KING JUAN CARLOS I OF SPAIN ABDICATES THE THRONE

On June 18, 2014, King Juan Carlos I of Spain signed the act of abdication, thus ending his 39 year reign.   His forty-six-year old heir and only son ascends the throne as King Felipe VI of Spain, effective June 19, 2014.   The ceremony, which took place at Madrid’s Royal Palace, was witnessed by some 160 guests.  Members of the Spanish royal family in attendance included Queen Sofia, Princess Letizia, Infantas Leonor and Sofia, and King Juan Carlos’s sisters, Infantas Pilar and Margarita as well as Infanta Elena, daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.  Former King Constantine of Greece, Queen Sofia’s brother, and his wife, Queen Anne-Marie, as well as former Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria were also present.  Much of Madrid’s city center was festooned in Spanish flags in honor of the two monarchs.   Photos by Getty Images.

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Infanta Leonor, first in line to the Spanish throne.

Infanta Leonor, first in line to the Spanish throne.

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