Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn

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Corinna Larsen
Corinna Larsen

(1964-01-28) 28 January 1964 (age 56)
Frankfurt, West Germany
OccupationDirector of Apollonia Associates
Known forRelationship with Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
Spouse(s)Philip Adkins (1990–1995)
Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn (2000–2005)

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn (née Larsen; born January 28, 1964) is a German-born Danish entrepreneur.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Corinna Larsen was born on January 28, 1964 in Frankfurt, Germany[2] to a German mother, Ingrid Sauer, and a Danish father, Finn Bønning Larsen[3]. Her father, born in 1920 in Ballerup, Denmark, was the European Director of Varig, the national airline of Brazil, from 1961 until 1991.[2]

Larsen is a Danish national by right of birth.[1] She was raised in Frankfurt, Rio de Janeiro, and Switzerland[2], and graduated from the University of Geneva in 1987.[2]


She began her career at L'Oréal before moving on to a public relations role at Compagnie Générale des Eaux.[2]

Boss Sporting[edit]

From 2000 until 2006, she organized rare animal hunts at Boss Sporting, a subsidiary of the London based gun-making firm Boss & Co.[2] It was in this capacity that she was introduced to Juan Carlos I of Spain by Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster in 2004.[2][4] The King of Spain subsequently hired her to arrange the honeymoon of his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias and his new bride Princess Letizia.[2] Between 2004 and 2005, the monarch hired her to organize two hunting safaris, including an elephant hunt at the Duke of Westminster's estate in Botswana in 2012.[2][5]

Apollonia Associates[edit]

In 2006, she founded a consulting firm called Apollonia Associates that advises businesses and governments.[2][6] She relocated to Monaco where she became an advisor to Princess Charlene.[2][6] In 2013, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, appointed her as a global trade envoy for the principality.[7] She is one of the people named in the Paradise papers disclosure published in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.[8][2]

In 2012, approximately $65 million (€57 million) was allegedly transferred from an account to zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.[9] Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn told investigators that the money was a donation from the former Spanish monarch, whom Swiss prosecutors name as the first beneficiary of the Mirabaud bank account.[9] Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn told investigators that the money paid for the refurbishment work at an Eaton Square apartment in London. These refurbishments cost around £4 million pounds (€4,340,055).[10][11]

In August 2020, she was part of an investigation regarding a Saudi rail deal during the late-2010s, and a series of financial transactions involving Juan Carlos I of Spain.[9][12]

Personal life[edit]

In 1989, she met Philip Adkins, a British businessman.[2] They were married in 1990 and in 1992, they had a daughter, Anastasia.[2] They were divorced three years later, in 1995.[2] On October 26, 2000, she married Casimir, Prince zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, nine years her junior, in London.[2] In 2002, she and Prince Casimir had a son, Prince Alexander Kyril.[13] They divorced in 2005 and she retained her married name.[2] In 2015 she purchased a home (which she reportedly told Swiss prosecutors was for her son) at Chyknell Hall at Claverley, Shropshire, where she has been resident since.[14]

Relationship with Juan Carlos I[edit]

She became the mistress of Spanish King Juan Carlos I in 2004.[15][16] News of her relationship with the King made international headlines in April 2012.[2] She arranged and accompanied the monarch on an elephant-hunting safari at the Duke of Westminster's estate in Botswana.[2][5] The elephant-hunting trip she arranged came at an expense of €40,000 which was paid by Mohammed Eyad Kayali, advisor to the Saudi royal family, who, like Corinna, was named in the 2016 Panama Papers as the head of 15 offshore companies.[17][neutrality is disputed] When the King fell, broke his hip and had to have emergency surgery, their affair was exposed via increased media scrutiny.[5][17]

In 2012, King Juan Carlos transferred around €65m to her as 'a gift'.[18]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 1964-1990 Miss Corinna Larsen
  • 1990-2000 Mrs. Philip Atkins
  • 2000-2005 Her Serene Highness Princess Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn
  • 2005-present Ms. Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hedgecoe, Guy (15 March 2020). "Did Spanish spies harass ex-king's 'lover'?". BBC News. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Colacello, Bob (10 September 2013). "King and Controversy". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "King's friend Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein accused of usurpation". El Confidencial. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Galaz, Mábel (15 April 2012). "King criticized after breaking hip on elephant-hunting expedition". El País. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b Natalia Junqera, "Operación Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein", El País (27 February 2013).
  7. ^ "Corinna, su nueva vida 'alejada' de España". Chance. Europa Press. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn". ICIJ database. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Irujo, José María (13 July 2020). "Switzerland investigates €3.5m transfer from account held by Spain's emeritus king to The Bahamas". El País. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  10. ^ Irujo, José María (25 March 2020). "Close friend of Spain's emeritus king transferred $39 million from "donation" to a US bank". El País. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Qui est vraiment Corinna Larsen, l'ancienne amante de Juan Carlos?". Le Monde. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  12. ^ Vanderhoof, Erin. "Spain's Former King Juan Carlos Was Never Supposed to Leave the Country. So Why Is He in Exile?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Los Sayn-Wittgenstein reniegan de Corinna: la borran de su 'árbol genealógico'". El Confidencial. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  14. ^ "A king's $65m gift and its link to sleepy village". Shropshire Star. 26 August 2020. p. 10.Comment and Analysis report by Mark Andrews.
  15. ^ "King's friend Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein accused of usurpation". El Confidencial. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Royal Family In Trouble: Spanish Monarchy Mired In New Scandal". Forbes. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  17. ^ a b Natalia, Junquera (4 August 2020). "The downfall of Spain's Juan Carlos I". El País. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  18. ^