SPAIN’S King Emeritus Juan Carlos has announced he will retire from public life next month.
The former monarch’s announcement that he would retire from official duties on Saturday (June 2) comes four years after he abdicated and Spain’s current King Felipe succeeded him.
Juan Carlos came to power following the death of former dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. He became Spain’s head of state and oversaw its transition to democracy which was completed with the adoption of the country’s Constitution in 1978.
The former monarch appeared on Spanish television in 1981 to denounce an attempted coup by Guardia Civil officers and called on Spanish citizens to back their democratic government.
Juan Carlos then took a step back from the business of government, adopting a more ceremonial role similar to a British monarch.
He courted controversy later in his reign, first with an outburst directed at former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez at an Ibero-American Summit in 2007.
He also faced criticism after it emerged he had injured himself on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana in 2012.
Juan Carlos announced his abdication in June and has taken part in public engagements since.