Felipe VI Is New King of Spain

World | June 19, 2014, Thursday // 09:34|  views

Spanish King Juan Carlos (L) sits beside his son Crown Prince Felipe (R) during the ceremony where the King has signed the Constitutional law that allows his abdication, at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, 18 June 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Felipe VI of Spain was handed the throne by his father Juan Carlos late on Wednesday, in what marked the first succession of the crown in Spain's recent democratic history.

His father, Juan Carlos, acceded to the throne in 1975, when constitutional democracy was restored in Spain following the death of Gen Francisco Franco. He announced on June 2 he had decided to abdicate, citing personal reasons.

Ceremonies are expected to be rather modest, after Juan Carlos and his family occasionally sparked discontent with padded expenditures amid the ongoing economic crisis still shaking Spain.

Felipe is due to give a speech in Parliament before being proclaimed.

Juan Carlos has announced he will not attend the events.

Spanish daily El Pais wrote Thursday that Felipe VI the new king has inherited from his father the crucial task to give monarchy its prestige back.

Nearly four decades after Franco's authoritarian regime came to an end, many Spaniards demand that a referendum be held on abolishing the monarchy, with new demonstrations in favour of the poll scheduled in Madrid to coincide with the enthronement.

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Tags: Juan Carlos, Felipe VI, Felipe, Spain, Referendum, monarchy, economic crisis


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