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Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias was born on January 5, 1938. He served as the King of Spain from November 22, 1975, until he voluntarily abdicated on June 19, 2014. Following his abdication, Juan Carlos has commonly been addressed in Spain as the “rey emérito” (‘king emeritus).
About Juan Carlos
During the exile of his family, Juan Carlos was raised in Italy. The prospect of the restoration of the monarchy increased after Francisco Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War in 1939.
When Spain recognized its monarchy in 1947, the people there gave Franco the authority to choose his successor. Juan Carlos’s father was formally crowned king after King Alfonso XIII passed away in 1941, but Franco saw him as being too progressive. Juan Carlos was picked as Franco’s successor in 1969 because he was thought to be a better fit to continue his dictatorship.
In 1947, Juan Carlos moved to Spain to continue his studies. He enrolled in military institutions after high school, attending the General Military Academy of the Air, the Naval Military School, and the General Military Academy in Zaragoza. He graduated in 1955. He also finished his post-secondary studies at the University of Madrid.
When Franco’s health began to fail in 1974, Juan Carlos took over as Spain’s head of state sometimes. Following Franco’s passing in November 1975, Juan Carlos ascended to the throne. Despite expectations that he would continue his legacy, he took the initiative to overthrow the Francoist dictatorship, paving the way for Spain’s democratic transition.
Juan Carlos had a significant role in Spain’s democratic transition. Through his efforts, a referendum in 1978 adopted the 1978 Spanish Constitution, bringing back constitutional monarchy. In 1981, he stopped a coup attempt to restore a Francoist government, demonstrating his commitment to democratic principles.
Initially applauded for his role in democratizing Spain, particularly concerning his family, Juan Carlos faced criticism. Public discontent escalated as details emerged about an elephant-hunting trip made amid Spain’s financial crisis. Claiming personal reasons, Juan Carlos abdicated in June 2014, handing the throne to his son Felipe VI.
Since August 2020, Juan Carlos has been living in self-imposed exile from Spain due to alleged illegal ties to business operations in Saudi Arabia.
Who are Juan Carlos I.’s Parents?
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María was born into the family residence in Rome, to Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, and Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
Who are Juan Carlos I.’s Siblings?
Juan Carlos I has three siblings, Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz (1936–2020), Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria (born 1939), and Alfonso (1941–1956).
Who is Juan Carlos, my wife?
Juan Carlos I is married to Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark. They got married in 1962 and they have three children; Elena, Cristina, and Felipe.