King Juan Carlos I of Spain has publicly apologised for his recent hunting trip to Botswana.
Speaking from the Madrid hospital where he underwent hip surgery for a fall sustained in the African country, the monarch said: "I'm sorry. I made a mistake. It won't happen again."
The move comes after the sovereign faced criticism for embarking on such a lavish journey at a time when his country faces dire economic problems.
It also undermined his position as honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Foundation as Botswana is renowned as an elephant-hunting country.
Until now Juan Carlos has been an extremely popular figurehead in Spain.
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