On June 2, 2014, King Juan Carlos I of Spain announced his intention to abdicate the throne. The 76-year-old king, after 39 years on the throne is abdicating in favor of his only son and heir, Felipe, the Prince of the Asturias. King Juan Carlos, who is in ill-health and has had to endure several surgeries in the past two years, has presided over the democratic transition of Spain after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975. Lately, his reign has been marred by scandals surrounding a controversial hunting trip the king took, as well as financial scandals involving his daughter, Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. In a televised speech to the nation, King Juan Carlos stated that he was grateful to the Spanish people and institutions who have helped him fulfill his duties. The king also thanked his wife of over fifty years, Queen Sofia, for her support, and expressed his confidence in his son as Spain’s next monarch. The 46-year old Prince of the Asturias is expected to take the title King Felipe IV. Photos by Getty Images.