Former Spanish King Juan Carlos went into self-exile in the UAE last year after Swiss prosecutors opened a probe into accounts he allegedly held in tax havens. However, a new poll for a newspaper has shown that over half of the Spanish people still want the former monarch to return to his homeland regardless of the corruption allegations against him.

The NC Report survey for La Razon showed that 57% of those asked said the former monarch should come back to Spain. The poll also found that 49.5% of people didn't think the ongoing situation had caused long-term damage to the monarchy, while 42% did think it had been detrimental. The survey also noted that a large majority regard the royal with some positivity, with 73% voting that he had been a "fundamental" figure in democracy in the country, reports Royal Central.

The 83-year-old announced his self-imposed exile on August 3, 2020, noting that he was leaving to allow his son Felipe to continue with his role in peace as he was aware of "the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating." Sources at the time claimed that the decision was taken by King Felipe himself, as he wanted to save his family from "certain happenings" relating to the scandal.

The disgraced king, who abdicated the throne in favour of his son King Felipe in 2014, is facing three separate criminal probes in Spain. The royal and his German former mistress Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, are also being interrogated in connection to audio recordings of a meeting between the latter and retired Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo at her London home in 2015. In the audio, Sayn-Wittgenstein can be heard claiming that the former king received a secret commission for helping win a £5.5 billion Saudi rail deal.

There were speculations earlier this year that the King Emeritus is planning a return to his country as he is "seriously ill," but the royal household quickly refuted the report. A statement to Hola! magazine from Juan Carlos in February read, "I'm perfect. I do two hours gym every day and I feel fine."

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