King Juan Carlos of Spain is abdicating, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced, the BBC informs.
Juan Carlos, who is 76, has ruled since 1975, taking over after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. The king’s son, Crown Prince Felipe, 45, will take over the throne.
For much of his reign, Juan Carlos was seen as one of the world’s most popular monarchs, but recently many Spaniards have lost confidence in him.
His reputation has been tarnished by a long-running corruption investigation into his daughter and her husband.
A new generation must be at the forefront, King Juan Carlos says
King Juan Carlos said his son Prince Felipe would “open a new era of hope” for Spain.
King Juan Carlos of Spain has announced his intention to abdicate, after nearly 40 years on the throne.
“A new generation must be at the forefront… younger people with new energies,” the 76-year-old king said in a televised address, according to the BBC.
The king himself said in a televised address that it was time for a “new era” in which a new generation could take on the transformations and reforms required.
He said his son, Prince Felipe, had the maturity and preparation to be king.