Spain’s King Juan Carlos abdicated in June 2014. It was a big deal at the time for many reasons. It was said that Juan Carlos did not want his heir, the current king of Spain Felipe, to “wither on the vine” like Prince Charles. It was also a big deal because Juan Carlos was hand-picked by General Franco to lead the newly re-formed monarchy, and Franco expected Juan Carlos to continue his legacy. It didn’t exactly turn out that way. And finally, Juan Carlos’ abdication was a big deal at the time because nearly all of the royal family was embroiled in various financial crimes or unseemly schemes. All except for Felipe and Letizia, basically. When Felipe and Letizia became king and queen, there was less drama about finances and schemes and such. But even thought Juan Carlos is no longer king, he’s still involved in some shenanigans. Which is why King Felipe had to reject his “inheritance” and strip his father of his royal stipend. Wow.
On Sunday night, Spain’s King Felipe VI, the husband of the glamorous Queen Letizia, renounced his personal inheritance from his father and stripped the former King Juan Carlos of his annual stipend after it was alleged that Felipe VI was poised to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia.
The statement issued by Spain’s royal household came after a report named the King as a beneficiary of an offshore fund set up by his father in 2008. At the time, Juan Carlos was still in power. Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014, after a series of scandals sent his popularity into irreversible decline. Bloomberg writes that ‘Felipe’s decision deals another blow to his father’s already-tarnished reputation and signals palace concerns about how his business dealings could damage the monarchy.’
Juan Carlos, 82, has, according to the Guardian, continued to receive an annual stipend from the state, amounting to close to £175,000 in 2018. The alleged offshore account, named as the Lucum Foundation, held around €65 million in funds that were described as a ‘donation’ from ‘the king of Saudi Arabia’, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
The former king had been informed of his son’s decision to renounce his inheritance as well as ‘any asset, investment or financial structure whose origin, characteristic or purpose may not be in accordance with the law or with the rectitude and integrity’ of the crown, the statement added. Juan Carlos reportedly requested to make public that he had never informed King Felipe about either foundation, according to the statement.
Since taking the throne, Felipe has made a point to regain the royal family’s footing after a multitude of scandals. Not least his father but also his sister Cristina, in 2014 was the first royal to face criminal allegations in court since the reinstatement of the monarchy in 1978. She was questioned about her knowledge of the financial affairs of her husband, Inigo Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player and executive at Telefonica SA who is now in jail for embezzling public funds.
Holy sh-t about all of this: “The alleged offshore account, named as the Lucum Foundation, held around €65 million in funds that were described as a ‘donation’ from ‘the king of Saudi Arabia’.” What was Saudi Arabia buying for that kind of money? And to the King of Spain? It kind of makes one wonder about whether the House of Saud has been spreading around eight-figure “donations” to other royal houses and world leaders. How much money got “donated” to the Trump family? The Windsors? Anyway, it’s so harsh! Juan Carlos won’t even get a stipend from the state anymore. How is he supposed to live on €65 million in shady Saudi donations?
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
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