King Juan Carlos meets his wife after two years of separation, but she keeps her distance due to the virus

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia met on Monday 23 May 2022 at the Royal Palace in Zarzuela. The reunion took place in the presence of other members of the family who came to greet the former king who later in the day will immediately return the plane to the United Arab Emirates. A family meal was organized to enjoy a few moments with Juan Carlos 1e before his departure. Queen Sofia, despite her presence, has stayed away due to the coronavirus.

Read also: King Juan Carlos wins regatta in Galicia: successful return to Spain

Juan Carlos 1e surrounded by his family for a meal in La Zarzuela

In August 2020, King Emeritus Juan Carlos was secretly boarding a plane in Vigo, Galicia, bound for the United Arab Emirates. His journey, often described as voluntary exile, was in the wake of various cases involving him that could have harmed the reign of his son, King Philippi. Almost two years later, when he certainly took up residence in Abu Dhabi, the former king finally returned to Spain, after the various cases were also closed.

King Juan Carlos attended the sailing races from Friday to Sunday, in his first return to Spain since leaving for exile in August 2020 (Photo: Gtres/Abacapress)

King Juan Carlos’s stay in Spain began late Thursday afternoon when he landed in Vigo, the place he last set foot in Spain. From Friday to Sunday, the King Emeritus attended the sailing competitions at the Yacht Club in Sansenso, Galicia, and was hosted by his friend and yacht club owner, Pedro Campos. The king also took the opportunity to attend a handball match for his grandson, Pedro Urdangarin, which was being played a few kilometers away. On Sunday, May 22nd, Juan Carlos showed that he has not forgotten his mastery of helmsman, by winning the Regatta on a 6-meter sailboat.

On Monday, a new misfortune awaits the former governor. He left Galicia early in the morning and arrived in the middle of the morning in Madrid. Juan Carlos could not return to Abu Dhabi without greeting his family and touring the capital, despite hundreds of protesters protesting against his return since this weekend.

Photos of King Juan Carlos arriving in Madrid, where he is about to meet King Felipe VI (Photo: Eduardo Parra/Europa Press/ABACAPRESS.COM)

King Juan Carlos shared lunch with his family. Among them were children, grandchildren, a sister and even a niece. Sister Maria Zurita, daughter of the Infanta Margherita, who was also present at lunch. Maria Zurita is very close to her uncle and godfather. This greatly supported her when she made the decision to have a child on her own, named Carlos Zurita. The child was also present.

Read also: Family photo: King Juan Carlos receives his family visit in Abu Dhabi for Easter week

A mysterious and special family reunion

Aside from Maria Zurita, who regularly posts messages on her social networks praising her uncle, members of the royal family with a more official position have been careful not to support the former king too publicly. It is known, however, that the daughters of Juan Carlos and Sofia, Infantas Elena and Cristina, never betrayed their loyalty to their father and visited him several times in Abu Dhabi. On Easter, Elena took her daughter Victoria with her, and Christina made the trip with her five children.

Infanta Christina, who lives in Switzerland, did not attend the luncheon. She lives in Geneva with her daughter. Her sons live in Spain and the UK, but it was a school day that explains their absence. One of them, Pablo Urdangarin, had already seen his grandfather the day before on the edge of a handball field. On the Infanta Elena’s side, she was present with her two children, Philip and Victoria de Marechalar.

King Juan Carlos, Duke of Calabria and Pedro Campos on the edge of the field to support Pablo Urdangarin during a handball match on Saturday (Photo: Gtres/Abacapress)

The relationship between Juan Carlos, his eldest son and his wife is more complicated. Juan Carlos made the decision to go into self-imposed exile so as not to distort the rule of his son, due to his unpopularity and the cases against him. For his part, King Philip VI made the decision to end his father’s scholarship, which he continues to receive until 2020, as a former head of state. Officially, only Felipe, Letizia and Sofia work for the Spanish crown and are the only ones to have received a moratorium. The heir to the throne and her sister are still minors. However, they are already part of the Royal House with their parents and grandmother.

Juan Carlos and Felipe VI meet

Arriving at Zarzuela Palace, the honorary king found his son. There is no accurate official information that would allow us to confirm anything. Numerous sources and testimonies in the Spanish press overlap to explain that the interview lasted for a long time between father and son. Have lunch after the meeting.

During lunch, King Philip accompanied his wife, Queen Letizia. The royal couple had their youngest daughter with them. Princess Leonor, the heir to the throne, has not met her grandfather because she is studying at a boarding school in Wales.

The last meeting was between King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. We doubt there was a big hug, for the simple reason that the queen honorary had tested positive on that particular day. Queen Sofia returns from a trip to Miami where she launched the 500th anniversary celebrations of her first round the world trip. Queen Sofia has contracted the Corona virus and a statement from the palace said that she therefore did not share lunch with other guests. However, she was present during the family reunion, staying far away, masked and next to a ventilation system.

Queen Sofia was in Miami a few days ago from where she returned, infected with the coronavirus (Image: Pichichipixx/Splash News/ABACAPRESS.COM)

Queen Sofia has decided to continue working full time for the throne, despite her husband abdicating the throne in 2014, and his final retirement in 2019. Queen Sofia makes most of her commitments through her foundation that works for many reasons, ranging from promoting Spanish culture to animal conservation. and plants by supporting food banks.

On May 23, the meeting that both parties equally feared finally took place. Honorary Queen Sofia, King Felipe and Queen Letizia, active, worthy representatives of the royal house, finally agreed to be on the side of King Emeritus Juan Carlos, who is considered the deposed king. What form this interview would take was not known and how it would be communicated to the public remained a question mark. We know, for example, that the Spanish authorities requested that the former king not be housed in the royal palace in Zarzuela. That is why he stayed with a private person in Galicia, and then, after visiting his family in Madrid, would leave Spain without sleeping there one night, due to the lack of accommodation.

On Saturday May 14, 2022, it has been 60 years since Juan Carlos and Sofia said yes. Diamond weddings were not celebrated, as they lived separately for several years. Their marriage will forever go down in history as one of the last great royal weddings. When they married in 1962, Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark was the daughter of current King Paul I of Greece. She married Juan Carlos, then a descendant of the last king of Spain, in a country where the monarchy was abolished. Attitudes were reversed a few years later, when the monarchy was restored in Spain in 1975 and abolished in Greece in 1973. The Norwegians are the last European rulers to whom both parents were born into a royal family.

Nicholas Fontaine


Nicolas Fontaine has been working as a freelance web editor since 2014. Having been a copywriter and author for various Belgian and French media and brands, he has specialized in Royal News. Nicolas is now the editor-in-chief of Histoires royales.

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