King of Spain Juan Carlos I decided to abdicate the throne

Jun 3, 2014 12:30 IST

King of Spain Juan Carlos announced on 2 June 2014 to abdicate the throne in favour of his son Crown Prince Felipe. The decision to abdicate was announced in the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid. His full name is Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias.

King Juan Carlos served the country for nearly 40 years. Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy has confirmed the announcement of abdication of Juan Carlos.

About Juan Carlos

•    Juan Carlos was born in Rome in 1938 in exile.

•    Juan Carlos was born to Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, and Princess Maria Mercedes of Bourbon.

•    Juan Carlos' father, Juan de Borbon, was the third son of Alfonso XIII, who had abdicated in 1931 after Republican parties won a municipal election that many had framed as a referendum on Spain's monarchy.

•    The head of the House of Bourbon was defeated in a civil war against Nationalist forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco in 1938.

•    In 1948, Juan Carlos made first trip to Spain, after Franco was agreed to a Spanish education for the Juan Carlos I.

•    Till 1960, he carried out military training and became the first Spanish officer to hold the rank of lieutenant in all three branches of the military.

•    In 1969, he was invested as Crown Prince and the designated successor to Franco.

•    After Franco's death in 1975, Juan Carlos was crowned King of Spain, restoring the monarchy after a 44-year interregnum.

•    In 1977, he enacted political reforms a series of reforms like the legalization of the Communist Party and Spain's first democratic election since 1936.

•    Later on, the reforms led to the approval of a new constitution for Spain.

•    During his reign, Spain grew into an economic powerhouse and a vacation playground for Europe.

•    In 1981, he had a decisive role in stopping a military coup that sought to bring elements of the Franco regime back.

•    In 2012, he led a controversial elephant-hunting trip to Africa when the Spain was badly stuck in an economic crisis.

•    King Juan Carlos belonged to House of Borbon.

Role of a King

As per the Constitution of Spain, the king is the head-of-state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces. In 1978, constitution of Spain was amended.

The Spanish Constitution in 1978 reestablished a constitutional monarchy as the form of government for Spain. The 1978 constitution affirmed the role of the King of Spain as the personification and embodiment of the Spanish State and a symbol of Spain's enduring unity and permanence.

 About House of Borbon

House of Borbon is a branch of the Capetian dynasty. The head of the House of Bourbon had taken over Spain's monarchy in 1713 from the Habsburgs.

The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma.

France, Spain and Luxembourg currently have Bourbon monarchs.

Spain cabinet approved abdication plan

The Government of Spain had approved a legislation that allowed King Juan Carlos to abdicate and to hand over his duties to Crown Prince Felipe.

Article 57 of the Constitution of Spain, said that in case of abdication, the succession must be resolved by an organic law.

An organic law is one which is required for new developments in the most fundamental aspects of law and must be passed by a majority of all members of the lower house of parliament, not just a majority of those present.

The voting was scheduled for 11 June 2014 and then new monarch can then be proclaimed immediately.

Currently serving Kings of House of Borbon


In France

•    Prince Henri, Count of Paris (Henry VII) [1999 – Present)

In Spain

•    Juan Carlos I I, King of Spain, [1975–present]

In Luxembourg

•    Henri (2000–present)
 
Recent monarchs who abdicated in Europe

•    Belgium: King Albert II of Belgium, stepped down on 21 July 2013

•    Netherlands: Dutch Queen Beatrix, abdicated on 30 April 2013

•    Leichtenstein: Prince Hans-Adam II abdicated on 15 August 2004

•    Luxembourg: Grand Duke Jean abdicated on 7 October 2000

In other countries

•    Qatar: The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, abdicated on 25 June 2013
•    Cambodia: Norodom Sihanouk abdicated on 7 October 2004

Comment

The decision of Spanish King Juan Carlos make him the latest European monarch to decide to end his days in retirement and not on the throne.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands started a trend toward retiring royalty when she announced her abdication in 2013 after a 33-year reign. She was quickly followed by her Belgian counterpart, King Albert, and by Juan Carlos I.

Is this article important for exams ? Yes13 People Agreed
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