Where the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, has decided to set up a new home is irrelevant considering the magnitude of the crisis he has left for the current monarch and Spain as a whole.

The King Emeritus had been keeping an extremely low profile since his abdication in 2014 but whether he is in Spain or not really does not solve the problem his son, King Felipe now faces.

Yesterday, Spanish politicians and citizens reacted to the news that the former king who brought democracy back to Spain after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco was going into self-imposed exile.

For a monarch who was once idolised and much loved by the majority of Spaniards for having overseen the transition, his fall from grace has come as a huge blow to Spain and divided the country. On the one hand, his decision to leave the country, has upset monarchists and the right wing, on the other it has given the far left and republicans more ammunition for their campaign for a referendum to be held about the future of the monarchy in Spain.

One royal watcher said yesterday that she does not think a referendum will happen because King Felipe is well-liked and a good leader while separating himself from his father. However, King Felipe is not the only person with a say - his father’s activities are already being looked into by the courts in Spain, UK and Switzerland, never mind what conclusions the Spanish come to.

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