12 episodes

Corinna and the King is the unbelievable true story of a love affair that brought the Spanish royal family to its knees. When Corinna, a worldly and well-connected businesswoman, fell in love with Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain, he seemed too big to fail. Their secret romance stretched across continents, but its unraveling would open a window into a dangerous world of greed, corruption, and crime. Vast pools of hidden wealth; international espionage and conspiracy; scandal, elephant hunting, and unstoppable lust… all tracing back to one of the most secretive royalties in the world.

This is Corinna and the King, a co-production by Brazen, PRX and La Coctelera Music. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

Corinna and the King is a Project Brazen production. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

Don’t stay in the dark. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes for Corinna and the King and all our shows, as well as ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For the latest from Brazen delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters at brazen.fm/newsletters.

Corinna and The King Brazen

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 64 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Corinna and the King is the unbelievable true story of a love affair that brought the Spanish royal family to its knees. When Corinna, a worldly and well-connected businesswoman, fell in love with Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain, he seemed too big to fail. Their secret romance stretched across continents, but its unraveling would open a window into a dangerous world of greed, corruption, and crime. Vast pools of hidden wealth; international espionage and conspiracy; scandal, elephant hunting, and unstoppable lust… all tracing back to one of the most secretive royalties in the world.

This is Corinna and the King, a co-production by Brazen, PRX and La Coctelera Music. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

Corinna and the King is a Project Brazen production. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

Don’t stay in the dark. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes for Corinna and the King and all our shows, as well as ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For the latest from Brazen delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters at brazen.fm/newsletters.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    La Casita - Juan Carlos I and the Hunting Party

    La Casita - Juan Carlos I and the Hunting Party

    It’s February 2004, and 39-year-old businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein attends an aristocratic hunting party in the Spanish countryside. The host? Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain. An expert in guns, Corinna catches the king’s attention, and he later invites her for lunch at the Madrid hunting lodge Corinna would come to call their casita. The king makes his intentions clear — he might be married, but he wants to be more than friends. Soon after, hundreds of hand-written letters and bouquets of flowers arrive at Corinna’s door. But as her romance with Juan Carlos intensifies, she discovers a darker side to the palace, hidden from the public.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 35 min
    Court of Miracles - Death, Democracy, and Bags of Cash

    Court of Miracles - Death, Democracy, and Bags of Cash

    Juan Carlos became a national hero when he saved Spain’s fledgling democracy, but who was he before that? During weekends at the casita, Corinna asks the king about his troubled past, from the tragic death of his younger brother to his upbringing under the thumb of a brutal dictator — Francisco Franco. But she soon sees that those days are behind him. Now Juan Carlos is dripping in wealth, coming back from overseas trips with suitcases full of cash. Where the money goes is another question, because once the king has his hands on it, he has a talent for making it disappear.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 38 min
    Envidia - Queen Sofia, Saudi Arabia, and a surprise proposal

    Envidia - Queen Sofia, Saudi Arabia, and a surprise proposal

    Corinna’s days with Juan Carlos are a stream of highs and lows, roses and thorns. An invitation to the palace ends in a face-off with the queen, and when she joins the king on an official trip to Saudi Arabia, Corinna is shunted to the sidelines. Despite it all, the over-the-top romantic gestures don’t stop, and her growing influence on the king makes her some powerful enemies. The chief of Spain’s secret service has a word of warning for Juan Carlos about Corinna’s sway at the palace — but nobody’s warning Corinna about what’s headed her way.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 40 min
    Killing Elephants - A hunt, the accident, and Juan Carlos’ apology

    Killing Elephants - A hunt, the accident, and Juan Carlos’ apology

    Corinna decides to stay friends with Juan Carlos, who wants to take them on a safari trip to Botswana for her son’s tenth birthday. But she soon finds out the trip is for Juan Carlos himself, and he’s brought boxes of wine for his own amusement. After a night of heavy drinking, the king trips and falls, critically injuring himself, and the group is forced to make an emergency exit. They land in Madrid, unaware that the news has leaked and a media storm awaits. Juan Carlos makes a pithy apology to the Spanish people, hoping the scandal will blow over. But for Corinna, the nightmare is just getting started.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 35 min
    Fake Christmas - Corruption, Spanish spies, and a 65 million euro gift

    Fake Christmas - Corruption, Spanish spies, and a 65 million euro gift

    After the Botswana disaster, Corinna gets an uncomfortable visit from the new chief of Spain’s secret service, General Felix Sanz Roldan. He’s making requests, except they’re more like threats. But Juan Carlos is apologetic and gives Corinna a suspicious gift. Soon after, Corinna is implicated in a corruption scandal involving the king’s son-in-law. Corinna tries to clear her name, but the palace responds with a vicious media campaign, bruising Corinna’s reputation and sinking her business. Meanwhile, Juan Carlos, increasingly alienated from his family, wants to rekindle his relationship with Corinna.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 40 min
    Blood is Thicker - Money laundering, abdication, and a new princess

    Blood is Thicker - Money laundering, abdication, and a new princess

    Corinna brushes off Juan Carlos’ proposal. But Juan Carlos, now the former king of Spain, requests access to the gift. His lawyer frantically stops him, as the gift is undeclared and would get him in legal trouble. Rebuffed several times on multiple fronts, Juan Carlos unleashes another litany of lies about her to the media and his friends in the Middle East, discrediting Corinna globally. She’s at her lowest when her shrinking circle of trusted friends tells her there’s someone who might be able to help — a man named José Manuel Villarejo.

    Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.

    For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

    Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

tanneyk ,

The story is riveting!

I was completely fascinated by the story. I had a problem with the narration however. The narrator is American, but for some bizarre reason attempted to over pronounce Spanish names ridiculously. “Juan Carlos” became”Ahn Garlos” or worse. I frequently had to rewind to figure out what she was saying because it became confusing. It’s like going to a restaurant with someone who when they order a French wine hilariously and dramatically over pronounce the name with a fake French accent.

Jtgatl ,

Awful narrator

I really wanted to listen to the story, but I could not make it past the second episode due to the narrator. The inflection and emphasis on different words is incredibly annoying.

NurikabeFAN ,

Critically important story to understand for Spaniards

Very very well documented and reported. This is critically important for all Spaniards and monarchs supporters around the world to understand .
But an unfortunate choice of narrators as the tone is very annoying and misses the mark. It distracts from the magnitude of the incredible story. Would absolutely consider retelling this using NPR , wonderly or any more experienced team.

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