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King sports black eye in public after "walking into door"

Right royal shiner inflicted while monarch still recovering from knee surgery

King Juan Carlos appeared at a public event on Tuesday in Madrid's Royal Palace with a black eye and a Band Aid on his nose. A spokesperson for the royal household informed the press that just hours before, the monarch had suffered a "domestic accident," which was not serious and would not mean he would have to cancel any events in his diary.

Upon seeing the curiosity that his appearance had aroused among the press in attendance at the event, the king approached them and said: "This is what happens when one bumps into a door."

King Juan Carlos was about to open a door in La Zarzuela palace when an assistant came through from the other side, causing the door to strike the monarch in the face, according to the official version.

He was given medical assistance in the palace. As a result of the accident, the king was suffering from slight inflammation in the area in question, and was in some pain.

Later that afternoon, when he was attending an award ceremony for the Foundation for the Defense of Nature, at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), he was seen wearing a pair of sunglasses.

This is not the first time that King Juan Carlos has suffered an accident of this type in his residence. In 1981, he suffered injuries to his face, thorax and limbs when he ran into a glass door. The king had been taking part in sporting activities at the time, and was running toward the swimming pool in La Zarzuela. The impact smashed the glass in the door, causing the king cuts all over his body. He also had to have his arm in a sling for a whole month.

The king, who is 73, underwent surgery in September to repair his Achilles tendon. After straining the same area a month later, he canceled his appointments on medical advice.

On Tuesday, he was without the crutch that he has been using in recent weeks, but was still walking with a very pronounced limp.

The operation, which took place on September 4, was the result of surgery that the king underwent on his right knee in order to reduce pain caused by intense osteoarthritis. The damaged articulation was replaced with an artificial prosthesis. While he was recovering from the procedure, he was putting all of his weight on the opposite ankle, and in so doing damaged the tendon in the other leg.

"For me it's like going to a garage," he said at the time. "You go in, they fix you up, and that's the end of it," the king said at the time, after the doctors promised him that he would recover in seven to 10 weeks.

But that was not the case, and the king had to cancel his appearance at the opening of the Hermitage exhibition in the Prado and a visit to the Salón Náutico in Barcelona.

When asked on Wednesday about the health of her father, Infanta Elena said that her father was doing well. The fourth in line to the throne was visiting Tomelloso, in Ciudad Real, to inaugurate an exhibition, was asked by journalists how the king was faring. "Fine, thank you," was the reply.