Happy Birthday to King Juan Carlos of Spain
Happy 79th Birthday to King Juan Carlos of Spain, the father of King Felipe of Spain. The eldest son of the Count and Countess of Barcelona, heir to the exiled King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Juan Carlos was born in Rome, and spent his early life in Switzerland and Portugal before being allowed to enter Spain for his education. He married Princess Sofia of Greece, sister of King Constantine, in 1962 and they had three children. In 1969, General Franco, the dictator of Spain, appointed then Prince Juan Carlos as his heir, eventually succeeding him in 1975. King Juan Carlos dismantled the Francoist regime and begin the transition of Spain into a democracy.As King, he was very popular until the 2010s, when he was criticized for a private elephant-hunting trip to Botswana and the trial of his daughter, Infanta Christina, for tax fraud and money laundering. King Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014, in favour of his son King Felipe VI. He and Queen Sofia continue to attend events, including the Wedding of Lady Charlotte Wellesley and the 70th Birthday celebrations of King Carl Gustaf of Sweden.