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King of Spain Has Hip Surgery After Falling on Trip to Botswana

King Juan Carlos of Spain had surgery today at a privately-owned Madrid hospital after breaking his hip in a fall while on a trip to Botswana, the Palace said.

The King, 74, broke his right hip in three places, according to a statement on the Palace web site. Surgeons at USP Hospitales SL’s San Jose Hospital rebuilt the joint, which had been weakened by arthritis, and added a prosthesis.

Juan Carlos had been on a hunting trip when the accident happened and was repatriated to Spain in a 10-hour journey by private jet, El Pais reported, showing a picture of the monarch holding a rifle in front of a prostrate elephant.

The news provoked criticism from the Spanish media, which contrasted the King’s travels with the austerity measures crippling the country’s economy.

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