King Juan Carlos, Spain’s former monarch, will return to his homeland at the end of September to take part in a regatta in Galicia.
This will be the monarch’s fourth trip to Spain since he moved to Abu Dhabi in 2020 amid a financial scandal.
On this occasion, his son and current King of Spain, Felipe VI, will be just a few miles away, which has triggered speculation that father and son may meet in person.
Will King Felipe meet his father Juan Carlos in Spain?
Juan Carlos, 85, will sail in the 8th King Juan Carlos I Regatta in Sanxenxo from September 28 to October 1.
He is scheduled to arrive in Galicia on September 25 to train and prepare his sailboat, the Bribón, for the regatta.
In this way, he will have several days to enjoy his favorite pastime: sailing.
King Felipe VI will also be in the area on the same dates.
He is scheduled to appear in Vigo on September 28 and 30 on the occasion of the Forum La Toja-Enlace Atlántico, on the nearby island of A Toxa.
This places father and son only 16 kilometers and 20 minutes away by car.
The physical proximity and the overlapping of the visits have triggered speculation about the possibility that King Juan Carlos and King Felipe will finally meet in person.
It would be the first time since they were seen greeting each other at a royal funeral in Greece in January.
However, royalty expert Jaime Peñafiel, consulted by the portal El Español, believes a reunion between the former king and the current monarch is unlikely.
“The fact that they are 15 kilometers away does not mean that they will coincide. One has nothing to do with the other,” he said. “Neither intend to coincide nor are they going to coincide, even if they are ten, four, or two kilometers away.”
Peñafiel expects Juan Carlos to simply devote himself to his beloved sailing while King Felipe attends to his own separate royal duties.
Peñafiel’s most striking statement, however, was that the former monarch would return to reside in Spain permanently before the end of 2023.
“He will be coming to live in Spain soon. Before the end of the year he will return,”he said.
Recall that Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in 2014 amid a scandal over his finances and extramarital affairs. His son Felipe then became King of Spain.
When new allegations of financial irregularities involving Juan Carlos came to light in 2020, Juan Carlos made the decision to leave Spain and go into self-exile in Abu Dhabi.
It should be noted that the former king remains a controversial figure, beloved by some for his leadership, but marred by scandal in his later years.