Today marks the 5th Anniversary of the Accession of King Felipe VI of Spain, who acceded after the Abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos, who had begun his reign in 1975 after the death of General Franco, which also marked the restoration of the Spanish Monarchy, which had been exiled in 1931. King Juan Carlos abdicated the throne due to his age, failing health, and family scandals.
On the evening of June 18th, King Juan Carlos abdicated the Thone by signing the act of parliament formalizing his abdication in front of 150 dignitaries at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Crown Prince Felipe became King at the stroke of midnight, with the publication of the abdication in June 19th edition of the official state journal formally marking the start of his reign.
On the morning of June 19th, King Juan Carlos handed King Felipe the red sash of captain general, the highest rank in the army, at the Zarzuela Palace. Afterwards, King Felipe with the new Queen Letizia, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia went to the Palacio de las Cortes in Madrid, where King Felipe was formally sworn in, and took an oath to “faithfully to fulfill his duties, to safeguard the constitution and the laws, to respect the rights of citizens and the autonomous regions” of Spain. Queen Sofia (who received a standing ovation), Infanta Elena, King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie, and Princess Irene of Greece were also in attendance.
Following King Felipe’s Speech, there was a military parade in front of the Palacio de las Cortes, after which King Felipe and Queen Letizia were driven through central Madrid to the Royal Palace where they were joined by King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, the Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofia on the Balcony. Later in the afternoon, King Felipe and Queen Letizia hosted a Reception at the Royal Palace for 2,000 guests.
King Felipe wore Uniform with the red sash of captain general, the neck badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the sash of the Order of Charles III, and the stars of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa, Order of Isabella the Catholic, and the Royal Military Order of St. Hermenegild. Queen Letizia wore a Felipe Varela coat dress with the commander dame’s bow the Order of Charles III.