Juan Carlos I of Spain

Biography of Juan Carlos I of Spain

Juan Carlos I He is a Spanish military man, politician and statesman, who was born on January 5, 1938, in Rome, Italy, during the Royal Family’s exile. His full name is Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón.

His father was Juan de Borbón and Battenberg, Count of Barcelona, and his mother, María de las Mercedes de Borbón y Orleans.

At age 10, Juan Carlos He set foot on Spanish soil for the first time, to begin his studies, but as relations between his father and Franco deteriorated, he was sent to Lisbon. He returned to Spain the following year together with his brother Alfonso and at the age of 16 he had already finished high school.

Juan Carlos received his military training in various institutions:

  • From 1955 to 1957 he was in the General Military Academy of Zaragoza.
  • From 1957 to 1958 he went to the Naval Military School of Marín in Pontevedra.
  • And from 1958 to 1959 he attended the General Air Academy of San Javier in Murcia.

Obtaining thus, a military training in the three forces, before studying Political and International Law, Economy and Public Finance in the Complutense University of Madrid.

On May 14, 1962, Juan Carlos married in Athens, with the princess Sofia from Greece, her third cousin, for the Catholic and Orthodox rites. They had three children: Elena of Bourbon and Greece, born in 1963; Cristina de Borbón and Greece, born in 1965 and Felipe de Borbón and Greece, born in 1968.

Unfriendly relations between Juan de Borbón and Franco, made him propose a leap in the line of succession and appoint Juan Carlos, Prince of spain. This jump generated a conflict within the Real home, when Juan Carlos accepted, because his father, the Count of Barcelona He did not renounce his inheritance rights until 1977.

Due to Franco’s illnesses, the Prince assumed the interim Headquarters of the State on two occasions, from July 19 to September 2, 1974 and later, from October 30 to November 20, 1975. Until when Franco died, on November 1975, Juan Carlos Was proclaimed King of Spain, two days later.

With his attitude, he promoted Law for Political Reform, which was approved by the Congress of Deputies, on November 18, 1976 and allowed the Spanish transition to democracy.

Reign of Juan Carlos I of Spain

The Reign of Juan Carlos I of Spain It lasted from November 22, 1975 to June 19, 2014, that is, for a period of 38 years. During the Reign of Juan Carlos I of Spain were presidents of the Spanish government:

  • Carlos Arias Navarro (1974-1976), who presided over the first democratic reforms, although he did not keep pace with the changes promoted by the King, which led to his resignation.
  • Adolfo Suarez (1976-1981), who dismantled the Franco regime and approved the Political Reform Project and the first free general elections (1977), resigned under pressure from left-wing parties and from his own party, Unión de Centro Democrático.
  • Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo (1981-1982), who achieved Spain’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and in his short term the last coup attempts were aborted.
  • Felipe Gonzalez (1982-1996), who supported membership in NATO, of which he was previously an opponent and which was revalidated by a referendum in 1986, also supported membership in the European Economic Community (now the European Union).
  • Jose Maria Aznar (1996-2004), who after several decades of democratic normality, had a centrist orientation to give a sense of continuity to the socialist stage of the previous government. In that period it was observed that the political role of the king diminished.
  • Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (2004-2011), who developed his government during a period of economic expansion until 2008 and the worst economic crisis in the history of Spain afterwards.
  • Mariano Rajoy (2011-2014), who adopted strong measures to face the seriousness of the economic crisis.

Juan Carlos I of Spain He managed to live harmoniously, throughout his reign, with the different governments of the different political tendencies that were in Spanish power.

Awards and Recognitions granted to Juan Carlos I

Within the awards and recognitions given to Juan Carlos I the most relevant were:

  • Charlemagne Prize (1982).
  • The Simón Bolívar Award (1983).
  • Félix Houphouët-Boigny Award from Unesco (1995) for the search for Peace.
  • Democracy Medal from Yeshiva University (1997).
  • World Statesman Award Appeal of Conscience Foundation (1997).
  • State Prize of the Russian Federation (2011).

Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain

In 2011, the Royal House faced a corruption scandal involving the King’s son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, which caused great damage to the image of the monarchy.

For this reason, it was decided to withdraw the son-in-law from official acts for non-exemplary behavior, according to a statement dated December 12, 2011. The King, in his Christmas message that year, said that “justice is the same for all” and four days later Urdangarín was accused.

On April 14, 2012, the monarchy suffered another blow to its prestige, when the King broke his hip during an elephant hunt in Botswana, Africa.

This news sparked a controversy, for which the King, after leaving the clinic, apologized saying: “I’m very sorry. I was wrong and it will not happen again ”.

El Rey underwent hip surgery for the third time in less than a year, on November 21, 2013, and it was the ninth surgery in the last five years. After his convalescence, on January 6, 2014, he appeared tired and deteriorated, in his first official act for the celebration of Military Easter.

The next day, a judge charged the Infanta for the second time Cristina de Borbón, wife Iñaki Urdangarín, for money laundering and tax crime for the Nóos case. The Infanta appeared before the judge, amid great expectations created by the national and international media, on February 8, 2014.

The King of Spain he announced his abdication on June 2 of that same year, after thirty-eight years of reign.

This decision had been made on his birthday, on January 5, and it had been communicated on March 31, to the president of the government Mariano Rajoy.

On the day of the announcement of his abdication there were concentrations in several Spanish cities calling for a referendum to decide the form of government.

On June 11, the Congress of Deputies debated the Organic Law of Abdication, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

This is how on June 18, 2014, the King of Spain signed the law, in what was the last official act of his reign.

Had happened the abdication of Juan Carlos I, so the next day, your child Felipe de Borbón and Greece, Was proclaimed King of Spain, What Philip VI.

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