Monday, January 5, 2015

Royal Profile: King Juan Carlos I of Spain

King Juan Carlos I of Spain was born on January 5, 1938 as the son of Don Juan de Borbon y Battenberg, Count of Barcelona & Doña Maria de las Mercedes de Borbon y Orleans {Source}. He has one older sister, two younger sisters and a younger brother:
  • Infanta Maria del Pilar Alfonsa Juana Victoria Luisa Ignacia y Todos los Santos [et omnes sancti]), Duchess of Badajoz (1936)
  • Infanta Margarita María de la Victoria Esperanza Jacoba Felicidad Perpetua y Todos los Santos [et omnes sancti], Duchess of Soria, 2nd Duchess of Hernani (1939)
  • Infante Alfonso Cristino Teresa Angelo Francisco de Asis y Todos los Santos of Spain (1941-1956)

He was educated in Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. In 1954, he completed his Baccalaureate at the San Isidro Institute in Madrid, and from 1955 he studied at the Military Academies and Schools of the three armies, where he gained the rank of Officer {Source}. After graduation, he spent a period of time as a midshipman of the Spanish vessel "Juan Sebastián Elcano" while training to become a military pilot{Source}. From 1960-1961, he completed training at the Complutense University of Madrid, where he studied Political and International Law, Economics and Public Finance {Source}.

On 14 May 1962, he married Princess Sophia of Greece who is eldest daughter of King Paul I & Queen Federica {Source}. After their honeymoon, the Prince began to live in the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, which is still today their residence {Source}. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren:

  1. Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo (1963)
    1. Don Felipe Juan Froilán de Todos los Santos de Marichalar y Borbón (1998)
    2. Doña Victoria Federica de Todos los Santos de Marichalar y de Borbón(2000)
  2. Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca (1965)
    1. Don Juan Valentín de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y de Borbón(1999)
    2. Don Pablo Nicolás Sebastián de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y de Borbón (2000)
    3. Don Miguel de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y de Borbón (2002)
    4. Doña Irene de Todos los Santos Urdangarin y de Borbón (2005)
  3. King Felipe VI of Spain (1968)
    1. Princess Leonor , Princess of Asturias  (2005)
    2. The Infanta Sofia of Spain (2007)

He was designated successor to the Head of State in 1969, began a period of official activities, trips and visits Spain to foreign countries {Source}. He succeded the throne on 22 November 1975 {Source}. On 22 November 1975, he delivered a speech in Parliament his first address to the nation, in which he expressed the basic ideas of his reign: restore democracy and become King of all Spaniards, without exception {Source}. In May 1977, the Count of Barcelona sent the King his dynastic rights and the Chief of the Spanish Royal House, in an act which found fulfilling the role corresponding to the Crown in the return to democracy {Source}. A month later the first democratic elections since 1936, and the new Parliament drew up the text of the current Constitution, adopted by referendum on December 6, 1978 and sanctioned by His Majesty the King at the solemn session of the Parliament on 27 the same year {Source}. The constitution establishes the state as a political form of parliamentary monarchy in which the King arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the institutions {Source}.. In his message to the Cortes, Don Juan Carlos expressly proclaimed his firm intention to abide by it and serve it. In fact, it was the performance of the Monarch that saved the Constitution and democracy on the night of February 23, 1981, when other Constitutional powers were kidnapped in Parliament by an attempted coup {Source}.
Throughout his reign has officially visited almost all countries worldwide and major international organizations, both universal and regional {Source}.

King Juan Carlos has promoted a new style in Latin American relations, highlighting the signs typical of a cultural community based on a common language and pointing to the need to light up joint initiatives and participating in appropriate cooperation formulas identity {Source}. This is the reason for the Ibero-American Summits, the first meeting took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1991 {Source}.
King Juan Carlos has always reminded the European vocation of Spain throughout its history and has encouraged the process of joining the European Communities {Source}.The importance of the EU in the contemporary world and in particular in the areas that are related, included Latin America, has been underlined by the King in numerous messages {Source}.His European profile and its role in the restoration of democracy in Spain have been recognized through numerous International awards {Source}.

Always attentive to the intellectual world and its capacity for innovation, King Juan Carlos exercise the High Patronage of the Royal Academies and maintains regular relations with cultural areas, in particular with the University. He was invested Doctor Honoris Causa by thirty prestigious Spanish and foreign universities {Source}.
He spearheaded the creation of the Royal Academy Foundation was established with the participation of public and private entities in 1994 {Source}. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Instituto Cervantes, responsible for the spread of Spanish in the world {Source}. Every year delivery Cervantes Prize, which distinguish the best writers of our language in both continents {Source}.
Through various foundations which he is Honorary President personally supports the creation and development of new technologies in Spain, and encourages many initiatives in the areas of economics and business, research, social progress and common development of the Spanish living in its most varied manifestations {Source}.

The Constitution stipulates that the king supreme command of the Armed Forces. In exercising its powers, His Majesty meets once a year with the three hosts on the feast of the Passover Military presides delivery offices and diplomas in Military Academies and Colleges, visit numerous units and assists its maneuvers and exercises.
The description of the Arms of His Majesty the King in Rule number 1 of Title II of Royal Decree 1511/1977 of 21 December, approving the Regulations Flags and Banners, Script, Badges and Insignia approved.

In his spare time, the King of Spain enjoys sporting activities, especially skiing and sailing {Source}.

In 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son, King Felipe VI.

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