King Felipe earlier this month takes Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez with organizing a government following the country’s most recent general elections.
Sánchez got the most votes, so it’s no surprised the King picked him to try to cobble together enough supporters.
Still, His Majesty met with numerous party leaders in his office at Zarzuela Palace before making his decision.
The King met with Laura Borrás Castanyer, who represents one of Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties. She declared her region had no King.
Borrás told the King that former Catalan President Carles Puidgemont, who is a runaway from Spanish justice, preferred him as Crown Prince. The King then said he preferred Puidgemont in his former job as mayor of Girona.
King Juan Carlos, who abdicated the Spanish throne five years ago, has decided to retire from public life.
The move, detailed in a letter to King Felipe, means Don Juan Carlos will no longer represent the Crown in an official capacity.
Even though the King Emeritus doesn’t have a heavy schedule, he has made numerous appearances in a private and official capacity over the years.
In the letter to King Felipe, Don Juan Carlos says it’s time to move on to a new chapter of his life.
King Juan Carlos, who reigned from 1975-2014 and led Spain’s transition to Democracy, said he had been thinking about retirement for months, particularly following his 80th birthday and the Constitution’s 40th anniversary.
The Spanish Royal Household released the news amid local and European elections, so coverage was relatively sedate.
King Juan Carlos was once an untouchable figure in Spain. His reputation has taken a hit following several scandals and controversies.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia now want to promote the Crown as professional, affordable and accountable.
Queen Sofia, King Juan Carlos’ wife, who has a foundation to her name and numerous projects, will stay active in public life.