Royal Look-Back: Proclamation of King Juan Carlos

  June 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm by

Seeing as King Juan Carlos will formally abdicate the Spanish throne after a long reign tomorrow, the blog has decided to look back at his accession ceremonies which took place in 1975.

From the TRF Avatar Gallery

On November 22, 1975 following the death of General Franco, Don Juan Carlos de Borbón was proclaimed King of Spain. The proclamation ceremony took place at the Spanish Cortes (Parliament), where the new Queen Sofia and the couple’s three children were present. In the gallery above were several members of the King’s family, including his sisters and aunts.

A clearly emotional King Juan Carlos was greeted with an enthusiastic burst of applause and shouts of “Viva el rey!” from the crowded Cortes. Before the King, on a cushioned stool, were the rarely-seen the Spanish crown and sceptre. Spanish monarchs are not crowned, the regalia were only present at the ceremony as symbols of the monarch.

From the TRF Avatar Gallery

Several days later, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia attended a mass of the Holy Spirit at the Church of the Jeronimos in Madrid on November 27, which was presided over by Cardinal Tarancón. Royal guests included the King and Queen of the Belgians, the King of Jordan, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Bertil of Sweden.

Members of the Spanish Royal Family included Infantas Pilar, Margarita and Alicia, as well as several of the King’s cousins. The Presidents of France, Ireland and West Germany and the US Vice-President attended, as did the Spanish Duke of Cadiz and members of General Franco’s family. The King and Queen entered the historic church beneath a baldachin, accompanied by their children, and were seated on thrones near the high altar.

After the mass, the King and Queen left the church in an open top Rolls-Royce, waving to the thousands of well-wishers who had lined the route back to the Royal Palace. Their Majesties hosted a banquet in honour of the foreign dignitaries at the Palace and made several balcony appearances to greet the large cheering crowds.

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