Former Spanish King will live in Abu Dhabi but can visit Spain

Now that investigations stopped against King Emeritus Juan Carlos I, King Felipe VI accepted his father’s request to periodically visit Spain.

Palacio Real, Spain's royal family residence
Palacio Real, Spain’s royal family residence | © Hernan Gonzalez

Juan Carlos I will live in the United Arab Emirates but King Felipe VI accepted his father’s desire to return to Spain for periodic visits, royal officials said on March 7.

Juan Carlos has been living in the U.A.E. since 2020 following probes into his financial dealings. Although he retains the title of “King Emerit,” he abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI in 2014 following a series of scandals in the royal family.

The former King of Spain wrote a letter, dated March 5 and published on the royal website, asking to “visit family and friends”.

Supreme Court prosecutors have now closed investigations to bring the former monarch to court because there was not sufficient evidence about financial misbehavior involving millions of euros in undeclared accounts. Everything happened when he was protected by immunity as Spain’s king. Other potential frauds fell because of the statute of limitations.

The probes allowed the recovery of 5.1 million euros ($5.6 million) in fines and taxes for income that Juan Carlos had failed to declare to Spain’s tax authorities, the prosecutors said in their conclusions.

Juan Carlos, 84, wrote he would continue to live in Abu Dhabi where he has “found peace of mind”. He would live in private premises when he comes back to Spain and expects to “enjoy the greatest privacy possible”.

Since becoming King, Felipe has tried to distance himself from his father.

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