021, Carlos Herrera, one of Spain’s best known journalists, says he spoke to the former monarch and said he was in ”extremely good health”.

Speaking on radio station COPE, where he presents a programme, Herrera said ‘’I got in touch with him to find out if His Majesty was ill and he himself told me he was like a bear. The happy voice I heard was not that of a terminally ill patient or someone in hospital or intensive care.’’

King Juan Carlos currently lives in Abu Dhabi after leaving Spain for self-imposed exile in August 2020 after allegations of financial impropriety intensified to such a level that politicians began to comment on them. The most recent image of him, taken at the end of 2020, showed the former monarch being helped to walk from a boat by two bodyguards.

Speculation about the health of the man who ruled Spain for almost four decades began when one of his biographers, Pilar Eyre, said on social media that he was in a ‘’grave’’ condition and the possibility of moving him to Spain was being looked into.

In the past weeks, Juan Carlos has been visited by his two daughters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina. Elena has made several trips to Abu Dhabi to see her father over the past six months.

Juan Carlos ruled Spain between 1975 and 2014 when he abdicated in favour of his only son, King Felipe VI.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and 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.