Since the criminal investigations against Spain’s former king were dropped, his return from exile has been expected again and again. Now it should be time. Only briefly and without an overnight stay.

According to media reports, Spain’s controversial former king Juan Carlos is planning his first home visit in almost two years for the coming weekend. This was reported by Spanish media on Monday, citing journalist Fernando Ónega, who also published a biography of the ex-monarch.

The passionate sailor is expected on Saturday from the exile in Abu Dhabi in the port city of Sanxenxo in Galicia in northwestern Spain and will stay until Sunday, wrote the state TV broadcaster RTVE. There was initially no official confirmation.

The Spanish Cup of sailing competitions in the six-meter class will be held in Sanxenxo on Friday, which will also serve as preparation for the “6mR Worlds” world championship in this category, which is to take place there from June 10, the newspaper “El País” wrote ». The 84-year-old old king told the crew of his boat “Bribón” by phone last week that he would like to take part in this competition, but was “out of practice,” the newspaper reported. In 2017, Juan Carlos became world champion in this class in Vancouver (Canada). However, he walks with a cane and now appears quite unsteady on his feet in photos.

Son agrees to meet

His son, King Felipe VI. (54), had agreed the day before, according to media reports, to meet Juan Carlos on his next visit to Madrid. Felipe promised that during a phone call to his father, RTVE and other media reported on Sunday, citing the royal family. The king made the call from Abu Dhabi, where he was on a condolence visit over the death of longtime President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Khalifa bin Sajid. Although father and son were both in Abu Dhabi, they would not have met. It was not known whether this meeting would take place in Madrid next weekend.

Juan Carlos initially left his homeland on August 4, 2020 for an unknown destination. He later showed up in Abu Dhabi. At the beginning of March, after the end of all criminal investigations against himself, he announced that he wanted to remain in exile for the time being, but would soon be making sporadic visits to his homeland.

Only short breaks allowed

The influential daily newspaper “El Mundo”, which is close to the royal family, reported on Friday that Juan Carlos was angry because his son only wanted to allow a short visit to the royal residence Zarzuela near Madrid without an overnight stay. Like the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Felipe is intent on averting damage to the royal family by being too close to Juan Carlos.

According to a survey conducted a good six months ago, a narrow majority of Spaniards (53 percent) are convinced that the monarchy is an outdated institution that should be abolished. Juan Carlos is certainly to a large extent to blame for this.

After all, the 84-year-old only escaped criminal proceedings for financial irregularities because he was either protected by his immunity as king until his abdication in 2014 or the actions were statute-barred. Sánchez stressed that the ex-monarch owed the Spanish people an explanation.