Originally published 03/26/2013
...It has been a year that has seen the popularity of King Juan Carlos plummet to unprecedented depths - to the point that even die-hard "JuanCarlistas", as his supporters are known, are now openly discussing the need for abdication in favour of his heir, Prince Felipe....The King, long extolled for his role in bringing democracy to Spain following the death of dictator Francisco Franco, had for decades enjoyed the sort of respect and privacy from the press that would have been the envy of his British relatives, the Windsors.The King's playboy reputation and love of expensive pursuits including fast cars and sailing were tolerated even with an annual bill of around 9 million euros to the taxpayer.But a turning point in his popularity came last April when it emerged - after a nocturnal accident that left him with a broken hip - that he had been enjoying a luxury safari in Botswana hunting elephants....
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