Spanish King seen with disgraced father for first time in two years

The Local (
The Local ([email protected])
Spanish King seen with disgraced father for first time in two years
Spain's former King Juan Carlos I arrives at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Marco BERTORELLO/AFP

King Felipe VI was seen in London with his disgraced father and former King, Juan Carlos I, for the first time in two years.


Spain's King Felipe VI and his father, former King Juan Carlos I, have been seen together publicly for the first time since he moved to the United Arab Emirates in disgrace in August 2020 following a string of financial scandals that damaged his reputation.

The two have not yet been photographed together, and reports in the Spanish media have suggested King Felipe could try to avoid any public images.

Once revered for his role in easing Spain's transition to democracy following decades of dictatorship, the scandal forced Juan Carlos to abdicate in 2014, after nearly 40 years on the throne, and then to leave the country.

The two attended a reception in London organised by Britain's new King Charles III at Buckingham Palace as part of the funeral arrangements for his mother Elizabeth II.


Juan Carlos, now known as 'King Emeritus', was invited by the British royal family in his capacity as a former head of state. He was related to Elizabeth II, since both were great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria of England.

The reception, which comes ahead of the main funeral on Monday and made up a prolonged period of official mourning and public events, gave Juan Carlos change not only to see his son but royals from Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Queen of Denmark, now Europe's longest serving monarch. 

Since Juan Carlos' scandal-triggered departure from Spain, there have been no images of the father and son together, although they did meet privately in May in La Zarzuela. 

Spanish prosecutors closed their probes into Juan Carlos I's financial affairs in March, in part because he was immune from prosecution until his abdication and because the statute of limitations had expired.

That decision triggered anger in some quarters, which was only exacerbated by the ex-king's return to Spain.

READ MORE: Hundreds protest return of Spain’s exiled ex-king Juan Carlos

Juan Carlos and King Felipe VI will be seen again on Monday at the state funeral, although Felipe, as head of state, will sit in the front rows of guests and not with his father.

Juan Carlos did not travel to London with his son and will stay in a hotel, while King Felipe will stay in the residence of the Spanish ambassador, José Pascual Marco.

The Spanish government has made it clear that the King Emeritus has not travelled to London in any representative role, but on a personal invitation alone.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also