Suspected illegitimate son of Juan Carlos has died suddenly

by Lorraine Williamson
illegitimate son of Juan Carlos

MADRID – A man who for years claimed to be the illegitimate son of Spanish king emeritus Juan Carlos died suddenly on Saturday night. He collapsed in the Pa I Trago bar in La Bisbal, where he worked. 

Alberto Sola, 66, was just about to take a sip of wine at the bar he frequented when he collapsed, reports the Spanish newspaper El País. The results of the autopsy requested by a judge are, as yet, not known. However, everything seems to point to natural causes. 

Before his death, the married father of two, who grew up as an orphan, claimed to have tests that would prove his DNA was 99% identical to Juan Carlos’s. Despite Juan Carlos stepping down as king in 2014 after a string of scandals, Sola was convinced that recognition as the illegitimate son of Juan Carlos would change his fate. That was to be read in his autobiography El Monarca de La Bisbal (The Monarch of La Bisbal). In 2015, he unsuccessfully tried to confirm his rights as the son of Juan Carlos in a court of law. 

Another ‘bastard child’ discovered 

This lawsuit caught the attention of another alleged illegitimate child of the Spanish monarch. Ingrid Sartiau, a Belgian housewife was convinced she was conceived in 1966 during her mother’s one-night stand with the king. Sartiau and Sola embarked on a joint search for other possible illegitimate children of the former king, who was known for being a womaniser and having several illegitimate escapades. 

Alberto Sola Jimenez 

Alberto Sola Jimenez was born in 1956. And would thus be the eldest son of the father of the current Spanish King Felipe VI. His mother is said to have had a relationship with him in the 1950s. Sola was taken away from his mother after his birth and ended up with foster parents in Ibiza. In the 1990s, once an adult, he went in search of his past. In one of the documents he had, he read the term “chupete verde” (green dummy). According to historians, this would be a Spanish expression for having royal blood. 

DNA test 

The former king is said to have travelled to Barcelona in the 1950s during the military academy where he was in training. This is allegedly where he met Sola’s mother, the daughter of a well-known banker. After he found out, Sola tried to force a DNA test from the king through legal means. However, because of royal immunity, that was not possible. He then tried to get through the courts to dig up the remains of Juan Carlos’ father, Juan de Borbón, for a DNA test. This request was also rejected. Sola has always maintained he has a DNA sample from the former king that corresponds to 99% of his DNA. But with Sola’s death, his quest will forever be open-ended. 

Ingrid Jeanne Sartiau 

Ingrid Jeanne Sartiau grew up with her single mother. She got the shock of her life when her mother pointed out the Spanish king as her father on television one day. Sartiau went looking and discovered that her mother had a relationship with the then-crown prince and student of Franco until 1966. She worked in France as a governess to a noble family where she is said to have repeatedly met Juan Carlos. In terms of age, Ingrid Sartiau is between Princess Cristina and the current King Felipe VI. During her search, Sartiau tracked down Sola and decided to contact him. 

‘Brother and sister’ 

That phone call in 2012 was a godsend for Sola and his stalled business. He had clues enough, but no evidence. The DNA of both was compared and showed a 91% chance that a common parent must have been involved. However, a later and more extensive DNA test revealed the similarity between their DNA. 

Still, “brother and sister” kept in touch in their struggle for recognition. Because that’s all they both say they strive for; recognition by Juan Carlos that they are his children. They want no money and no claim to the throne, according to an extensive interview with Sartiau and another woman who also claims to be Juan Carlos’ daughter.

Who is my father?

Sola had agreed to be interviewed on the Telecinco television show, ‘¿Quién es mi padre?’ (Who is my father?). The programme was due to be aired on the evening when he died. It is now re-scheduled for next Saturday at 10.00 pm, but Sola will no longer be there to give his side of the story. Instead, this episode, the last interview given by Sola is dedicated to him, ‘El Monarca de la Bisbal’

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