Many Spaniards were dumbfounded when news broke in April that the king had made a secret journey to hunt elephants in Botswana even though it was widely known he was president of the Spanish branch of the fund.
Such an opulent indulgence also angered Spaniards at a time when national unemployment hovers around 25 percent, the economy is contracting and there are fears the country may need an international financial bailout.
The Spanish public learned of the safari only after the king had to fly back in a private jet to receive emergency medical attention for a broken hip suffered during the trip.
In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, a sheepish Juan Carlos apologized, saying as he left the hospital: “I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.”
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