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Spanish royal family member Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias is the son of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, and the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the final king until the Spanish monarchy’s extinction in 1931.
Juan Carlos I. was born in Rome, Italy on January 5, 1938. Juan Carlos was raised in Italy during his family’s exile. Following the Spanish Civil War, which Francisco Franco won in 1939, the possibility of the monarchy being restored grew.
Spaniards allowed Franco to select his successor when the country confirmed its monarchy in 1947. Following the death of King Alfonso XIII in 1941, Juan Carlos’s father officially assumed the king, but Franco considered him to be too progressive. Considered a better choice to uphold his rule, Franco named Juan Carlos his successor in 1969.
To further his education, Juan Carlos relocated to Spain in 1947. Following his graduation from high school in 1955, he enrolled in military academies, attending the General Military Academy of the Air, the Naval Military School, and the General Military Academy in Zaragoza. At the University of Madrid, he completed his post-secondary education as well.
As a result of Franco’s deteriorating health in 1974, Juan Carlos started serving as Spain’s head of state on occasion. Juan Carlos succeeded to the throne after Franco’s death in November 1975. He started measures to topple the Francoist dictatorship, which cleared the ground for Spain’s democratic transition, in contrast to predictions that he would carry on his legacy.
Juan Carlos was a key player in the democratic transition of Spain. His efforts resulted in the 1978 Spanish Constitution being approved in a referendum, reinstating a constitutional monarchy. His adherence to democratic values was demonstrated in 1981 when he put an end to a coup attempt that sought to reinstate a Francoist administration.
Juan Carlos encountered controversy while being originally commended for his contribution to Spain’s democratization, especially about his family. When information about an elephant-hunting excursion taken during Spain’s financial crisis surfaced, public unhappiness increased. In June 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, claiming personal reasons.
Due to alleged inappropriate links to commercial dealings in Saudi Arabia, Juan Carlos has been living in self-imposed exile from Spain since August 2020.
How much is Juan Carlos I. Worth?
Juan Carlos has an estimated net worth of about 2.3 billion US dollars.