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Spain's King Juan Carlos to abdicate after 40 years on the throne

Published time: June 02, 2014 08:42
Edited time: June 02, 2014 13:35
Spain's King Juan Carlos (AFP Photo / Gerard Julien)

Spain's King Juan Carlos (AFP Photo / Gerard Julien)

Juan Carlos, the king of Spain, plans to abdicate, according to the country’s prime minister. A new constitutional amendment will reportedly be proposed to allow for the abdication. Crown Prince Felipe is to become the new monarch.

Spain's King Juan Carlos is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe will succeed him, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday in a surprise announcement.

"His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne," Rajoy said. "I'm convinced this is the best moment for change."

Rajoy went on to say “his majesty would like to explain personally to the Spanish people later this morning” the reasons for his abdication.

The 76-year-old King has been troubled by chronic health problems over the past couple of years and his popularity has also taken a hit for the worse amid the financial crisis that has crippled Spain’s economy. The monarch was greeted with public fury after photos emerged of his elephant-shooting safari trip to Botswana in 2012, at the height of the financial downturn in Spain.

King Juan Carlos poses with safari organizer Jeff Rann in front of the carcass of a dead elephant. Screenshot from

In addition, Juan Carlos’ daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband Inaki Urdangarin, are currently being investigated on charges of corruption.

Describing Juan Carlos as a “tireless defender” of Spain’s interests, Rajoy said a special meeting of the Council of Ministries has been scheduled for Tuesday to deal with the Monarch’s abdication.

“He has been the best spokesman and has put forward the best image of the Kingdom of Spain throughout the world,” said Rajoy.

Comments (31)


Dave Kim 03.06.2014 16:05

Spoiled rich kids that never grew up. The monarchy/empire/reic h is going down as the worst joke in human history. Towards no more hierarchy. Towards an anonymous society. First names only please. Butcher, baker, candlestick "macher". I do believe that there once was good in these people, but that they were corrupted by a long history of evil carnivorous long-brained Homo Capensis. I can't wait for the movie!


Dave 02.06.2014 22:50

Sean B 02.06.2014 20:04

...and when it comes down to it our Royal navy and Airforce are loyal to our Queen.


Open your eyes and stop fawning.
Parliam ent is beholden to the queen - cameron has a meeting with her every week and only she can dissolve parliament and agree on a new prime minister.
Don't you think it's wrong that the army, navy and air force do not proclaim loyalty to their countrymen (and women)...?
The queen got a £6 million per year pay rise last year while many elderly people were losing their pensions and savings...


Maria Naranjo 02.06.2014 20:38

Well, I am spanish and this is where it gets interesting. Legally King Juan Carlos can not abdicate on favour of his son. If you read the news it says "new constitutional amendment will reportedly be proposed to allow for the abdication". What this means in practice is that spaniards can claim their right to choose whether they want a monarchy or a republic. If you know anything about Spanish history, the story repasts itself. Alfonso XIII (his father) fled Spain when the Second Republic proclaimed 0n 12th April 1931 . He abdicated in favor of Juan (his brother and Juan Carlos' dad) in 1941

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