Juan Carlos I
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Juan Carlos I(hwän kär`lōs), 1938–, king of Spain (1975–2014), b. Rome. The grandson of Alfonso XIIIAlfonso XIII,
1886–1941, king of Spain (1886–1931), posthumous son and successor of Alfonso XII. His mother, Maria Christina (1858–1929), was regent until 1902.
..... Click the link for more information. , he was educated in Switzerland and in Spain. Placed by his father, Don Juan de Borbón, under the care of Francisco FrancoFranco, Francisco
, 1892–1975, Spanish general and caudillo [leader]. He became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco.
..... Click the link for more information. as a possible successor, he graduated from Spain's three military academies and received commissions in the army, navy, and air force; he also did graduate work at the Univ. of Madrid and served apprenticeships in many government departments. He married Princess Sophia of Greece in 1962; they have three children. In 1969 he was designated heir to the throne and Franco's successor. After Franco's death in 1975, he became the first Spanish king since his grandfather was deposed in 1931. A popular monarch, he presided over Spain's transition to democracy with intelligence and sensitivity. He acted decisively to maintain political stability in Spain, as in choosing Adolfo SuárezSuárez González, Adolfo
, 1932–2014, Spanish lawyer and political leader. Because he had worked in the Nationalist Movement (the Falange) for 18 years and had become its secretary-general after Franco's death (1975), centrist and leftist forces opposed his
..... Click the link for more information. as premier in 1976, foiling a right-wing military coup in 1981, and handling a scandal involving anti-Basque death squads in the mid-1990s. His popularity suffered in the 2010s when his wealthy lifestyle contrasted sharply with Spain's economic difficulties and after his son-in-law and later his daughter were investigated on corruption charges. He abdicated in 2014 and was succeeded by his son, Felipe (Philip VI).
Juan Carlos I
Born Jan. 5, 1938, in Rome. King of Spain from November 1975.
Juan Carlos I is the grandson of King Alfonso XIII, overthrown in 1931, and the son of Prince Don Juan, who has lived outside Spain since 1931. He received a military education and completed a course of study at the University of Madrid. On July 23, 1969, Juan Carlos was officially proclaimed successor to Franco; upon Franco’s death he would become head of state with the title of king.
Juan Carlos I’s reign was signaled by the announcement of a program of limited reforms and the dissolution and collapse of the Franco dictatorship.