By Linda Hall •
Updated: 28 Oct 2023 • 14:01
QUEEN SOFIA: Princess Leonor’s grandmother receiving an award last June
Photo credit: casareal.es
QUEEN SOFIA will not be present when her granddaughter Princess Leonor swears allegiance to Spain’s Constitution on coming of age on October 31.
The absence of the queen mother, who will be 85 on November 2, is a diplomatic solution to the necessary absence of her husband King Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI, in 2014.
Beset by fiscal, legal and amatory scandals, Juan Carlos now lives in Abu Dhabi and the occasions when he visits Spain, usually Galicia where he takes part in sailing regattas with close friends, are low-profile.
Although he will be in Spain on October 31, it was a given that Juan Carlos would not be in attendance when the Princess of Asturias’ swears allegiance to the Constitution during a plenary session of the national parliament in Madrid. Nor will he be present when this is followed by a solemn ceremony at the Palacio Real when she receives the Order of Carlos III.
Juan Carlos will, however, attend a family dinner later at the El Pardo before flying out that night.
According to sources quoted in El Pais, the former monarch, referred to in Spain as the King Emeritus, will also have a private meeting with King Felipe.
The same sources revealed that father and son decided some time ago that he would travel to Spain for the historic occasion but without taking part in any of the official functions.
It would be better for Princess Leonor to be the sole focus on such a significant day for her, without “any outside elements” to disrupt it, they agreed.
The King Emeritus and Queen Sofia have been estranged – although the word is never used – for many years. Gossip has it that they lived separate lives long before the notorious 2012 accident when Juan Carlos broke his hip while on safari in Botswana with his mistress Corinna Larsen.
After Juan Carlos’s 2014 abdication, further scandals emerged regarding tax evasion and irregular commissions on Spanish construction contracts, including the Medina to Meca high speed train.
All of which was a far cry from the young Juan Carlos who will never be forgotten for his part in defusing an attempted coup d’état in February 1981.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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