Thursday. 30.06.2022
MONARCHY

Spain's king agrees to meet exiled father in Madrid visit

At the beginning of March, after all criminal investigations against him had been dropped, Juan Carlos announced that he would remain in exile for the time being, but would soon visit Spain

The King of Spain Felipe VI upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport. Photo: Casa Real.
The King of Spain Felipe VI upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport. Photo: Casa Real.

Spain's King Felipe VI has reportedly agreed to meet his controversial father, exiled in Abu Dhabi, former king Juan Carlos, during a visit to Madrid.

Felipe agreed to this during a telephone call with his father, the Spanish state TV station RTVE and other media reported on Sunday, citing the royal family.

The king had made the phone call from Abu Dhabi, where he was paying his respects to the former Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and new President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, on the death of his half-brother Chalifa bin Zayed, who died on Friday at the age of 73 after being president for many years.

No date was given for the former Spanish king's first trip to his homeland since he left it in the summer of 2020.

At the beginning of March, after all criminal investigations against him had been dropped, Juan Carlos announced that he would remain in exile for the time being, but would soon visit Spain.

The daily newspaper El Mundo, which is close to the royal family, had reported on Friday that Juan Carlos was displeased because his son only wanted to allow a short visit to the royal residence Zarzuela near Madrid without an overnight stay.

Outdated institution

Felipe, like the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, is anxious to avoid damaging the royal family by getting too close to Juan Carlos.

According to a survey carried out about six months ago, a narrow majority of Spaniards (53%) are convinced that the monarchy is an outdated institution that should be abolished.

Juan Carlos is likely largely to blame for the drop in support for the monarchy. The 84-year-old escaped criminal proceedings for financial irregularities because he was protected by his immunity as king until his abdication in 2014 and because the statute of limitations had expired.

Sánchez has stressed that the ex-monarch owes the Spanish people an explanation.

Spain's king agrees to meet exiled father in Madrid visit
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