The Spanish royal family had hoped vainly that peace would finally return. Juan Carlos has rarely been seen in public since his heart surgery last summer. But once again his past catches up with him – and the previous relationship with his “intimate girlfriend” Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Eight years ago, the much younger German accompanied the Spanish monarch to the elephant hunt to Botswana, in which Juan Carlos broke his hip. The voyage at the height of the economic crisis plunged the monarchy into one of its worst crises and contributed significantly to Juan Carlos’ renunciation of the throne two years later.

Now the Spanish newspaper “El País” reports that the emeritus monarch was extremely generous towards the bourgeois Germans, who is actually called Corinna Larsen and owes her title of nobility to a short marriage with Casimir Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. In the course of an investigation by the Geneva public prosecutor’s office, her lawyer confirmed an “unsolicited gift” from the king in 2012. Juan Carlos had felt connected to her and her son and wanted to use this “donation” to show that they were helping him at a time in which he had poor health. The sum was “clearly documented as a gift” and checked accordingly by the banks. Neither he nor “El País” gave any information about the sum.


“He makes no distinction between legal and illegal”

Juan Carlos with his wife Sofia

According to “El País”, the “gift” was transferred from the Swiss account of a foundation in Panama. This emerges from documents that the Swiss investigative authorities found during house searches with a fund administrator and a lawyer in Geneva. The public prosecutor interviewed both Corinna Larsen and representatives of the Mirabaud bank involved. According to Swiss investigators, the Foundation’s bank account had $ 100 million from Saudi Arabia. They are said to come from a transfer from the Saudi Ministry of Finance from the time when King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz ruled in Riyadh, with whom Juan Carlos had good relations.

Corinna Larsen’s lawyer denied that his client had anything to do with the allegations of corruption related to the awarding of the construction of the AVE high-speed train from Medina to Mecca to a Spanish consortium in 2011.

Two years ago, sound recordings were secretly made, on which Corinna Larsen allegedly talked about the fact that Juan Carlos had received a commission of around 80 million euros for the rail business. “He makes no distinction between legal and illegal,” she is said to have said.