the 02/06/2014 | 14:43
Even aristocratic pundits probably weren’t expecting that: as the Spanish prime minister announced on Monday, King Juan Carlos I will abdicate shortly. The monarch’s successor will be his son Felipe, who will replace his father after 39 years on the Spanish throne. King Juan Carlos has also announced his departure through the social network Twitter.
Spain faces a historical turning point: After 39 years on the throne, King Juan Carlos I wants to give the crown to his son Felipe. “His Majesty King Juan Carlos has just informed me of his desire to surrender the throne and initiate the succession process,” said the President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, in an official statement. The 76-year-old resigns for “personal reasons.”
A little later, King Juan Carlos himself addressed his people with a televised statement. “I have decided to end my reign and renounce the Spanish crown,” said the monarch. With this step he wanted to promote a renewal of the monarchy, “to overcome and correct errors and pave the way for an undoubtedly better future,” explained King Juan Carlos. Juan Carlos clears the way for Felipe
King Juan Carlos I has shaped the history of Spain over the past decades. After the death of dictator Francisco Franco in November 1975, the monarch led his homeland to democracy against much opposition. More recently, however, the Spanish royal family was rocked by some scandals. Therefore, the crown prince Felipe, son of Juan Carlos, 46, will assume the official functions and will lead the monarchy into a new era with his wife Letizia. To manage this transition, the Spanish Parliament must now approve a constitutional amendment. According to his own statements, Mariano Rajoy is certain that this could happen in “a very short time.” Then the way would finally be free for the delivery of the throne.
After Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and King Albert of Belgium last year, Juan Carlos is another longtime monarch handing the reins over to the younger generation. The next few weeks will definitely not be boring in Spain …Image source: © Getty Images / Carlos Alvarez