King Juan Carlos young: Pictures of 84-year-old Spanish monarch through the years

King Juan Carlos to leave Spain over financial scandal

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Juan Carlos abdicated eight years ago in favour of his son Felipe VI, with his later life marred by controversy. The former monarch has even been living in Abu Dhabi since being the target of three separate probes over his financial dealings. However, Juan Carlos was once celebrated for introducing reforms to dismantle Spain’s Francoist regime and beginning the country’s transition to democracy.

In the early Eighties he was also considered instrumental in preventing a coup that attempted to revert Spain to a Francoist government, by giving a public broadcast calling for complete support for the country’s democratic government.

Juan Carlos was born in 1938 and spent his early childhood in Italy.

His grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, had been exiled from Spain seven years earlier by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. 

A young Juan Carlos was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland, but aged 10 his father, Juan de Borbon, sent his son to Spain so Franco could help raise him. 

Read More: Royal Family LIVE: Staggering rental value of Sussex mansion revealed

In 1947, Franco had announced he would restore the Spanish monarchy to prevent a rebirth of a Spanish republican movement.

The dictator did not trust Juan de Borbon as heir as he was considered too liberal, yet Juan Carlos was thought to be young enough to learn authoritarian government.

Juan Carlos claimed he had a “very special relationship” with both his parents, while he ardently denied reports that Franco was his mentor.

According to Lecturas, he said that as a boy he was “terrified” but “quite impressed” with Franco, while insisting: “Franco was not my mentor, it was my father, despite the distance.”

One of the most tragic experiences of Jaun Carlos’ life came when he was 18, and accidentally shot dead his little brother Alfonso in Portugal.

In a 2015 documentary on his life ‘Yo, Juan Carlos, King of Spain’ he admitted the death of his brother left him severely depressed for years.

Juan Carlos said: “We were very close. 

“I loved him very much ‒ I still miss him very much”.

Don’t Miss:
Royal Family branded ‘boring’ over festive season: ‘Same every year'[OPINION]
Prince Charles stressed Commonwealth ‘vital’ to humanity’s future[INSIGHT]
Queen fury after Prince Charles’ household ‘delight’ at abdication[ANALYSIS]

In 1962 Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia of Greece and the couple had three children together: Elena, Cristina and Felipe. 

Seven years later, Franco named Juan Carlos as his successor and in 1975 he was proclaimed king two days after the death of Franco.

A year into his reign Juan Carlos picked a centrist minister from Franco’s administration, Adolfo Suarez, to lead the Spanish government and guide the country’s transition to democracy. 

Mr Suarez swiftly legalised the Spanish Communist party and in 1977 Spain held their first democratic elections in four decades.

Juan Carlos, who had already been hailed as a bastion of democracy, added to his burgeoning reputation in 1981 after Lieutenant Colonel Tejero and his followers burst into Spanish parliament with guns.

They wanted to return to a Francoist regime, and claimed they were carrying out the coup in the “name of the King.”

However, Juan Carlos was considered central to ending the rebellion after he announced on national television that he did not endorse or tolerate such action.

Realising they had little support, the rebels surrendered later in the evening.

After being instrumental in establishing a democratic government in Spain, Juan Carlos was supremely popular, and even voted by El Mundo as the most popular leader in all of Ibero-America in 2008.

However, his 2012 public opinion drastically turned after the monarch broke his hip on a private hunting trip in Botswana. 

Juan Carlos’s luxury trip caused outrage in a recession-hit Spain, where unemployment was at 23 percent.

The monarch was forced to deliver an unprecedented apology on television in which he claimed: “I made a mistake and it won’t happen again.”

The incident also caused the press to question the king’s private life, given he had been accompanied by divorced German aristocrat Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, despite having a wife, Queen Sofia, in Spain.

In June 2014 the king tearfully abdicated in favour of his son Felipe amid growing public pressure.

Source: Read Full Article