King Juan Carlos I of Spain passes Crown to Son Prince Felipe

After almost 40 years on the throne, King Juan Carlos I of Spain will abdicate in favor of His son. Crown Prince Felipe (pictured), 46, will succeed as King. The King was born in Rome, Italy as Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias on January 5, 1938. He and his family are Roman Catholic. The Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the King's decision. King Juan Carlos, 76, is respected by the nation for his help implementing democracy, when the dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975. There was a protest by thousands of people in Madrid against the Monarchy.

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The site, launched a petition for a referendum on the monarchy with more than 100,000 signatures.  military training and became the first Spanish officer to hold the rank of lieutenant in all three branches of the military. He was crowned King of Spain on November 22, 1975  after Francisco Franco's death. His wife is Queen Sophia of Greece and Denmark. The King and Queen Sofia, married in 1962, had three children and many grandchildren. The children are Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and Felipe, Prince of Asturias. The king made an apology in which he said he had made a mistake by going on an expensive Elephant hunting trip in 2012. Princess Cristina, the king's youngest daughter, is now under investigation for tax fraud and money laundering. She and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin are accused.