King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of
The royal couple looked cool in cotton as they paid a visit to the Monographic Museum and Necropolis of ‘Puig des Molins’, said to be the home of the goddess Tanit and the best preserved necropolis in the Mediterranean.
Their trip coincided with the Spanish royal palace confirming the 82-year-old ex-king is residing in the United Arab Emirates, having left his homeland earlier this month after it emerged his finances are under investigation in a major corruption probe.
Juan Carlos is believed to be staying with his ‘most faithful friend for the past 40 years’, 70-year-old Mallorcan interior designer Marta Gaya, in a £10,000-a-night presidential suite at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
In a surprise move, Juan Carlos announced on August 3 that he was leaving Spain to prevent his personal affairs from undermining his son King Felipe VI’s reign, but did not say where he would be going.
King Juan Carlos has denied any wrongdoing and claims he is available should prosecutors need to interview him.
Queen Letizia cut an elegant figure today as usual, wearing a breezy white ruffled maxi dress featuring frills and lace detailing with her classic espadrilles and a high ponytail. King Felipe looked equally casual in a matching cotton shirt and slacks.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain wave to the crowds from a safe distance as they visit the Monographic Museum and Necropolis of ‘Puig des Molins’ in Ibiza
The pair both wore protective face masks and kept their distance from others as they visited the usually busy tourist hot spot.
Ibiza is just a short boat ride away from the family’s annual holiday destination of Mallorca.
Crown Princess Leonor, 14, and Infanta Sofia, 13, did not appear to have joined their parents for the day trip.
This could be due to an unfortunate leg injury that left Sofia bandaged up and needing a crutch after an accident early on in the holiday.
The start of the family trip was also tainted by King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 after nearly 40 years in power, announcing he was leaving Spain amid the aforementioned controversy.
The royal couple stop to observe the historical location, both putting safety first with face masks
Queen Letizia is seen wearing a breezy white maxi dress which she accessorised with a wicker bag and a pair of white espadrille wedges
The couple appeared to be in good spirits as they continued their holiday despite the drama unfolding around King King Felipe VI’s father – King Juan Carlos
Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia during their visit to the Puig des Molins archaeological site in Ibiza, Spain, today
The museum appeared to be a welcome distraction from the media scrutiny which is following them this holiday due to the scandal surrounding King Felipe’s father
The couple is seen looking at the artefacts at the Puig des Molins which means literally ‘Windmills’ Hill’ in English
King Felipe VI has not publicly spoken about his father’s departure earlier this month.
Spanish authorities are investigating whether Juan Carlos received a secret commission for helping to win a £5.5 billion Saudi rail deal, after his former mistress made the allegations privately.
German Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein has been placed under investigation in relation to audio recordings of a meeting between herself and retired Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo at her London home in 2015.
The investigation into the conversation was initially closed in 2018, but it was reopened in July after new evidence emerged, with police discovering other copies of the conversation.
The royal palace had up until now refused to reveal where Juan Carlos is living, saying he would announce it himself if necessary.
While pro-monarchy Spanish daily ABC had reported that the former king had travelled to Abu Dhabi, other media singled out Portugal, where Juan Carlos spent part of his youth, or the Dominican Republic as possible destinations.
While Juan Carlos is not under formal investigation, revelations by a former mistress, German businesswoman Corinna Larsen, raise legal questions about his financial affairs which officials are looking into in Spain and Switzerland.
Juan Carlos (pictured at a bullfight in 2018) is believed to be staying with his ‘most faithful friend for the past 40 years’, 70-year-old Majorcan interior designer Marta Gaya (pictured at a funeral four a countess in 2013)
Juan Carlos is stayiing in a £10,000-a-night presidential suite in the Emirates Palace Hotel (air view pictured) in Abu Dhabi, Spanish daily ABC reported
The suspicions centre on £77 million (85 million euros) which that late Saudi king Abdullah allegedly deposited into a Swiss bank account in 2008 to which Juan Carlos had access.
Prosecutors at Spain’s Supreme Court are looking into claims made by Larsen that Juan Carlos received kickbacks for a Saudi high-speed rail contract, which was awarded in 2011 to a consortium of Spanish companies.
While Juan Carlos is not under formal investigation, revelations by a former mistress, German businesswoman Corinna Larsen, raise legal questions about his financial affairs which officials are looking into in Spain and Switzerland (pictured: Ms Larsen at a luncheon at Claridge’s Hotel, London, June 2017)
The 280 mile link between Mecca and Medina was inaugurated in 2018.
Royal expert and author Pilar Eyre said last week that the former king and his wife Sofia have not shared a bedroom since she caught him with another woman on a 1976 hunting trip and she is thought to be with family in Mallorca.
She wrote in glossy Spanish magazine Lecturas: ‘The king is not alone. His faithful friend for the past 40 years is with him, the person who forgives everything, never fails him, accompanies him, comforts him.’
She added: ‘They have experienced a wonderful love affair and face their future together hand in hand.
‘Juan Carlos, who has been so courageous on other occasions, should show himself publicly with her. He owes it to her, and also to us.’
The mistress of the former king, who according to Spanish historian Amadeo Martinez Ingles has had an astonishing 5,000 lovers in his lifetime, was not named.
Pilar Eyre also claimed in her article that Juan Carlos had left Spain with just two suitcases containing only the ‘essentials.’
Several Spanish news websites have named Ms Gaya as the ‘friend’ and the ‘love of his life.’
Juan Carlos, who has long had warm relations with the Gulf monarchies, ascended the throne in 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco and ruled for 38 years before abdicating in favour of his son Felipe VI in June 2014.
Pictured left to right: Then-Princess Letizia , Prince Felipe, Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos pose for a photo in 2009
Juan Carlos is welcomed by State Minister and chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber upon his arrival for a session of the first UAE-Spain Economic Forum at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in April 2014
The ex-king and his wife Sofia (pictured) have reportedly not shared a bedroom since she caught him with another woman on a 1976 hunting trip and she is thought to be with family in Mallorca
He was a popular figure for decades, playing a key role in the democratic transition from the Franco dictatorship which ruled Spain from 1939-1975.
A majority of Spaniards, 56.2 percent, feel his decision to move abroad is ‘misguided’, according to a poll of 802 people published Sunday in the daily ABC, with only 25.4 percent saying it was the right step.
An even greater number of Spaniards, 60.9 percent, believe his self-imposed exile is harmful for his son, the current King Felipe VI, according to the poll of 802 people carried out August 10-14.
Since ascending to the throne in 2014, King Felipe VI has since taken steps to improve the monarchy’s image, such as imposing a ‘code of conduct’ on royals.
Earlier this year he stripped his father of his annual allowance of nearly 200,000 euros after new details of allegedly shady financial dealings emerged.
Here the Spanish royal couple walk down a busy street in Ibiza as crowds begin to form behind them
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia wave to a penned area where tourists and locals are waiting to see them leave the museum
It is not known if the royal couple plan to stay overnight on the island of Ibiza or journey back to Mallorca where they have been holidaying with their two children
King Felipe VI’s face was mostly concealed with sunglasses and a mask, but he was seen energetically waving at locals. Queen Letizia wore a chic ringlet pony tail
The family take a summer holiday in Mallorca annually, and this year’s events have not hindered that
Who is Spain’s former king, Juan Carlos I?
Juan Carlos I reigned as king of Spain from November 1975 until his abdication in June 2014
Juan Carlos I reigned as king of Spain from November 1975 until his abdication in June 2014.
He was a popular monarch for most of his four-decade reign who played a critical role in the country’s transition to democracy.
He is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the abolition of the monarchy in 1931 and the subsequent declaration of the Second Spanish Republic.
Juan Carlos was born in Rome, Italy, on January 5, 1938, during his family’s exile. He came to Spain in 1947 to continue his studies and entered the Zaragoza military academy.
He completed his tertiary education at the University of Madrid and went on to marry Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark in Athens in 1962.
They went on to have two daughters and a son together: Elena, Cristina, and Felipe.
Juan Carlos first began periodically acting as Spain’s head of state in the summer of 1974. Fascist dictator Francisco Franco died in November the following year and Juan Carlos became king on 22 November 1975, two days after Franco’s death.
Juan Carlos was hailed for his role in Spain’s transition to democracy and reforms to dismantle the Francoist regime.
However the King and the monarchy’s reputation began to suffer after controversies surrounding his family arose.
In April 2012, Juan Carlos faced criticism for an elephant-hunting trip in Botswana during a time of financial crisis in Spain.
King Felipe pictured with former king Juan Carlos and Spain’s Queen Letizia at the Spanish National day military parade in Madrid on October 12, 2012
The public found out about the trip only after the King injured himself and a special aircraft was sent to bring him home.
Spanish officials stated that the expenses of the trip were not paid by taxpayers or by the palace, but by businessman Mohamed Eyad Kayali.
Corruption scandals circling the royal family closed in when his daughter, Princess Cristina, was accused of tax fraud in 2014 and became the first Spanish royal to stand trial. She was later acquitted, but her husband was sentenced.
He abdicated in favour of his son, Prince Felipe, in 2014, and last year, Juan Carlos announced his decision to withdraw from public life, ending his remaining institutional functions and appearances from June 2019. Last August, he successfully underwent heart surgery in Madrid.
In June 2020, Spain’s supreme court prosecutor opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’ involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia that was granted to a group of Spanish companies in 2011.
King Felipe renounced his own inheritance and stripped his father of his palace allowance in March after reports the latter received $100 million from the late Saudi king and gave millions to a businesswoman.