Palma.—The 75-year-old king has had a spectacular fall from grace recently as scandals undermine public approval and his health weakens and last night the royal household announced that the crew of the Fortuna, which is based inside the Porto Pi naval base, has been told to stand down and that the king has no intention of it being used again by the royal family.

It will be handed over to the state.
This is the third Spanish royal yacht and was built 12 years ago at a cost of 3'000 million pesetas, 18 million euros, by a group of 30 leading local and national businessmen and women who donated the yacht to the Balearic Tourism and Culture Foundation and part of the country's National Heritage.

It replaced the second Fortuna which had been a present from the Saudi Arabian King Fahd in 1979 to replace the original royal yacht of the same name which came into service in 1976 in Majorca where the Spanish royal family have traditionally spent their Easter and Summer holidays.

When the Fortuna was launched 12 years ago, it was one of the fastest yachts of its category but, due to the high running and maintenance costs, King Juan Carlos has used the yacht less and less over recent years.

The 41.5 metre yacht has a maximum speed of 65 knots and a highly sophisticated propulsion system with three Rolls Royce engines.
Construction first began in 1997 at the Bazan shipyard in Cadiz and she took three years to complete.
Inside she boasts a lounge, dining room, kitchen, four double bedrooms for eight guests and quarters for the eight-strong crew.
For many years, the captain of the royal yacht was British and during the royal yacht's 12 years numerous members of royalty have been aboard including the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama and her youngest daughter Sasha as guests of the king and queen in 2010.

The last time the king went sailing aboard the Fortuna was on August 13 last year when he headed out alone with just the crew and moored up off Formentor, although other members of the royal family have used it more often. Sources familiar with palace thinking say the royal family is concerned about the decline in its popularity and is eager to avoid adding more uncertainty to the climate of crisis for ordinary Spaniards. The palace is monitoring public opinion extremely closely via social media and its own polls.

The king's image started to deteriorate with the investigation into his son-in-law's alleged embezzlement at the head of the not-for-profit Noos Foundation in 2011.

It plummeted in 2012 when it emerged that Juan Carlos had gone on an elephant-hunting trip to Africa just as the full force of Spain's economic crisis hit home. With one in four Spaniards living in poverty, the palace was exposed as hopelessly out of touch. The king made an unprecedented apology.