Just days after his first public appearance in months, Spain’s former monarch King Juan Carlos was at the centre of a COVID-19 scare after tennis ace Rafael Nadal tested positive the day after they shared a meal together.

Juan Carlos who has been living in self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi since August 2020 appeared in public to watch Nadal play Andy Murray at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the International Tennis Center in Abu Dhabi on December 17.

The former King and Spain’s tennis superstar are old friends and dined together that night before Nadal played Denis Shapovalov, again watched by the  83-year-old-royal.

They were pictured sitting together without wearing face masks.

The tennis player tested positive to COVID-19 in a routine test on December 18 raising fears that he may have passed on the virus to the former monarch as they sat together, sometimes without masks only the evening before.

However, sources close to Juan Carlos’ household confirmed on December 20 that Juan Carlos had tested negative for the virus.

The former monarch, who abdicated in 2014 after a series of high profile scandals, is fully vaccinated and is believed also to have had a booster shot.

But he has rarely been seen in public since taking refuge in Abu Dhabi after it emerged he was being investigated over allegations of financial misconduct.

Last week Swiss prosecutors dropped a corruption allegation focusing on $100 million deposited into a Swiss bank account held by Juan Carlos that was suspected to have been a kickback for a Saudi rail contract.

The Spanish press has speculated that Juan Carlos is making a bid to return to Spain where he wants to again receive a stipend and live in his former royal palace which he considers his home.

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