The world will witness a monarch retire as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Monday the abdication of King Juan Carlos. The 76-year-old king who assumed the crown in 1975 after the death of dictator Francisco Franco is passing the crown due to weak health.
The new Spanish king will be Prince Felipe. The announcement would confirm speculations in media that the king will abdicate and cede the throne to 46-year-old Crown Prince Felipe due to the king's poor health.
The PM did not provide a specific timetable when would the king step down and hand the crown to his son.
While he endeared himself to Spaniards early in his term by stopping an attempted military coup in 1981 when he was just six years in power, King Juan Carlos's popularity has gone down recently following recent royal scandals and concerns over his health.
The scandals include going on an elephant-shooting trip while the country was in the middle of a financial crisis where he also broke his right hip and had to be flown back to Spain from Botswana on a private jet for medical treatment.
There was also the long-running corruption investigation on his daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. The probe was over huge overcharging the regional governments of the Balearic Islands and Valencia for a series of sporting events organised by Urdangarin's not-for-profit organization, Noos. The son-in-law allegedly received $7.5 million of public money, but Undangarin - also know as the Duke of Palma - and his business partner Diego Torres, denied any wrongdoing.
Besides the Spanish king, the world has also been monitoring if Britain's Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated her diamond jubilee, would also abdicate soon and make Prince Charles finally king.