The King of Spain Felipe VI publicly embraced his self-exiled father, former King Juan Carlos, at the funeral of former King of Greece Constantine in Greece on Monday.
The two royals apparently did not even exchange a glance during the funeral service at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. However, later on, cameras caught them in a warm embrace during the private burial at the former royal estate of Tatoi north of Athens.
Felipe and Juan Carlos were last seen together in public at London’s Westminster Abbey in September 2022 for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth.
Carlos, who now lives in self-imposed exile in the UAE following financial and extramarital scandals, used a cane to walk. At the burial ground at Tatoi, a cart was used to transport him a short distance from the chapel to the grave.
His wife and Queen Mother of Spain, Sofia, who is the sister of former King Constantine, sat next to him in the Cathedral and at Tatoi and chatted nonchalantly, serving her constitutional role.
Sofia tried to convey a message that the Spanish royal family is united. She urged her son, Felipe, to help his father both in his movements within the Cathedral of Athens and within the premises of Tatoi.
Juan Carlos abdicated and handed power to King Felipe
Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 after almost forty years in power. Power was handed to his son, Felipe.
His decision to give up the throne came after a corruption investigation involving his daughter’s husband and a controversial elephant-hunting trip the monarch went on during Spain’s financial crisis.
In June 2020, Spain’s Supreme Court launched an investigation into Juan Carlos’ alleged involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.
He denied any wrongdoing and insisted he was available if prosecutors needed to interview him. However, in August of that year, he traveled to the UAE, where he has been living since.
The former king sent a letter to his son in March in which he told him he was looking to make a “timely” return to Spain after the country’s attorney general’s office shelved the investigations against him.
Juan Carlos and Sofia have two daughters and one son, namely Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo (born December 20, 1963), Infanta Cristina (born June 13, 1965), and King Felipe VI of Spain (born January 30, 1968).
He is also the alleged father of Alberto Solà Jimenez, born in Barcelona in 1956—likewise of a woman born in Catalonia in 1964—and of Ingrid Sartiau, a Belgian woman born in 1966 who has filed a paternity suit. Complete sovereign immunity prevented that suit prior to his abdication.
Juan Carlos also had several extramarital affairs, which adversely affected his marriage.