27 Dec, 2022 @ 12:45
1 min read

Spanish government will not remove the name of disgraced former monarch Juan Carlos I from warship

El Rey Emerito Juan Carlos I Llega Al Puerto De Sanxenxo Donde Es Recibido Por Una Gran Cantidad De Gente
Image Cordon Press

THE SPANISH government will not, for now, be removing the name of disgraced former monarch Juan Carlos I from any official institution, event or object. 

That’s according to a written response to an information request filed by a senator for leftist party Compromís, Carles Mulet.

The biggest warship built in Spain, for example, will continue to be called Juan Carlos I, while the next winners of the National Sports Prize will be taking home an award that is also named after the father of the current king, Felipe VI.

The question sent by Mulet to the government – which is run by a coalition of the Socialist Party and junior partner Unidas Podemos – asked ‘which measures the government will adopt so that these elements have a dignified name, one that doesn’t offend taxpayers and citizens of the state’, according to a report in online daily Público.

In its brief response, the government replied saying that the warship and the other items cited ‘carry the name of the first Head of State after the restoration of democracy’.

The self-styled emeritus king, who is 84, abdicated in 2014 after he was rocked by a series of scandals, the most serious of which was an accident during a hunting trip in Botswana that saw him break his hip. 

The Spanish public reacted angrily to the fact that the then-monarch was enjoying a luxury vacation at a time of economic hardship, as well as revelations that he was accompanied by a former lover, Corinna Larsen. 

Financial scandals

He then left Spain in the summer of 2020 after a series of damaging scandals piled up involving his finances, and has been living in self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi ever since. 

This year saw more embarrassing revelations about his financial dealings and string of extra-marital affairs, in an HBO documentary titled Saving the King and a podcast called Corinna and the King, which included extensive interviews with Larsen, who goes by her married name of Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.

King Felipe VI is reported to have been seeking distance between the current royal family and his father, and is said to have rejected Juan Carlos’s request to spend this Christmas in Spain.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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