Juan Carlos and King Felipe at the time of the abdication. | Fernando Alvarado


The former king, Juan Carlos, has informed King Felipe that he intends to live outside Spain. His decision has been taken in light of "certain past events" in his private life.

On Monday, the Royal Household issued a communiqué which included the letter from Juan Carlos to his son and the King's response. Juan Carlos said that the decision had been taken with "deep feeling but with great serenity". "I was king of Spain for almost forty years, and for all of them I always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown."

The King, the Royal Household's communiqué states, has expressed his "heartfelt respect and gratitude for the decision". "The King wishes to emphasise the historical importance of his father's reign, the legacy and political and institutional work in service to Spain and democracy."