Has a photograph ever sparked so much anti-royalist anger? This is Spain's King Juan Carlos standing proudly in front of a dead elephant on a hunting holiday in Botswana a few days ago. Critics say the holiday cost twice a Spaniard's average annual salary. But now, he's recognised public opinion and apologised.

One disgruntled man jostled with police, press and admirers outside the San Jose hospital where the King was having an emergency hip replacement. He took a tumble on his trip and was flown home by private jet. And today he showed remorse. 'I am a lot better and I would like to thank hospital staff for the way they have been treating me, I can't wait to get back to my duties. I am very sorry, I made a mistake. It won't happen again. And I would like to thank you all for your interest in me over the last few days and to have waited here so long.'

With economic forecasters predicting that Spain - the fourth largest economy in Europe - is next in line for a big bailout. With unemployment 4 times that of Britain and a second recession in three years staring the country squarely in the face, it's understandable people are upset, but whether they accept his apology and forgive him remains to be seen.