Juan Carlos I of Spain facts

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Juan Carlos I
King Juan Carlos I in 2009
King of Spain
Reign 22 November 1975 – 18 June 2014
Enthronement 27 November 1975
Predecessor Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel (interim Head of State)
Alfonso XIII (as King of Spain)
Francisco Franco (as Caudillo of Spain)
Successor Felipe VI of Spain
Prime Ministers
Spouse Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Issue
Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo
Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca
Felipe, Prince of Asturias
Full name
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias
House House of Bourbon
Father Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
Mother María de las Mercedes of the Two Sicilies
Born 5 January 1938 (1938-01-05) (age 80)
Rome, Italy
Signature
Religion Roman Catholicism

Juan Carlos is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the abolition of the monarchy in 1931 and the subsequent declaration of the Second Spanish Republic.

Juan Carlos was born in Rome, Italy, during his family's exile and spent his early years living there and came to Spain in 1947 to continue his studies. After completing his secondary education in 1955, he began his military training and entered the General Military Academy at Zaragoza. Later, he attended the Naval Military School, the General Academy of the Air, and finished his tertiary education at the University of Madrid.

In 1962, Juan Carlos married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark in Athens. The couple had two daughters and a son together. Juan Carlos first began periodically acting as Spain's head of state in the summer of 1974. The following year Juan Carlos became king on 22 November 1975, the first reigning monarch since 1931.

Juan Carlos, soon after his accession introduced reforms to dismantle the previous regime and begin the Spanish transition to democracy. This led to the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 in a referendum, which re-established a constitutional monarchy. In 1981, Juan Carlos played a major role in preventing a coup that attempted to revert Spain to Francoist government in the King's name.

In 2008, he was considered the most popular leader in all Ibero-America. Hailed for his role in Spain's transition to democracy. In 2014, Juan Carlos, citing personal reasons, abdicated in favour of his son, who acceded to the throne as Felipe VI.

Early life

Estandarte Real de Juan Carlos I
Royal Standard as King of Spain

Juan Carlos was born to Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, and Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in Rome, Italy, where his grandfather King Alfonso XIII of Spain and other members of the Spanish royal family lived in exile following the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. He was baptized as Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias. He was given the name Juan Carlos after his father and maternal grandfather, Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

His early life was dictated largely by the political concerns of his father and General Franco. He moved to Spain in 1948 to be educated there after his father persuaded Franco to allow it. He began his studies in San Sebastián and finished them in 1954 at the San Isidro Institute in Madrid. He then joined the army, doing his officer training from 1955 to 1957 at the Military Academy of Zaragoza.

Titles and styles

  • 5 January 1938 – 21 July 1969: His Royal Highness The Infante Juan Carlos of Spain
  • 15 January 1941 – 22 November 1975: His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias
  • 21 July 1969 – 22 November 1975: His Royal Highness The Prince of Spain
  • 22 November 1975 – 18 June 2014: His Majesty The King of Spain
  • 18 June 2014 – : His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain

Images


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