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Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.
This week in Tortoise: Corinna & the king

This week in Tortoise: Corinna & the king

Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.

Corinna & the king is a royal story: it’s a contemporary costume drama that features Juan Carlos I, the former king of Spain, and his lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. It’s a tale about how a monarch makes ends meet these days, the deals struck at shooting parties, Saudi “donations”, Swiss bankers, and the battle over a €65 million gift that she’d rather not give back.   

Paul Caruana Galizia embarked on this story because, in it, he sensed the same sort of double-dealing that he sees in his native Malta and the EU’s strange complacency in the face of evident corruption. His reporting not only examines the heroism, tragedy and self-indulgence of Juan Carlos himself, but, in what he learns from financiers and lawyers, a spy, a former husband and a nanny’s diary, he pieces together the story of a very expensive affair.  

It takes him to Corinna herself on her Shropshire estate. Listen to what she has to say in Paul’s podcast – The money hunt – today. Then, for more about that Saudi donation and the questions raised for the European Union by the Juan Carlos case, do read Paul’s reporting tomorrow. As the File continues through the week, we’ll examine estimates of the former king’s wealth and its potential sources, as well as reflect on changing attitudes towards the monarchy in Spain and beyond. 

This evening’s ThinkIn asks whether and how depression can be cured. We will be joined by Sarah Hughes, the chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, Julia Samuel, psychotherapist and author of This Too Shall Pass, and Oliver Kamm, the Times columnist whose new book, Mending the Mind, recalls his own struggles with severe depression – and investigates the science behind his recovery. 

Throughout this week, you’ll find that we are looking to understand mental health in Tortoise’s Slow Views, Open News ThinkIn and Sensemaker as we reckon with an epidemic within the pandemic.   

This week’s other ThinkIns include:

And please do tune into the daily Sensemaker podcasts – available in the Tortoise app or as part of Spotify’s Daily Drive playlist. A different kind of news bulletin: one story, in-depth. We hope you enjoy listening.


James Harding
Editor & co-founder