King Emeritus Juan Carlos I traveled by private plane from Vigo to Madrid on Monday, May 23, to meet again after almost two years of absence from the country with his son, King Felipe VI, and hold a bilateral meeting in La Zarzuela . It was that day, alone, on a much shorter date than was reported, when the son and head of state told his father that he would not be able to return to Sanxenxo (Pontevedra) to participate this coming weekend in June in the world cup regatta of the 6mR sailing class of which he is the reigning champion. People close to the king emeritus who were in Sanxenxo those days and have traveled to Abu Dhabi on several occasions assure that Felipe VI explained to his father: “The Show that was mounted cannot be repeated again”. The same sources assure that Juan Carlos I has been told that he should not come to Spain this summer.
From the Casa del Rey, on this occasion, they have refused to provide any information regarding this frustrated trip by Juan Carlos I, which they place in their sphere free of personal decisions. Official sources point out that the emeritus king already anticipated, in the letter he sent to King Felipe VI on March 5, that he was considering maintaining his residence “permanent and stable in Abu Dhabi” although with the idea of returning frequently to Spain. to visit family and friends, but in private places of residence.
The presence of Juan Carlos I that Monday, May 23, at the Palacio de La Zarzuela, his official residence for 57 years, lasted almost 11 hours. But the appointment alone with his son was much shorter: barely 60 minutes, according to sources close to the king emeritus who were with him in Sanxenxo during the 6m class national championship regatta that took place in the Pontevedra estuary between 19 and May 22. It was during that office talk when Felipe VI commented to Juan Carlos I that “the Show that was set up cannot be repeated”, according to the same sources. And from that phrase they infer that the head of the Casa del Rey communicated to him that it would be “advisable and preferable” if there were no more trips on the same line in the coming months.
The experience, which would have worked as a test, was not to the liking of the Government or the current Royal House. Juan Carlos I was able to hold a meal on May 23 at La Zarzuela with the King and Queen and several members of his family, including his wife, Queen Sofía, who was in the room but away from her because she had left infected with covid He also spent other hours of that day going through papers and personal belongings. In the statement that the Casa del Rey provided at the time, it was only stated that Don Juan Carlos and his son had a “wide” conversation about “family issues and different events and their consequences in Spanish society” since he decided to go to Abu Dhabi, without give more details.
The king emeritus finally sent a WhatsApp message on Tuesday morning, through the staff that attends him in Abu Dhabi, to his friend and president of the Real Club Naútico de Sanxenxo, Pedro Campos, in which he indicated that “for private and personal reasons” will not be able to attend the world cup of the 6mR class of sailing that begins this Friday in the Galician town and that will last until June 18. In Sanxenxo everything is ready for this test, in which almost fifty boats of this modality from various countries will take part. Pedro Campos, an award-winning sailor who is the skipper of the boat Rascal which is usually patronized by the king emeritus, was the one that Juan Carlos I stayed in his private house in a parish (a demarcation smaller than the municipality) of Sanxenxo during the four days he spent the night there. The emeritus did not speak directly with Campos on Tuesday, with whom he has not been in contact for several days.
Sources close to the king emeritus point out that Juan Carlos I wanted to participate in that regatta because he is the current champion to defend the title he won in Finland in 2019, as he expressed during his stay in Sanxenxo, and where he already advanced that he had everything ready to go . The same sources add that it was King Felipe VI who told him in person that this wish should not be fulfilled in the face of the uncontrolled social and media repercussion that had monopolized his stay in May and made clear “the message” that “it would not be seen with good eyes” another similar visit. Personnel in charge of the king emeritus in Abu Dhabi has reiterated in recent days to the leadership of the King’s House the interest of Juan Carlos I to appear this coming weekend in the sailing competition and the answer was repeated that ” the reasons” that Felipe VI had advanced to him were still valid. People close to the king emeritus, who were with him in May in Sanxenxo and have traveled to Abu Dhabi several times in the 21 months he has been residing there, add that from the Casa del Rey he was told that he should not return to Spain during this summer and that the matter could be taken up again from September.
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The return of Juan Carlos I to Spain in May caused discomfort in the Government and the King’s House due to how the visit unfolded, which was surrounded by great expectation. Members of the Executive came to criticize his refusal to explain and apologize for the conduct he had in recent years when handling money abroad behind the back of the Treasury.
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