The departure of Juan Carlos, with whom Sofia has been married for almost sixty years, it means that the fracture that has existed for years is now also made visible to the outside world. It was known that both had lived separate lives for years, but Sofia in particular managed to hide that reality with iron discipline and a forced smile. Her duty always came first and the royal family had to radiate unity, even when Juan Carlos had been spotted with a friend again.
The breaking point actually came in 2012, the year of the golden wedding. Juan Carlos broke his hip during an elephant safari in Botswana, of which he was in the company Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn – a girlfriend and a businesswoman. Unlike in previous decades, the escapades of the king were now not covered with the cloak of love by the media, but on the contrary widely reported. That was humiliating for Sofia, who also did not immediately visit her husband in the hospital. The golden wedding was not celebrated.
The Botswana incident marked the end of the kingship of health-ailing Juan Carlos, who stepped down in June 2014 and withdrew from public life last year. However, Sofia continued to pursue some of her activities after the throne change, but without her husband with whom she was spotted only a handful of times a year. Sofia also did not retire and it is expected that she will not do so now.
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