As Juan Carlos was chauffeur driven from the Zarzuela Palace to his mystery bolthole abroad, he may have enjoyed a parting view of the deer gambolling in the expansive grounds of the Spanish royal residence near Madrid.
However, this comparative peace was shattered after the ex-monarch's dramatic decision was announced to go into exile in the wake of a financial scandal.
The abrupt departure of the man who reigned over Spain for nearly 40 years has sparked a surge of republicanism in a country not averse to disposing of its monarchs.
Pablo Iglesias, the deputy prime minister and leader of the far-Left Podemos party, the junior partner in the Left-wing government, said: “There is a historic (republican) movement in Spain, which is going to involve young people, which in the future is going to modernise this country.”
Across Spain, the abrupt departure of Juan Carlos has prompted demands to erase any trace of the former monarch from universities, roads and other public edifices.
Students in Madrid launched an online petition to change the name of the King Juan Carlos University, which by Friday gathered almost 50,000 signatures.
“Corruption cases surrounding the royal family keep appearing, torpedoing the image of a monarchy that had been presented to us as 'wholesome' and 'humble',” the petition read.
In Gijón, in northern Spain, authorities said they would change the name of the Juan Carlos I avenue because it considers the former monarch “does not represent the institutional, moral and democratic values of our society anymore”, said spokeswoman Marina Pineda.
Juan Carlos is believed to have fled to the United Arab Emirates, and yesterday/SUN a Spanish media outlet published a photograph of him purportedly in Abu Dhabi.
One poll for the pro-monarchist ABC newspaper found 68 per cent of Spaniards believe Juan Carlos had been wrong to leave the country.
The Catalan regional parliament voted on Friday in favour of a non-binding resolution against the monarchy.
Quim Torra, the separatist Catalan president, called for King Felipe VI to abdicate over his father's conduct.
Spain has a history of republicanism. Alfonso XIII, grandfather of Juan Carlos, was forced to go into exile in 1931 when Spaniards voted for the Second Republic.
Juan Carlos grew up in exile in Rome then Portugal before returning to Spain.
However, before Spaniards can rid themselves of the monarchy, they would need to change the current constitution which ushered in democracy after the death of dictator General Franco in 1975.
In a sign the issue is growing in importance, the respected Centre for Sociological Investigation in its next survey in September if they think the constitution should be changed.
However, commentators believe this may prove too politically complicated as the main Socialist and conservative People's parties oppose republicanism and it would cause huge upheaval as Spain struggles to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.
Sir Paul Preston, a British historian and author of the biography of Juan Carlos: A People's King, told the Telegraph: “After being nominated by General Franco to continue the dictatorship, Juan Carlos took the different route to guarantee democracy. This guaranteed his popularity and it was the monarchy's greatest asset. Now it seems the era of Juan Carlos has gone forever.
“However, changing the constitution to allow a vote on monarchy seems so incredibly complicated that it may give Felipe a chance to get his act together.”
Prosecutors in Switzerland and Spain are examining allegations of bribery relating to a $100 million donation to Juan Carlos by the Saudi Arabian royal family in 2008.
Juan Carlos has not commented on the situation.