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King of Spain Signs Abdication, Transitions Power to Son, Prince Felipe

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:55:24 +0000

Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images(MADRID) -- King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated the throne on Wednesday, paving the way for his son, Prince Felipe, to become the new king.

BBC News reports that the retiring king, who took over after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, opted to transfer power to his son in a proclamation -- not a coronation -- at midnight Wednesday night. Prince Felix will swear an oath in parliament later on Thursday.

King Juan Carlos was praised for his ability to return democracy to Spain after the rule of Franco, but BBC News reports that his image was damaged when he was found to have gone on a luxurious African safari to hunt elephants during a national recession. The king's daughter was recently accused of tax fraud.

The succession plan was approved by both of the main political parties in Spain, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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