Spain’s King Juan Carlos forced to deny he is ‘seriously ill’ as scandal-hit monarch sees out lockdown in Abu Dhabi

SPAIN'S King Juan Carlos has been forced to deny claims he is “seriously ill” with the scandal-hit monarch insisting he does daily gym workouts.

Author Pilar Eyre, a leading specialist on the Spanish royals, tweeted that the ex-head of state is “in a serious condition and the Royal Household is considering the possibility of transferring him to Spain”.

Yet, Hola! magazine said it had contacted Juan Carlos and were told: “I’m perfect. I do two hours gym every day and I feel fine.”

The rumours started after the last photo of the 83-year-old, taken at his Middle East hideaway last month, showed him looking frail, walking at a pleasure port with the help of two bodyguards.

The photo said to have been taken by Spanish tourists and published by TV station Telecinco, had fuelled concerns about his state of health.

It was the first to emerge of Juan Carlos since he was pictured arriving in Abu Dhabi last August following a shock departure from Spain after Swiss prosecutors opened a probe into accounts he allegedly held in tax havens.

He checked into a £10,000-a-night presidential suite at the seven-star Emirates Palace following his arrival.

The possibility he would return to Madrid for Christmas had polarised the Spanish public in the run-up to the festive season before it was ruled out by the monarch himself.

He attributed his decision to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact he was a high-risk person because of his age.

Reports at the time, refuted by Spain’s Royal Household, said he had been admitted to a private clinic in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for Covid.

Juan Carlos is facing three separate criminal probes in Spain.

One is related to the use of credit cards linked to foreign accounts after his June 2014 abdication when he lost his constitutional protection against prosecution as a serving monarch.

Prosecutors are trying to establish if the scandal-hit former king accessed funds deposited in accounts held by a Mexican businessman and a Spanish Air Force official.

Spain has also launched its own probe based in part on information shared by Switzerland about cash the King allegedly received as part of his involvement in a high-speed Saudi Arabia rail contract.

In December, the ex-monarch’s lawyer announced he had paid more than  £600,000 in back taxes with interest and surcharges for the years since his abdication.

Spanish authorities responded by saying they were analysing the tax payments to see if they were “spontaneous, truthful and complete.”

The last photo of Juan Carlos was taken on December 29 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Barcelona-based author Pilar Eyre made an explosive claim about Juan Carlos and Diana in a book she published in 2012.

She said the Spanish monarch made a pass at her during a holiday Diana and Charles spent with their son at the King’s summer palace in Majorca in 1986.

According to Eyre, the monarch made a "tactile" advance to Diana, then aged just 25.

Diana herself denied anything untoward had happened but admitted that while the libidinous king was "charming" he could be a "little too attentive."

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