The wish of the King Emeritus, Juan Carlos I, to return to Spain for Christmas, now seems most unlikely as both Moncloa, the residence of the Prime Minister, and Zarzuela, the Royal Household, consider it inappropriate for him to fly back to Spain at this time.

They consider that any return to Spain will immediately play an overwhelming role on the front pages as well as create an open and extremely heated debate within the government on the monarchical institution.

Both households have already conveyed their thoughts to Juan Carlos advising the King’s father  against returning to Spain, at least until the end of the Christmas period, that is, until after the feast of the Three Kings. The message that both deilvered is clear: “Your Majesty cannot return.”

Despite his attempts at fiscal regularisation and the recent payment of a €650k outstanding tax bill, now is not the time, they agree.

It is said that any appearance by his father would detract from the prominence that King Felipe is likely to enjoy over the period with his speech to the nation on Christmas Eve.

The prime minister knows that there is already enough internal debate on the monarchy going on within the government, particularly with Pablo Iglesias’s men continuing to stir the republican pot

Both the leader of Podemos and the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, have already bared their teeth in the Council of Ministers, demanding a change to the system, and Pedro Sánchez does not want to be trapped in an anti-monarchical spiral with Podemos, that alienates him from the more moderate electorate.

Therefore, the meeting point between Zarzuela and Moncloa in this matter has been an understanding that Juan Carlos remains in the middle-east, at least, until the Royal Household has delivered it’s Christmas message, and the majority of the holiday has passed.