Juan Carlos I.


May 22, 2022

Juan Carlos I de Bourbon (Spanish: Juan Carlos I de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, born January 5, 1938, Rome, Kingdom of Italy) is the King of Spain, head of the Spanish state and Supreme Commander of the country's armed forces from November 22, 1975 to 18 June 2014. Captain General (1975).

Path to Power

Son of the head of the Spanish royal house, Don Juan, Count of Barcelona, ​​grandson of Alfonso XIII. He was baptized by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, elected Pope Pius XII the following year. Grew up in Italy and Portugal. In 1947, dictator Francisco Franco proclaimed Spain a monarchy, but the throne remained unoccupied. The Count of Barcelona, ​​the main contender for the throne, was previously an enemy of Franco and participated in a conspiracy against him. Juan Carlos and his brother, by agreement between Franco and the Count of Barcelona, ​​were educated in Spain. In 1956, the only brother of Juan Carlos - 14-year-old Infante Alfonso - died in Portugal as a result of an accident with careless handling of weapons. It is not known whether Alfonso himself pulled the trigger or whether he was accidentally (while playing with a weapon or cleaning the barrel) shot by Juan Carlos. On July 22, 1969, Francisco Franco appointed 31-year-old Juan Carlos, the eldest son of the Count of Barcelona, ​​as heir to the Spanish throne, against the will of his father. Traditionally, only the Prince of Asturias could be the heir to the throne in Spain, but since Franco did not have the authority to confer the title of Prince of Asturias on Juan Carlos, the caudillo invented the special title of "Prince of Spain" for the latter. Juan Carlos was not supposed to take the throne immediately, but only after the death of Franco, which happened on November 22, 1975.


At first, it seemed to many that the reign of Juan Carlos would be short-lived, and the monarchy would soon be swept away along with the legacy of the Franco regime. However, the king showed far-sightedness, carrying out democratic reforms almost immediately after taking the throne. The staunch Francoist Carlos Arias Navarro was dismissed from the post of head of government and replaced by the reformer Adolfo Suarez, political parties were legalized (1977), and the former ruling party, the Spanish Falange, was dissolved. In 1978, a new Spanish constitution was adopted, where the king was declared the heir to non-Franco, �