Juan Carlos attends Elizabeth II funeral despite Spanish government rejection

by Lorraine Williamson
Elizabeth II funeral

Buckingham Palace has invited the Emeritus King of Spain, Juan Carlos and former Queen Sofía, to Elizabeth II’s funeral in England. Despite disapproval from the Spanish government, the former king and queen will travel to London. 

The former King and Queen of Spain have accepted the invitation of the British royal family. And, therefore, will be present on Monday 19 September to say goodbye to the beloved Queen of the United Kingdom. 

Juan Carlos spent two years in Abu Dhabi 

Since August 2020, Juan Carlos has been staying on the island of Zaya Nurai off the coast of Abu Dhabi. He fled Spain at the time when he was accused of fraud in Spain and Switzerland. However, after investigation by various courts, most of the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence and the king’s immunity. In May 2022, Juan Carlos returned to Spain for the first time to attend a sailing event in Galicia. 

Emeritus king not loved in Spain 

Juan Carlos was already less popular in his latter years as king. But since the scandals piled up, his presence at public events is less appreciated. The news that he was invited to Buckingham Palace did not sit well with the people, especially the Spanish government. Shortly after it became known that Juan Carlos and Sofía had received an invitation, the Spanish government asked them to decline it and not attend the funeral. This statement created even more tensions within the Spanish royal family. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Family bond reason for former king Spain to travel to England 

Despite the fact that the Spanish government does not support the invitation, the government cannot prohibit this visit from taking place. There is in fact a family tie between the Spanish and British royal family. Juan Carlos and his wife have therefore decided to attend the funeral and the Spanish government therefore considers their trip a private matter. The government said it did not expect the former king and queen of Spain to sit next to current King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who will also be present at the funeral. 

The presence of the King Emeritus of Spain at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will mark the first time he will be back at a royal event since his abdication in 2014. 

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