Spain's former King Juan Carlos I, who has been in self-exile in the UAE for the past few months due to corruption allegations surrounding him, was visited by his eldest child on his recent birthday.

Juan Carlos I celebrated his 83rd birthday on Tuesday, January 5, at a hotel in Abu Dhabi where he has been living since August 2020. Infanta Elena, his first child and elder daughter whom he shares with Queen Sofía, visited him on the occasion, reports Royal Central.

According to the report, the Spanish princess has previously visited her father since he went into self-imposed exile in August last year. The former monarch, who ruled Spain for almost forty years, is under investigation for financial irregularities.

The 83-year-old was recently photographed in public, which marked his first appearance since August 2020. The royal was accompanied by two bodyguards who helped him walk as he got off a boat. Publishing the picture which showed the octogenarian in frail condition has been attracting criticism from some monarchists.

It was previously reported that the Spanish royal wanted to return home for Christmas and his birthday, which falls just a day before the Feast of the Epiphany, a major celebration in Spain and also the date of the Pascua Militar, a focal point in the royal calendar. However, he reportedly changed the decision due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the potential controversy surrounding his return.

The former king, who abdicated his throne in favour of his only son, King Felipe VI, in June 2014 following corruption allegations, has been placed under investigation over allegedly improper ties to business deals in Saudi Arabia. His German former mistress, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, is also being investigated.

King Felipe recently made an indirect comment about the controversy surrounding his father. In his address to the nation on Christmas, the 52-year-old said, "Together with our democratic principles and compliance with the laws, we also need to preserve the ethical values ​​that are at the roots of our society....moral and ethical principles...oblige us all without exceptions; and they are above any consideration, of whatever nature, even personal or family ones."

Spain's former King Juan Carlos
Spain's former king Juan Carlos (C) has maintained warm relations with the Gulf monarchies. Photo: AFP / Karim SAHIB