Five days after being rushed to hospital following a triple fracture to the hip, King Juan Carlos of Spain has been cleared to go home.
As he did so, the monarch addressed the controversy surrounding his recent trip to Botswana.
It followed days of headlines about the private visit reportedly to hunt elephants, which is legal to cull herd numbers.
The king, who is president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Foundation, said: “I”m sorry. I made a mistake. It won”t happen again”.
Eyebrows were raised over the expense of the trip after the sovereign made a speech voicing concern over his country”s economic crisis.
In brief but unprecedented statement to the cameras Juan Carlos I looked sombre and contrite.
Leaning on crutches, the king also said that he was looking forward to getting back to his duties – he has a meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Looking fragile, the 74-year-old thanked the medical team for their care.
Until this incident the head of state had enjoyed enduring popularity with the Spanish public, especially given his decisive role in thawrting a coup in the early years of the democracy.