Years ago, Corinna Larsen made her entry into the European Gotha when she married the much younger Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, second son of the Fürst zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. Eleven years separated the young prince from his much more experienced, and worldly, wife, who already had a trail, a long one, behind her meteoric rise to social prominence. Casimir was 24 years-old to Corinna's 35. (In America we call this Cougardom!)
It should come as unsurprising that the young man's family did not welcome his lovestruck escapade. A child was born to the couple in 2002 and by 2005 Casimir and Corinna's marriage had hit the rocks. They parted ways and divorce ensued. However, besides a beautiful child, the marriage provided Ms Larsen with the social catapult her birth had denied her.
Fast forward a decade and she is now at the core of a scandal responsible for eroding the image of King Juan Carlos.
Last year, His Majesty traveled to Africa on safari (as if that alone was not bad enough). While there he suffered a broken hip and had to be flown immediately to Spain. The presence of Corinna among the King's party only confirmed the fact that a liaison between the ex-princess and Juan Carlos was, sadly, true. All this happened when the King and Queen should have been celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary...instead no celebration ensued.
Now the mess gets messier as the other suspect in the Duke of Palma de Mallorca's business is threatening to release incriminating emails that promise, so h says, to tarnish the royal institution further since they, apparently, shed further light into the inappropriate relationship between the King and the social climber.
Meanwhile, Her Majesty Queen doña Sofía continues being a paragon of virtue and abnegation to duty. Her son, the Prince of Asturias (supported by is wife) has increased his public role and provides a cleaner image of bourgeois domesticity more in tune with the times.
King don Juan Carlos and "the Climber"
King Juan Carlos in Altshausen, Germany
Their Spanish Majesties, don Juan Carlos and doña Sofía
King Juan Carlos I and the Prince of Asturias
* Use of these images without our permission will result in a most unpleasant encounter with my lawyer. READER BEWARE!