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Juan Carlos I
King of Spain

Other names: Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor María de Borbón y Borbón[1]

Titles and Honours

The Prince of Spain[2]
Titular King of Jerusalem, 1975-2014, abd[2][3]

Positions Held

Captain-general of the Armed Forces[1]


After spending his early years with his father in exile in Italy, he went to Spain in 1947 for his education which Franco displayed an interest in, particularly his military education. He attended the General Military Academy at Zaragoza, the Naval Military School at Marín in Pontevedra, the General Academy of the Air at San Javier in Murcia, and the University of Madrid.[3]

Juan Carlos became king two days after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco. In 1969, Franco had presented a law to the parliament enabling Juan Carlos to become king. Juan Carlos accepted the role, having previously declined it, and as king, he played a chief role in Spain's transition to democracy. He was a proponent of democratic principles, allowing the return of political parties and declaring an amnesty for political prisoners, and in 1981, he quashed an anti-democracy military coup. He also supported divorce and abortion rights through the introduction of laws.[3]

Juan Carlos was the first Spanish king to visit the Americas, and made numerous other tours abroad. He was a popular monarch until corruption charges were laid against his daughter Cristina and her husband which exposed the royal family's extravagances when the country was being subjected to a recession and severe austerity.  After much criticism, Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014.[3]

Place of birth: Rome[3]
Place of marriage: Athens[3]



1. H. Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.

2. F. Velde. Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Heraldica, 2003.

3. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018.

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