Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI of Spain have been spotted for the first time since the fugitive former King Juan Carlos sent shockwaves across the country on Monday when he announced he was leaving his homeland.
The Spanish royal family, who were joined by their daughters, Crown Princess Leonor, 14, and Infanta Sofia, 13, waved from a car as they arrived at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, Saturday.
It comes after Juan Carlos, whose eldest son Felipe VI became King of Spain in 2014 following the abdication of the longtime monarch, left Spain after Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation into bank accounts allegedly held by Juan Carlos in tax havens.
The family seemed to prioritize safety as they wore face masks ready for the official start of their summer vacation – but now it’s the next generation who are seen as saviors of the monarchy.
“Attention must turn to the future if the Bourbon monarchy is to survive,” according to The Times. “It’s a responsibility that falls on Leonor’s shoulders, and the reigning king, Felipe VI, knows this, bringing him into the country while trying to modernize the monarchy.
Spanish Queen Letizia, Infanta Sofia (2-L), King Felipe VI (R) and Crown Princess Leonor (2-L) greet a car as they arrive at Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of Spain August 7, 2020, for their summer vacation
On Monday, the Spanish Royal House announced that King Emeritus Juan Carlos had announced his decision to move abroad so as not to interfere with the image of the Spanish monarchy due to his alleged involvement in an investigation into an offshore account .
The publication went on to say that young princesses are “the future of a modernized monarchy”.
“Leonor is still very young, but modern, well-educated and a woman – which is important as the feminist movement grows in Spain,” a palace source reportedly said. “She is a great asset.
Leonor made her public debut at the awards ceremony in Barcelona last November, where she commented in Spanish, Catalan, English and Arabic.
Meanwhile, she and Sofía read Don Quixote on World Book Day in April and addressed the nation in a video amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Spanish King Felipe VI (R) and Crown Princess Leonor (L) wave from a car as they arrive at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain on Saturday
Since the departure of Juan Carlos, Spain has launched its own investigation based in part on information shared by Switzerland about the money the former king allegedly received as part of his involvement in a large rail contract. speed in Saudi Arabia.
The Spanish royal house has so far declined to comment on Juan Carlos’ whereabouts.
The news emerged in a letter to her son released late that day.
He wrote: “Guided by my conviction I can offer the best service to the Spaniards, to its institutions and to you as king, I communicate my decision to leave Spain.
“It’s a decision that I take with deep feeling but with great serenity.
“I have been King of Spain for almost 40 years and during that time I have always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown.
Who is the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I?
Juan Carlos I reigned as King of Spain from November 1975 until his abdication in June 2014
Juan Carlos I reigned as King of Spain from November 1975 until his abdication in June 2014.
He was a popular monarch for most of his four-decade reign which was instrumental in the country’s transition to democracy.
He is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the abolition of the monarchy in 1931 and the subsequent declaration of the Second Spanish Republic.
Juan Carlos was born in Rome, Italy on January 5, 1938, during his family’s exile. He came to Spain in 1947 to continue his studies and entered the military academy in Zaragoza.
He completed his graduate studies at the University of Madrid and married Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark in Athens in 1962.
They then had two daughters and a son together: Elena, Cristina and Felipe.
Juan Carlos began to act periodically as head of state of Spain in the summer of 1974. Fascist dictator Francisco Franco died in November of the following year and Juan Carlos became king on November 22, 1975, two days later. Franco’s death.
Juan Carlos was praised for his role in Spain’s transition to democracy and the reforms aimed at dismantling the Franco regime.
However, the king and the reputation of the monarchy began to suffer after the controversies surrounding his family.
In April 2012, Juan Carlos was criticized for an elephant hunting trip to Botswana during a time of financial crisis in Spain.
King Felipe pictured with former King Juan Carlos and Spanish Queen Letizia during the Spanish National Day military parade in Madrid on October 12, 2012
The public only found out about the trip after the king was injured and a special plane was dispatched to bring him home.
Spanish officials said the travel costs were not paid by taxpayers or the palace, but by businessman Mohamed Eyad Kayali.
Corruption scandals surrounding the royal family ended when her daughter, Princess Cristina, was charged with tax evasion in 2014 and became the first Spanish royal to stand trial. She was later acquitted, but her husband was convicted.
He abdicated in favor of his son, Prince Felipe, in 2014, and last year Juan Carlos announced his decision to step down from public life, ending his remaining institutional functions and appearances from June 2019. Last August, he underwent successful heart surgery in Madrid. .
In June 2020, the prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Spain opened an investigation into the involvement of Juan Carlos in a high-speed train contract in Saudi Arabia that was awarded to a group of Spanish companies in 2011.
King Felipe renounced his own inheritance and stripped his father of his palace allowance in March after the latter received $ 100 million from the late Saudi King and gave millions to a businesswoman.
He signed the letter: “With affection, as always, your father.
It later emerged that he had already left Spain by the time the letter was published by the royal household.
His departure drew mixed reactions, with monarchists and right-wing politicians accusing the government of forcing him into exile and critics of the former king accusing him of an amateur attempt to protect himself and his son against corruption scandals threatening the future of declining Spanish royalty. family.
It has since been alleged that the ex-king of Spain on the run was hiding in a £ 10,000-a-night suite at a luxury Abu Dhabi hotel after fleeing amid a corruption scandal.
The refuge of former Spanish king Juan Carlos is a £ 10,000-a-night presidential suite at one of the world’s most expensive hotels in Abu Dhabi, it was claimed on Friday.
Respected right-wing Spanish daily ABC reported that the 82-year-old father of three checked in at the Emirates Palace Hotel on Monday night, around the same time his letter to his son Felipe VI announcing his decision to leave Spain had been made public.
He said he took a private plane from Vigo near Spain’s northwestern border with Portugal on Monday with at least five other passengers, including four bodyguards.