Spain's King Juan Carlos steps down from throne

King Juan Carlos abdicated, ending his 39-year reign.

Spain's King Juan Carlos steps down from throne

World Bulletin / News Desk

Spain's King Juan Carlos abdicated Wednesday, ending his 39-year reign.

The 76-year-old king has suffered health problems and his reign has been beset by scandals and controversy in recent years, including his decision to go on an elephant-shooting trip in 2012 when Spain was mired in financial crisis.

He signed an abdication law Wednesday in a ceremony, leaving the throne to his son, Prince Felipe VI, 46.

The law has been signed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Prince Felipe VI will take over the throne Thursday with a ceremony.

King Juan Carlos has been on the throne since 1975 when he took over the country after dictator Francisco Franco's death and directed Spain into becoming a democratic country.

There are several challenges which the new king will face when he ascends to the throne such as financial crises, unemployment, poverty and a demand for independence by Catalonia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2014, 11:11