Having undergone a hip operation on Friday, King Juan Carlos of Spain has spent the past few days in hospital. But the monarch’s stay will no doubt have been improved after a visit from many of his family memebers. On Sunday afternoon Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia turned out at the San Jose hospital in Madrid, where the king underwent surgery on his left hip.
Notably amongst the party of visitors was Juan Carlos’ son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, who is currently under investigation for corruption. Iñaki has not been seen in public for some time as the palace announced that during the legal proceedings for the Urdangarin Case Iñaki would not partake in any official engagements.
The accusations centre around the Noos Institute, Iñaki's non profit organisation that promotes sport and tourism. The alleged claims suggest that he charged local authorities hugely inflated fees for organising events and siphoned off funds to his private companies.
In December the duke published a statement saying he “regretted” the damage the accusations had caused to his family and the king and his lawyer claimed that Iñaki is innocent of any wrongdoing and was “outraged” by the allegations.
Iñaki took the title of the Duke of Palma upon his marriage to Juan Carlos’ youngest daughter Cristina, Duchess of Palma. He was recently ordered to pay eight million euros in connection with his court case and his appearance at the hospital is his first royal outing since news of the allegations broke a year ago. The duke travelled by car to the hospital with his eldest son Juan, who is 13 years old, and his sister-in-law Princess Elena.
Shortly after, Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia arrived with their daughters Leonor, seven and Sofia, five. The blonde youngsters each sported colourful outfits and appropriate winter boots to see their 74-year-old Grandfather.
As he left the hospital 44-year-old Felipe said he had found his father to be “very well” adding “he is phenomenal and all is well.” The heir apparent also commented that the family had been keen to come together for Juan Carlos, to help encourage a swift recovery.
Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, also spoke positively of the monarch’s situation. "I found him well and animated", he said, "we are all very happy. We talked about medicine and life itself, but mostly that everything is going well and from now on he is going to start walking and going for walks and try to recover as quickly as possible."
Juan Carlos was undergoing further hip surgery following an operation he had earlier this year. In April, during a holiday to Botswana, the king fell down a flight of stairs and had to be flown back by private jet for a two-hour operation. In an official statement the palace said: "the king suffered a fracture of his right hip in three places, linked to arthritis. A hip replacement was carried out."
Members of the royal family rallied around the king at the time although Iñaki and Cristina were unable to visit as they were living in Washington. After three years in the American city the Duke and Duchess of Palma and their four children recently moved back to Spain and now reside in Barcelona.