King of Spain Juan Carlos has apologised for going on a hunting trip in Africa while his country was in the midst of an economic crisis.
His trip to Botswana, which was widely criticised, emerged after he was flown home for treatment for a fractured hip.
It was widely reported that he had been hunting elephants, which the royal house has neither confirmed nor denied.
He has been facing criticism for his trip during what has been described as one of the most precarious moments in Spain's economic crisis when the country is facing deep public spending cuts and a significant rise in the cost of living.
After leaving the San Jose hospital in Madrid, the head of state reportedly made a public statement in which he apologised for his trip and said it would never happen again.
Spain is the fourth biggest economy in the eurozone but has seen its debt crisis worsen and its borrowing costs increase.
It currently has a 23 per cent unemployment rate and there are fears it could return to recession.