When King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia celebrated their silver wedding anniversary on May 14, 1987 they hosted a lavish reception at the Royal Palace inviting 25 other couples from across Spain who married on the same day.
But their golden wedding anniversary which falls this Monday will be marked with no such celebration.
The lack of a formal celebration has done much to fuel speculation over the state of the 74-year-old Monarch's marriage.
The last bout of speculation began when King Juan Carlos fractured his hip during an ill-fated safari trip to Botswana to hunt elephants.
Amid the public outcry over the nature and expense of the private trip, which led to an unprecedented apology by the shame faced monarch issued on the steps of the hospital, it was noted that Queen Sofia had paid only a brief visit to his bedside.
Royal commentators were quick to remark that the 26-minute bedside visit by Queen Sofia, who had not been on the hunting trip but visiting her Greek relatives, hinted at the deep breakdown in their relationship.
"The failure of his marriage to Queen Sofia, from whom he is practically separated, is public knowledge," wrote Jose Antonio Zarzalejos, a royal commentator and the former director of respected daily ABC.
Such comments voiced in the mainstream press would once have been unthinkable. But a series of scandals and gaffes by Spain's royals have seen their popularity plummet and ushered in an open season on a family once awarded the sort of privacy and respect that could only be dreamed of by their northern cousins the Windsors.
The roving-eye of Juan Carlos has long been an ill-kept secret, the subject of gossip at dinner parties across Spain, but now with the taboo on publishing palace secrets a thing of the past, even King Juan Carlos' acquaintance with a German aristocrat, a glamorous blonde 28 years his junior, has made headlines.
Claims of an "intimate relationship" going back six years have been fiercely contested by the woman, who is reported to have accompanied him on the Botswana trip, and she has threatened legal action against any newspaper that names her.
But the episode marks the latest in what is turning out to be an "annus horribilis" for Spain's monarch - to coin a phrase used by Queen Elizabeth. The king's son-in-law is accused of embezzling public funds and in February became the first Spanish royal in modern history to be questioned in court.
The king's son-in-law is accused of embezzling public funds and in February became the first Spanish royal in modern history to be questioned in court.
The King had done his best to distance himself from the scandal engulfing the Royal Family even relieving his youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, wife of the shamed Iaki Urdangarin, from public duties.
But this week reports emerged of emails implicating the monarch himself in the unsavoury business dealings and the prosecutor in charge of the case is said to be poised to investigate further. The once much loved King has faced calls to abdicate over the Botswana hunting trip, which served to highlight the huge gulf between the privileged royals and the fate of Spaniards struggling in deep economic crisis.
Polls show his popularity is at its lowest since he came to the throne on the death of dictator Gen Francisco Franco in 1975 and last week he was declared a "persona non grata" by the Catalan town of Berga in a motion passed by the town council.
He cannot be cheered even by the prospect of celebrating the British monarch's Diamond Jubilee. Still recovering from a hip replacement following his fall in Botswana, the official palace bulletin shows that Queen Sofia will travel without the King to attend a lunch at Windsor Castle on 18 May to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne.
About the Mistress
According to Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, well-known journalist, Pilar Eyre, reports that His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain has allegedly kicked his longtime and controversial mistress, Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, to the curb!
The old king allegedly ended his relationship with the tarty German princess after the infamous Botswana Affair which resulted in the massive backlash against him from the people of Spain and from around the world. I suppose he’s trying to rehabilitate his reputation as a responsible dude as well as loving husband.
The blonde and busty princess has apparently fled to Monte-Carlo, Monaco where she will remain in hiding indefinitely. She has also hired a “… prestigious lawyer from Germany, Mr. Matthias Prinz…” According to Pilar Eyre, the reason why the blonde princess hired Mr. Prinz is to “… track all international media in search of information that can damage the honour of his client…”
Source 2 such a clusterfuck, team Sofía, can't wait for Felipe to be king. also know wonder he has been breaking his hip so much, too much fucking with people who are not his own age... so many jokes