Recently, the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, came to the attention of the world when he broke his hip, whilst in Botswana hunting elephants. There was a huge outcry outside of Spain, these activities causing enormous embarrassment to the WWF - the King of Spain was the Founding President and Executive of the WWF from 1968 until his Coronation in 1975, when he then became the Honorary President. Many Members asked for the King to voluntarily relinquish this position. .
As a result, an extraordinary meeting of the WWF was held last weekend. Members voted, and the upshot is that the position of Honorary President no longer exists. By dissolving the position rather than requesting that the King of Spain stand down, the organisation has neutralised a porentially embarrassing situation for the Spanish Royal family.
The Secretary General of WWF Spain, Juan Carlos del Olmo, has stated that he has received a statement from the Royal Family saying that they completely respect the decision of the organisation and its Members, and that the good relationship which has existed between the Crown and the WWF since 1968 will continue.
The King has in fact, hunted elephants before, and has been involved in several hunting incidents in the past, however, on this occasion the increased coverage given by digital media ensured that the photographs of the monarch standing in front of a,dead elephant, shown on the website of a safari hunting business, reached a worldwide audience rapidly, Had the King not broken his hip whilst on the trip, it is unlikely that the incident, which occurred during a private hunting trip, would ever have attracted media attention.
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