The ex-King of Spain, Juan Carlos, allegedly instructed his friends to organise a “fake Christmas” because he “couldn’t bear the thought” of spending the day with his family, his former lover has claimed.

A new episode of the podcast Corinna and the King, which is released today, contains more revelations from Corinna Larsen about Juan Carlos, 84. He abdicated in favour of his son King Felipe in 2014 after a series of scandals, then fled to Abu Dhabi in self-imposed exile in 2020 as news of his alleged financial irregularities piled up.

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The ex-King travelled to London last month to attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth a move which led to an outcry in Spain because of his self-imposed exile.

King Juan Carlos was hugely popular in Spain until he was hit by a series of allegations over financial irregularities and his personal life.