Former Spanish King Juan Carlos, who exiled himself from the country last year amid corruption allegations, has said that his own funeral is not far away and he must start thinking about it.

In a conversation with French writer Laurence Debray at his home in Dubai earlier this year, Juan Carlos spoke about the death of Britain's Prince Consort Prince Philip at the age of 99 in April. The 83-year-old revealed that he was watching the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service when his mind drifted towards his own future, reports Royal Central.

Recalling that his father Infante Juan's funeral had been done very well, Juan Carlos added, "now I must think of my own."

Debray clarified that the former monarch, who dealt with several rumours about his deteriorating health last year, appeared in good health during the interview. She added that death is in no way imminent for the royal, but he was rather very moved by Prince Philip's funeral and had begun to think of his own as a result.

The author makes the revelation in her new book "My fallen king," which was published in France on Wednesday and dubbed a flattering portrait of the royal. Debray, a long known admirer of the disgraced King Emeritus who published his biography in 2013, noted that he has lost around 12 kilos and his clothes have become casual like an "American retiree" and loose on him. She also wrote that his day-to-day routine includes indoor exercises as well.

Debray writes that Juan Carlos remains keen on knowing what's happening in Spain over a year after his self-imposed exile. Apart from reading Spanish newspapers, he watches a lot of Spanish news, and also virtually takes part in the Mass said at the Zarzuela Palace chapel in Madrid. He also uses social media, including WhatsApp, to stay in touch with family and "remaining friends."

The book also claims that ties with his son and reigning monarch King Felipe, in whose favour he abdicated his throne in 2014, "have been broken."

The royal said that he is eager to return to his country on the first plane he can. However, he does not know if and when he will return as Spanish Supreme Court Prosecutor's Office continues to investigate the corruption allegations against him.

"Some are very happy that I have left", he added.

Debray's book is expected to be released in Spain next year with new chapters.

King Juan Carlos
The ex-king's laywer Javier Sanchez-Junco, said his client was not trying to escape justice by going into exile and would remain available to prosecutors Photo: AFP / Pierre-Philippe MARCOU