King Juan Carlos of Spain, EA0JC, to Step Down
King of Spain Juan Carlos de Borbón, EA0JC, announced June 2 that he will abdicate his throne after 39 years in favor of his son, Crown Prince Felipe. The king turned 76 in January, and his reign has been troubled by a series of recent scandals that have harmed his popularity and put pressure upon him to abdicate.
Prince Felipe, a former Olympic yachtsman, is the father of two daughters. He’s married to Letizia Ortiz, a former TV news anchor. In addition to Spanish, he is fluent in English, French, and Catalan and studied in Canada for a year. He holds a degree in law and has earned a master’s in international relations from Georgetown University.
King Juan Carlos ascended the throne upon the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, winning the respect of his subjects by guiding the country into an era of democratic rule.