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Family fly in from across the globe to visit recovering King Juan Carlos in hospital

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Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Letizia visited King Juan Carlos in hospital in Barcelona on their return from Costa Rica on Sunday
 Photo: © Getty Images

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The day before, Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena had seen him straight after his successful operation to remove a benign tumour from his lung
 Photo: © Getty Images

10 MAY 2010

The family of Spain's King Juan Carlos have been jetting in from across the world to visit him in hospital in Barcelona, where he is currently recovering well from Saturday's operation to remove a benign tumour from his right lung.

No sooner had Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia landed after their flight back from an official trip to Costa Rica on Sunday, than they headed to the Hospital Clinico de Barcelona to check on the state of the monarch.

Upon arrival, the royal couple were welcomed by the king's medical team, plus applause and cheers from well-wishers gathered outside, before being shown to his room.

"The king is recovering at a good a pace because he is a very good patient," said Felipe on his return from visiting his father.

"He is already eating normally and has made it out of bed a little. We are very happy with his recovery."

The following morning, Juan Carlos' youngest daughter, Infanta Cristina, and her husband Inaki Urdangarin arrived from Washington, where they have been living for the last few months.

The Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca spent nearly two hours with the 72-year-old sovereign, before emerging to report that, "He told us he wishes to return home and get back to work."

The king's elder daughter, Infanta Elena, also visited him on Saturday and Sunday, while Queen Sofia has been by his bedside every day since the operation.

"We still don't know when he will be discharged – that is up to the doctors to say – but we are not worried because his progress is continuing better than expected," said the queen.