King Juan Carlos Won’t Abdicate, Shuns Catalonian Independence

King Juan Carlos rejected any suggestion of possible abdication during an interview on Spanish Television tonight marking his 75th birthday tomorrow.

The King said, “I am doing well and wish to continue” with the duties of Head of State.

Asked about his legacy, His Majesty said,” I don’t like to talk about myself.” But expressed pride in having helped unite “all Spaniards” and accomplished his duty to restore Democracy and the Crown.

392px-President_Reagan_and_Mrs._Reagan_greet_King_Juan_Carlos_I_and_Queen_Sophia_of_Spain_1981
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Of course, Spain remains divided, especially with regions like Catalonia discussing whether to seek independence. The King reiterated his distaste for the politics of “intransigence” and division.

He called the current generation one “of liberty,” but said Spain still had to work on becoming a more equal and fair society. He wants the country to be united behind “one future and one idea.”

“To me it hurts me a lot,” the King said about people having to leave Spain to find work amid a tough recession.

King Juan Carlos' father, the Count of Barcelona, resigns any claims to the throne, allowing his son to follow Gen. Franco as Head of State. The King's mother Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in yellow. © Agencia EFE
King Juan Carlos’ father, the Count of Barcelona, resigns in 1977 any claims to the throne, allowing his son to follow Gen. Franco as Head of State. The King’s mother Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in yellow.
© Agencia EFE

Don Juan Carlos has been King since 1975. “More that satisfied I feel fortunate,” he said.

On the day of King's proclamation. © Agencia EFE
On the day of King’s proclamation.
© Agencia EFE

The interview was never expected to generate controversy of bring about tough questions. Still, commentators quickly said it could have been less formal, allowing for the King’s jovial personality to come through.

Click here to watch the interview.

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