A new book entitled “Juan Carlos I, the King in the Desert” by Spanish journalist Alejandro Entrambasaguas sheds new light on the complex relationship between King Emeritus Juan Carlos I and his son and successor, King Felipe VI since the former left to live in Abu Dhabi in August 2020.
The author delves into how the family ties between father and son, despite the difficulties, remain strong.
What is the relationship between Juan Carlos I and Felipe VI like?
As Entrambasaguas reveals, when Juan Carlos I briefly returned to Spain in May 2022 to participate in regattas in Sanxenxo, the first thing he did upon stepping on Spanish soil was to send a message to Felipe VI telling him:
“Upon stepping on Spanish soil my first call has been to you, but you have not answered me. I am sending you this message to tell you that I am already in Spain”.
This shows that, despite the physical distance imposed, the emotional bond remains intact.
The author affirms that the distance has served to strengthen family ties.
Phone calls between Juan Carlos I and Felipe VI are frequent, with the emeritus king recounting anecdotes about his life in Abu Dhabi while Felipe VI updates his father on the situation in Spain.
One of the key moments in the recent relationship between the two was the private visit Felipe VI paid to his father in Abu Dhabi in 2023, taking advantage of his trip to the funeral of the sheik of the United Arab Emirates.
It was at that meeting that they laid the groundwork for Juan Carlos I’s temporary return to Spain a few weeks later.
In short, despite the logical ups and downs in such a mediatic relationship and the external attempts to confront them, the paternal-filial bond remains strong and close, based on the affection typical of any family relationship.