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The Universal Magazine

Spain: Will the Scandals End the Monarchy?

King Felipe VI and Letizia of Spain in the middle of the street

The Spanish attachment to their monarchy, once unshakeable, is now under assault from multiple scandals. Juan Carlos, the savior of democracy who led Spain from 1975 to 2014, is at the heart of the initial controversies. His reputation has been tarnished by affairs that erupted in 2012, following a hunting incident in Botswana.

But this costly escapade revealed to the public was just the beginning. Bribes and accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein followed, leading to Juan Carlos’s abdication in 2014. However, his departure into exile in 2020 did not close the chapter on royal scandals.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are not spared from the turmoil, with the revelation of a former lover presumed of the ex-journalist, Jaime del Burgo, lawyer and businessman. These revelations continue to fuel the contempt of some Spaniards for their monarchy.

These events are the subject of a documentary, Espagne : la couronne de tous les scandales (Spain: The Crown of All Scandals in French). This film is part of a series that explores the tumultuous lives of European royal families. It reveals the less than shining underside of these centuries-old institutions.

This documentary, as well as the scandals it exposes, raises questions about the future of the Spanish monarchy. The Spanish, confronted with this reality, remain divided on the future of this traditional institution.