King Juan Carlos Announces Retirement

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The move, detailed in a letter to King Felipe, means Don Juan Carlos will no longer represent the Crown in an official capacity.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.

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King Juan Carlos speaking with King Felipe during a recent meeting of the Cotec Foundation leadership at El Pardo Palace. Spanish Royal Household

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.

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Members of the Spanish Royal Family at the Palace of the Congress in Madrid last year. Spanish Royal Household

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.

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King Meets New Parliamentary Leaders

King Felipe today met the new leaders of the Spanish Congress of Deputies and Senate today, a key step in kicking off a new session of parliament following recent elections.

His Majesty first met with Congress President Meritxell Batet, who was 7 minutes late, newspaper ABC reported.

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Spanish Royal Household

The King then met with the new president of the Senate, Manuel Cruz.

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Spanish Royal Household

The King will soon have meetings with the leaders of different parties on the road to picking a prime minister. Socialist Pedro Sánchez will likely remain in the role.

King In Barcelona, Meets With Separatist Leader

King Felipe was in Barcelona last week for the 100th anniversary of the city’s auto show, where he met briefly with Catalan President Quim Torra.

Torra, an ardent nationalist, has attempted to boycott the King’s presence in Catalonia for years after His Majesty blasted a pro-independence move.

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King Felipe is at the center, with Torra to the right. Spanish Royal Household

Media outlets reported the King and Torra did not speak, and Torra tried his best to avoid doing so.

Updated: Royals Mourn Socialist Leader

The Spanish Royal Household is mourning the death of former Socialist Party leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who died last week.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia went to the Congress of Deputies to pay to pay their respects.

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Spanish Royal Household

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia also made an appearance at a different time.

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Spanish Royal Household

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The Royal Household sent out a tweet soon after the death. Rubalcaba died suddently at 67 following a stroke.

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia Together At Luxembourg Funeral

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were together again in public last weekend for the funeral of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, who died at 98.

Their Majesties have come to represent the Spanish Crown at international royal events.

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Spanish Royal Household

Grand Duke Jean led Luxembourg for more than three decades until he abdicated in favor of his son Henri in 2000.

Other appearances

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have made other appearances on the royal calendar in recent days.

Don Juan Carlos was with King Felipe at an innovation summit in Naples, Italy, tied to the COTEC Foundation.

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Spamish Royal Household

Queen Sofia attended a meeting of the Queen Sofia School of Music with its president, Paloma O’Shea, the Marquise of O’Shea.

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Spanish Royal Household

 

Also there was Paloma’s daughter, Ana Patricia Botín, powerful head of the Santander banking group.

Queen Return From Mozambique Trip

Queen Letizia has returned from a trip to Mozambique to review Spanish cooperation and aid efforts in that country.

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Spanish Royal Household

Health minister Nazira Vali Abdula helped welcome the Queen. She also met with President Filipe Jacinto Nyussi and First Lady Isaura Nyussi.

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Spanish Royal Household

The queen’s travel comes amid ongoing criticism her agenda is not as busy as it should be.