King Juan Carlos I: The King Who Ruled Spain for 39 Years
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 3, 2014 10:08 AM EST
King Juan Carlos I of Spain is going to step down after ruling for almost 40 years. Here are the things you should know about the king who ruled Spain for nearly 40 years.
People wave Republican flags during an anti-royalist demonstration in Oviedo June 2, 2014. Spain's King Juan Carlos said on Monday he would abdicate in favour of his son Prince Felipe, aiming to revive the scandal-hit monarchy at a time of economic hardship and growing discontent with the wider political elite.
Early Life & Marriage
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias was born in Rome on January 5, 1938. He moved to Spain in 1948 for education. After finishing his education, he joined the army in 1955 and served until 1957. Juan Carlos got married to Princess Sofia of Greece in May 1962.
The Early Years
It was in November 1975 when Juan Carlos was elected as the "king of all Spaniards, without exception." Franco's supporters wanted to continue the autocracy but he ignored their demands. He introduced a parliamentary monarchy system in Spain. Juan Carlos is highly respected in Spain because of the way he stood up for democracy in 1975 after the dictator Francisco Franco had passed away.
The Failed Military Coup
Juan Carlos is often remembered with high regard for his stand against the military coup in 1981 when he declared on national television that the monarchy was in no mood to allow a forceful interruption of the democratic society in Spain. The rebels surrendered in due course after realising that there was a lack of support for them within the military.
Juan Carlos' brother Alfonso was killed in a gun accident in 1956. While it was officially announced that Alfonso fired himself when he was cleaning a revolver, there was a controversy that it was Juan Carlos who had killed his brother. According to Snopes, he even "felt responsible" for the death of his brother.
The 76-year-old had a rough time in 2012 when he was involved in an alleged elephant hunting trip to Africa. The incident became even more controversial as Spain was in the middle of an economic disaster during that time.
CNN reported that 46-year-old Crown Prince Felipe would succeed his father, according to the announcement made by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in his address on TV. There was no explanation given on the prime minister's part on why the kind decided to step down. While Felipe has been groomed for long to be the successor of his father, the decision does not come as a surprise, BBC reported.
Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- ISIS Supporters are Walking Among the Many in the United States – Report
- Airstrikes Against ISIS Has Claimed Innocent Lives In Syria, Dubbed ‘Ineffective’ By Jihadi Fighters, US Military To Ask For More Spending Money
- Australia Arrests Alleged Islamic State Financier in Melbourne: FBI Tip Off Led to Detailed Investigation
- Pentagon's Mysterious 'Space Drone' Stirs Controversy [Video]
- Hong Kong Protest in Photos, Video Captures Magnitude of Action
- Google HTC Nexus 9 Tablet October 24 Launch Date Benefits Many
- Apple iPhone 6 vs. OnePlus One: With Invitation-Only Model Rested, OnePlus One Can Be A Real Threat To iPhone 6
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Nexus 6: Which Smartphone Dominates
- MH 370 Search In Ocean To Intensify With Hi Tech Ships Joining The Plane Hunt From October
- New Windows OS Is Not Windows 9, Microsoft To Launch Windows 10 As New OS Build
- Samsung Aware Of Gap Issue On Galaxy Note 4, Mentions It As Important Manufacturing Feature In Note 4 User Manual