Spain is currently eagerly awaiting a possible home visit by the controversial former king Juan Carlos. The 85-year-old, who has been living in exile in Abu Dhabi since August 2020, will “most likely” arrive in Sanxenxo on Wednesday, where he wants to take part in a regatta, Spanish state television broadcaster RTVE reported.

Juan Carlos has close friends in the small Galician port town in north-west Spain, where he also took part in a regatta on his first and so far only home visit in May 2022.

The royal family generally does not comment on the private activities of the family – certainly not those of the ex-monarch. And the government in Madrid has not yet issued a statement. For media citing friends of King Felipe VI’s father report, however, there is little doubt: “He is coming”.

First of all, Juan Carlos may want to travel to London on Tuesday, RTVE reported. According to well-informed sources, he wants to attend the Champions League football game between Chelsea and his favorite club Real Madrid in the evening.

The former king, who was Spain’s head of state for almost 40 years, has been living in Abu Dhabi since August 2020 due to various scandals. After all criminal investigations into financial irregularities against him had been dropped in spring 2022, it was assumed in Spain that Juan Carlos would visit his homeland more often and eventually return.

But on the first home visit in May last year, a lot went wrong. According to the media, it wasn’t just the intense media hype that caused “discomfort” in the royal family and the left-wing government. Juan Carlos’ behavior was also criticized as “immodest”. The old king “missed the chance” to ask the citizens for forgiveness and to explain himself, according to the government.