Former Spanish monarch Juan Carlos I is in self-exile due to numerous corruption allegations against him, but will never be stripped of his title as king.

Though an investigation is currently underway over Juan Carlos's alleged improper ties to business deals in Saudi Arabia, the Spanish government recently clarified that he will retain his title of "King" for his entire life. Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, made the revelation when he was asked whether ministers were planning to revoke his royal status, reports Royal Central.

The question was posed by Carles Mulet, a member of the Valencian electoral coalition called Compromis. In a written question tabled to Spain's government, Mulet highlighted that the role of Emeritus King, which has been held by Juan Carlos since he abdicated the throne in favour of his son King Felipe in 2014, isn't in the Spanish constitution.

In response, the Spanish prime minister confirmed that Juan Carlos will keep the title for the rest of his life, noting that several other nations including Belgium, Luxembourg, and Japan let their former rulers retain royal honours similar to those they held during their reigns.

Juan Carlos, who reigned as King of Spain from November 1975 until his abdication in June 2014, is usually referred to as Rey Emérito or King Emeritus. However, his full title remains His Majesty King Juan Carlos. The Spanish royal was born during his family's exile, and was the first reigning monarch of the country since 1931. He was proclaimed as king on November 22, 1975 in front of the Cortes in Madrid two days after the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.

The royal, who celebrated his 83rd birthday last week, left Spain for a self-imposed exile in the UAE in August 2020. In a statement at the time, he said he has made the decision to help his son King Felipe VI "exercise his responsibilities."

"Guided by the conviction to best serve the people of Spain, its institutions, and you as king, I inform you of my decision at this time to leave Spain," he wrote, adding that he made the decision "in the face of the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating" and in the hope of allowing his son to carry out his functions as a king with "tranquillity."

Juan Carlos has been living in Abu Dhabi since then, though recent reports suggested he wants to return to his homeland.

Spain's former King Juan Carlos
Spain's former king Juan Carlos (C) Photo: AFP / Karim SAHIB