As Spain’s Ex-King Flies Into Exile, Are The Bourbons Europe’s Most Shameful Monarchy?

King Juan Carlos, the 82-year-old former Spanish monarch, has left the country and gone into exile as investigators probe a deal to sell trains to Saudi Arabia.

“I think he’s running away like a coward. He should admit what he has done and be up front,” Madrid resident Paz Rodriguez told Reuters.

Juan Carlos ruled Spain for 38 years before abdicating in favour of his son Felipe VI in 2014.

The latest scandal swirling around the Spanish royal family has led some in Spain to question whether the country should become a republic again.

So who are the Bourbons?

In 1700, King Charles (Carlos) II of Spain died without an heir, and his will gave the throne to the Duke of Anjou, the grandson of King Louis XIV of France, who became Philip (Felipe) V of Spain.

Britain and Austria were enraged at the prospect of France’s Bourbon dynasty controlling Spain and invaded, triggering the War of the Spanish Succession.

​The Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the conflict, confirmed the Bourbon candidate as Spain’s king and Britain was compensated with Gibraltar and the island of Menorca.

In the early 19th century, Emperor Napoleon of france intimidated the Bourbon King Charles IV into allowing him to march troops across Spain into Portugal in 1807 after Lisbon refused to close its ports to the British.

​Napoleon then decided to oust the Bourbons and replace them with his brother Joseph.

But the situation soon descended into farce.

Charles IV and his wife detested their son and…

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