Page 3 Profile: Juan Carlos I, King of Spain


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The Independent Online

The Spanish king! Basking in the love of his subjects?

He wishes. The British Royal Family may enjoy unquestioning popular support, but in Spain things are a little tougher. An opinion poll out yesterday confirmed the Spanish public has turned against its king.

What did he do wrong?

Where to start. One thing that has people’s blood boiling is King Juan Carlos’s lavish lifestyle. In a country suffering the pain of the eurozone crisis, with 55 per cent unemployment among the under-25s, the thought of the head of state sneaking off on luxury elephant hunts in Botswana sticks in the craw. To make matters worse, he was the honorary president of Spain’s World Wide Fund for Nature when a photo emerged of him posing in front of an elephant carcass with a gun.

What else?

Did I forget to mention: Juan left the Queen at home when he went hunting, instead taking Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a stylish businesswoman 27 years his junior. 

Where next for Spain’s monarchy?

Head of the Catalan Socialist Party, Pere Navarro, has said: “We need a new head of state.”

Who might that be?

The king’s son, Prince Felipe, has remained relatively unscathed. Watch this space.