JUAN CARLOS, Spain’s King Emeritus, will retire from public life on Sunday (2nd June), four years after abdicating, allowing Spain’s current King Felipe to succeed him.
Juan Carlos, who came to power in 1975, after the death of former dictator Francisco Franco, was installed as Spain’s head of state, overseeing its transition to democracy, which was completed in 1978, with the adoption of the country’s Constitution.
The former monarch appeared on Spanish television in 1981 to denounce an attempted coup by Guardia Civil officers, and he called on Spanish citizens to back their democratic government.
Juan Carlos then took a step back from the business of government, adopting a more ceremonial role, similar to a British monarch.
He courted controversy later in his reign, initially with an outburst directed at former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, during an Ibero-American Summit in 2007.
He also faced stern criticism, when it emerged that he had injured himself on an elephant-hunting trip in Botswana in 2012.
Juan Carlos announced his abdication in June 2014, and has since taken part in public engagements.
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