The delightful readers of Taki’s Magazine have spoken! I hereby declare this week’s column to be a Hollywood-free zone. There will be no look into director Joel Schumacher and his alleged pedophilia or into the heretofore unheard-of teen bride Courtney Stodden. No, no, my darling party guests! This week we cross the Atlantic to take a much grander look at some European nobles on the 50th wedding anniversary of King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia.
It has long been rumored that the King and Queen are estranged and that Sofia loves the King but that he has never been in love with her. The King is of course a king, and as such he has drawn the admiring gaze of women the world over”everyone knows it’s good to be the King. Juan Carlos is said to have had more than 1,500 girlfriends, though only ever one wife. People say the marriage to Sofia of Greece and Denmark was arranged because the women Juan Carlos liked were never grand enough to be Queen. And so for 50 years Sofia has mothered their three children and stood stoically by his side in state affairs without pulling a Diana. The Queen is worthy of her title.
Lately, the people of Spain are not sure their King is worthy of his title. With one in four unemployed, the people made a big fuss when they learned Juan Carlos had been off on a shooting holiday in Botswana. The people might not have heard about his vacation had he not broken his hip while on safari and been flown back to Spain by private plane for surgery. They also might not have heard about his alleged mistress of the past four or so years, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Now some are calling for his ouster.
The King is said to be smitten with Wittgenstein, an ambitious woman approaching 50 who has done well for herself socially and financially. Wittgenstein is an average girl from southern Germany who became a princess by marrying the black sheep of a noble German family. Back in 2000 Juan Carlos’s mistress was only just becoming Corinna Wittgenstein. After several failed relationships with very rich men she married Casimir Sayn Wittgenstein, who is not rich and is more than 10 years her junior. They had a child and divorced five years later. She got a title and poor Casimir has been looking for a meal ticket ever since.