Mistress stirs Spain royal crisis, and it’s a king-size pain for ...

World

Mistress stirs Spain royal crisis, and it’s a king-size pain for the people

Ex-lover’s spy claims shunt the scandal surrounding the former king into court. Now there’s talk of a referendum

Roland Oliphant and James Badcock

It is one of Europe’s oldest royal dynasties, defying Napoleonic invasion, two republics and a fascist dictatorship to retain its grip on the Spanish throne. But now Spain’s royal family is facing its greatest crisis of legitimacy in a generation.

A Sunday Telegraph investigation into financial irregularities published last weekend rocked the royal household and shredded public trust. And the palace now faces further scandal as a court prepares to hear claims from a former royal mistress that she was hounded by a rogue spy chief after falling out of favour.

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 56, a Danish-born German businesswoman and socialite who was once a lover of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos, was due to testify on Monday but the hearing has been cancelled owing to coronavirus. She claims in an affidavit submitted to the High Court in London that General Félix Sanz Roldán, the former head of the country’s National Intelligence Centre, orchestrated a campaign intimidation and harassment against her, on behalf of Juan Carlos, 82 – styled king emeritus since his 2014 abdication...

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