Felipe VI has made efforts for the sake of transparency to turn the page on the unexemplary conduct that became known at the end of his father’s reign, but the internal rules that he imposed on the Royal House have come against him due to the actions, in the present, of the king emeritus, who has skipped them. The private plane, financed by the emir of which he is a guest in Abu Dhabi, exceeds “the usual, social or courtesy uses” that the monarch put as a limit on the acceptance of gifts by the royal family, from which Juan Carlos I and Sofia of Greece are still part of it.
The Government is profiled due to the lack of explanations from the Royal House after the visit of the emeritus king
“Members of the Royal Family will not accept gifts for themselves that go beyond the usual, social or courtesy uses, nor will they accept favors or services under advantageous conditions that may condition the performance of their functions”, establishes the first article of the ‘Rules on gifts in favor of members of the Royal Family’ that Felipe VI implemented in December 2015 to prevent cases that had occurred in the reign of his father, who received gifts such as a yacht, two Ferraris or even a house in La Mareta that he made available to National Heritage for the high payment of taxes that it meant, as revealed by the socialist José Bono in his memoirs. The current king also promoted a code of conduct that includes “austerity” among its basic principles.
Far from these basic rules is the private flight from Abu Dhabi to Madrid and back that Juan Carlos I had. These rules also force the Royal House to confirm if that trip was a gift, as published The Independent given that annually it has to publish on the website the list of gifts received by the royal family. elDiario.es has contacted the Royal House, which is silent for now. The Government, for its part, puts itself in profile and transfers the pressure on the explanations to Zarzuela: “The trip of the emeritus king has been personal and private, so we do not comment on it
The regulations approved by Felipe VI, which follows in the footsteps of the transparency law to which the monarchy is not subject, makes a distinction between institutional gifts -which become directly part of the National Heritage- and personal ones, which are those that exceed the official framework. “In accordance with the general principle set forth above, gifts of a personal nature may be accepted when they do not exceed social or courtesy uses,” the regulation states. “When they exceed said uses, they will follow the same treatment as gifts of an institutional nature, or they will be transferred to a non-profit entity that pursues general interest purposes or to an administration, body or public entity dedicated to the conservation, maintenance or similar activities referring to goods of the same nature as the gift object”, he adds.
“Members of the Royal Family will not accept interest-free or below-market loans, or gifts of money. In the latter case, it will be returned or donated to a non-profit entity that pursues general interest purposes”, states another of the precepts. “When the prizes or recognitions granted to members of the Royal Family include an economic endowment, the amount must be transferred to a non-profit entity that pursues general interest purposes”, establishes the regulations.
The Government approved on April 26 a royal decree in which it regulates the operation of the Royal House. The great novelty is that the Court of Accounts will supervise the finances of Zarzuela and the other incorporations suppose to give legal status to the norms that Felipe VI has been implementing since he acceded to the throne in 2014. Regarding the gifts, the text collected in the BOE It is less verbose than the regulations published in Zarzuela, since it refers substantially to material goods by including the obligation to annually publish the list of institutional gifts obtained.
Juan Carlos I disappeared in 2020 from the list of institutional gifts. That year Felipe VI decided to remove the budget allocation that the emeritus received as a result of the scandal of donations from Saudi Arabia and, a few months later, he left Spain, although it was in 2019 when Zarzuela announced the end of public activities of the former head of state. That year, Juan Carlos de Borbón received three institutional gifts, according to the list: two books and a medal.