King Juan Carlos I Turns 76
King Juan Carlos I of Spain celebrates his 76th birthday on Sunday, January 5th.
The Spanish Monarch who has reigned since 1975 was actually born in Rome, Italy during the Spanish Borbóns exile in 1936. His father was the late Infante Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona and his mother was the late Princess María Mercedes de Bourbon-Dos Sicilias, Countess of Barcelona. The future King of Spain was baptized as Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias at the chapel of the Order of Malta in Rome. His godmother was none other than his paternal grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, whilst his godfather was his maternal grandfather the Infante Carlos de Borbón, Duke of Calabria and Count of Caserta.
Juan Carlos has an older sister, Infanta Pilar of Spain, and also a younger sister, Infanta Margarita.
In May 1962, Juan Carlos married Princess Sophia of Greece in a glittering royal wedding in Athens. Juan Carlos and Sofia (as she became known in Spain) later moved to the Zarzuela Palace outside Madrid. The couple have three children, Infantas Elena and Cristina and Prince Felipe.
In November 1975, following the death of General Franco, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain before the Spanish Cortes. A couple of days later, the King and Queen were enthroned in a religious ceremony at the historic Church of San Jerónimo el Real Madrid. In 1977 his father, the Count of Barcelona renounced formally renounced his rights to the Crown as well as dynastic rights as head of the royal house.
King Juan Carlos has always been a popular European Monarch, though it has to be said his image has taken somewhat of a royal battering over the past few years. His Majesty’s general health has also been a source of concern over the past 2 to 3 years for many Spanish royal watchers.
Lets hope 2014 sees The Return of The King!Filed under Spanish Royals
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