CHEERING crowds welcomed Emeritus King, Juan Carlos, to a sailing regatta at the Real Club Nautico de Sanxenzo on the Galicia coast on Friday.
He arrived by car, with his daughter, the Infanta Elena, and stopped for around five minutes to chat to Sanxenzo officials and club members, as well as greeting people who had gathered to see him.
Juan Carlos flew in from Abu Dhabi on Thursday to participate in the regatta on his sailboat El Bribon.
It’s the former monarch’s first public engagement in Spain following his self-imposed exile in August 2020 amidst corruption probes.
Investigations have been dropped since then over allegations of payments to secure a Saudi rail contract due to lack of evidence and time lapsing since the events occurred.
Juan Carlos rubbed shoulders today with a crowd of journalists from over 180 media outlets that waited for over two hours at the entrance of the Sanxenzo club.
He joked that he hadn’t seen so many cameras since his wedding day and declared himself to be ‘very happy and surprised’ by the welcome given to him by Sanxenzo.
Juan Carlos plans to take part in the regatta and Sanxenzo mayor, Telmo Martin, said that he would return on June 10 to defend his world championship classic boats title- an honour he won in 2019.
Juan Carlos’s trip to Spain finishes this Monday where he will see his son King Felipe in Madrid but he will not stay at the royal palace.