MADRID – Juan Carlos, King Emeritus of Spain, confirms the split with his son, King Felipe VI. In the latest biography, the former Spanish king talks about his flight to Abu Dhabi and his desire to return to Spain one day.
The French biography ‘Mon roi déchu’ (my fallen king) mainly deals with the past turbulent years in the life of the former king of Spain. This shows that he is homesick for his family and for Spain. Juan Carlos has been voluntarily staying in Abu Dhabi since August 2020. But would love to catch the first plane back to Spain.
Juan Carlos I confirms split with Spanish King Felipe VI
In the biography, Juan Carlos acknowledges the breakup with his son, King Felipe VI of Spain. And he regrets that they have hardly any contact. Juan Carlos says he was under a lot of pressure in Spain. And, consequently, it would be better for everyone if he left Spain. At first, he wanted to take refuge in Portugal. But because that would be too close to Spain, he decided to leave for Abu Dhabi. Why? “Because I have good friends here and I am not a burden to the Spanish Crown at this distance.”
His daughters Elena and Cristina have visited him three or four times in Abu Dhabi, but the split with Felipe VI seems to be final. About this, the biographer writes: “Felipe VI tries to restore his father’s legacy by making the Crown an untouchable and regulated institution. A murder of his father for the sake of the throne.”
How does Juan Carlos live in Abu Dhabi?
Juan Carlos spends his days in Abu Dhabi thinking about a possible return, although he fears the rest of the royal family is not ready for this. Juan Carlos is struggling with health problems and is staying in a luxury residence on an artificial island in Abu Dhabi. He has exchanged his suits for sneakers, jeans, and a T-shirt and is accompanied by four Spanish bodyguards and a Filipino couple who cook for him and take care of the household.
Hope to return to Spain
Juan Carlos confesses that he misses Spanish cuisine the most and enjoys it when friends bring him real Serrano ham. In Abu Dhabi he follows current events in Spain closely, he calls friends and his wife Sofía, who still lives in Spain. He also follows the mass in the Zarzuela Palace online. Juan Carlos says he has sufficient means to remain in Abu Dhabi until his death. Despite everything, he hopes one day to return to his beloved Spain, and to his family.
The latest biography of Juan Carlos I was written by historian Laurence Debray and will be available in French bookstores from October 6.