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King of Spain abdicates throne after elephant-hunting scandal

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/3/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Juan Carlos is set to be succedded by his son Felipe

Having reigned for nearly 40 years, King Juan Carlos of Spain has announced that he will be abdicating the throne.

King Juan Carlos of Spain is set to abdicate the throne for health reasons. His son Felipe will succeed him.

King Juan Carlos of Spain is set to abdicate the throne for health reasons. His son Felipe will succeed him.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/3/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: News, Europe, Spain


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Carlos became the king of Spain in 1975, and was a key part in smoothing Span's transition into a democracy through the 1970s following the death of Dictator Francisco Franco.

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Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the aging Carlos' decision in a surprise release on June 2. "His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne," said Rajoy. "I'm convinced this is the best moment for change."

Though Rajoy says that Carlos is stepping down for personal reasons, a poll published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in January revealed that almost two-thirds of Spaniards wanted Carlos to abdicate. Among those who were not alive during the Franco years, support for abdication is especially favored.

Carlos was highly thought of for his common touch, something that the public felt made him far more accessible than British royals, but received heavy criticism in 2012-the height of Spain's financial crisis-when he broke his hip in a lavish elephant-hunting trip in Botswana.

Carlos has lost support in recent years due to numerous corruption scandals and gaffes. Carlos' daughter, Princess Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, are both under investigation in a corruption case involving charges of embezzling six-million Euros in public funds through charity. Though both deny any wrong doing, a judge is expected to decide whether to put Urdangarin on trial.

The 76-year-old king has had five operations in two years, including a hip replacement surgery.

Felipe, who is 46, has two daughters with his wife,  journalist Leticia Ortiz. He has become an increasingly important part of ceremonial events through the past year, and has not suffered due to the corruption case involving his sister, instead he is seen as someone capable of bringing prestige back to the throne.

There are no laws precisely regulating succession or abdication, and Rajoy said his cabinet would meet soon to lay out the path for Prince Felipe to succeed as Felipe VI.

Saint James, son of Zebedee, is the patron saint of Spain, and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Why not purchase a pendant for a loved one in honor of this momentous occasion?

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