Queen Sofia of Spain broke down in tears in her latest appearance, amid reports that she was not invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony for her granddaughter, Princess Leonor, in Congress.
The wife of former King Juan Carlos I offered “the most sincere congratulations” to physicist Emilio Lora Tamayo on Friday, as he was appointed honorary president for life by the Camilo José Cela University of Madrid.
In a rare emotional moment, the 84-year-old cried as she paid tribute to the university professor in her speech. The pair are said to have been friends for years, according to local media reports.
The King and Laura Tamayo, 73, who must use an oxygen mask and a wheelchair due to his poor health, grabbed each other’s hands as they left the event.
Sofia’s emotional outburst comes amid reports that the mother of King Felipe VI of Spain was not invited to attend Princess Leonor’s swearing-in ceremony in Congress on October 31, the day the heir to the Spanish throne turns 18.
Sources at Zarzuela Palace told the Spanish newspaper El Pais That Sofia would not accompany King Felipe and Queen Letizia to this historic occasion – “so as not to be separated from Juan Carlos I.”
The palace is said to be trying to avoid the controversial former king, who abdicated in favor of his son Felipe in 2014 and stole the show when he arrived in the Spanish capital for “just seven hours”.
While neither Juan Carlos, who lives in exile in the UAE, nor Sofia will attend public events tomorrow, both are scheduled to attend private family celebrations after the event.
Palace sources said that “the solution was closed by mutual agreement from the first moment” between Juan Carlos and Felipe, according to what was reported by the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. Discussion.
Juan Carlos was once one of Spain’s most respected public figures for his role in the country’s return to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But scandals involving Spain’s royal family began to escalate in the final years of his rule, prompting him to step down in favor of his son, King Felipe.
Earlier this month, he won a bid to end a £126million High Court battle with his Danish ex-lover who accused him of spying on and harassing her.
Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who is in her late 50s, claimed the former king had caused her “great mental pain”.
Juan Carlos, 85, denied any wrongdoing and contested the allegations against him, saying they were “inapplicable.”
In a ruling issued by the High Court in London, Justice Rowena Collins Rice said the court “lacks jurisdiction to consider this claim” because it was brought against the defendant outside his country of residence.
Read more: Inside the scandalous life of exiled former King of Spain Juan Carlos I: From the bed of ‘2,000 women’, trying to ‘woo’ Princess Diana and this dig at King Charles
She added that Ms. zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Sayn “has not sufficiently proven that the ‘harmful event’ of which she complains – the harassment by the defendant – occurred in England.”
Juan Carlos said in a statement that he welcomed the judge’s decision. Meanwhile, Ms. zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Sayn said she was “deeply disappointed.”
When Juan Carlos stepped down, he told his subjects: “I have decided to end my rule and abdicate the throne of Spain. There is a new generation rightly demanding to take the leadership role.
On his way out, he also criticized then-Prince Charles, saying: “We don’t want my son to languish waiting like Prince Charles.”
In August 2020, after six years out of the limelight, Juan Carlos chose to leave Spain, saying he did not want his personal affairs to undermine the reign of his son, King Felipe VI.
Earlier that year, his son stripped him of an annual allowance of nearly 200,000 euros as details of his financial dealings emerged.
Spain’s Supreme Court had launched an investigation just two months before his departure into his alleged involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.
The late Saudi King Abdullah allegedly deposited £77 million (€85 million) into a Swiss bank account to which Juan Carlos is said to have had access. However, the case was eventually dropped.
Last September, Juan Carlos attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, reportedly in defiance of the wishes of the Spanish government and his son.
Juan Carlos’s granddaughter, Leonor, who officially holds the title of Princess of Asturias, will swear an oath of allegiance to the Spanish Constitution on Tuesday to mark her 18th birthday.
Despite the sharp political divisions, reports from Spain indicate that the country is largely united behind the young princess, who is currently undergoing military training as a Bourbon cadet.
Speaking last week, the Princess described taking the oath as an honour: “I understand very well and realize what my duty is and what my responsibilities entail,” she told the Spanish audience.
If Leonor ascends to the throne, she will make history as the first queen of Spain since her fourth great-grandmother, Isabella II, who ruled from 1833 to 1868. She will be only the second queen in the history of a unified Spain.
Following Leonor in the line of succession is her sister, Princess Sofia, who is two years younger than her.
Meanwhile, Leonor was recently at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza where she began a three-year training.
To prepare for her role as Head of State of Spain and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Leonor must complete the three years in keeping with tradition as she follows in the path of her father, King Felipe.
After training at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza, the equivalent of Sandhurst Academy in Spain, she will join the Naval School and complete her three years at the General Air Academy.
The princess revealed her excitement about soon becoming a student at the Princesa de Girona Foundation Awards Gala in Girona, Catalonia, on July 5.
She said: I have just finished high school and I am about to start a new stage with a period of military training.
“I am happy because I know how much the Spaniards appreciate our armed forces… This is an important moment in my life and I feel very motivated and determined to continue learning and doing my best.”
It was also revealed that the young princess will continue studying law at university once her training with the army is complete, although her choice of university has not yet been revealed.
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