SPAIN’S former monarch, King Juan Carlos will land in Spain on Thursday in his first visit since he moved to Abu Dhabi in self-imposed exile following a series of scandals.

The 84-year-old former head of state is expected to fly into in the city of Vigo on Spain’s northwest region of Galicia on Thursday evening.

He will then travel to nearby Sanxenxo for a sailing regatta where he will stay with old family friend, Pedro Campos.

“He is very glad to come and be here to recover after two years away and do something he likes so much, which is sailing,” Campos told state broadcaster RTVE ahead of the visit.

The king is expected to participate in the sailing competition during the weekend before travelling south to Madrid where he will visit his son King Felipe VI at Zarzuela Palace.

King Felipe And King Juan Carlos Of Spain Cordon Press
Archive photo of King Felipe and his father King Juan Carlos. Photo: Cordon Press

However, the Casa Real pointed out in a statement released on Wednesday that Juan Carlos will not be staying overnight at Zarzuela.

The return to his homeland for the first time since he moved to the UAE in August 2020 comes after a judicial investigation into the secret fortune of Juan Carlos was shelved on technical grounds, despite finding that the former king had evaded more than €50 million (£42 million) in tax by failing to declare offshore accounts.

Earlier this year prosecutors shelved three separate investigations into his financial affairs, citing insufficient evidence, the statute of limitations, and the monarch’s constitutional immunity.

In March 2020, Felipe stripped Juan Carlos of his annual stipend and renounced his own personal inheritance from his father in a bid to distance himself from the scandal.

However Juan Carlos is still facing legal action. He is currently being sued in the London High Court by his former mistress, the Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who claims he used Spain’s spy agency to target and harass her and her children after their five-year relationship ended.

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