June 2 - King Juan Carlos abdicates after nearly 40 years on the throne. Crown Prince Felipe to succeed his father, says Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Spain's King Juan Carlos seen here walking with the aid of a stick is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe will succeed him, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday (June 02) in a surprise announcement. "His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne," said Rajoy in an address to the nation. "I'm convinced this is the best moment for change." Once popular Juan Carlos, 76, who helped smooth Spain's transition to democracy in the 1970s after the Francisco Franco dictatorship, has lost public support in recent years due to corruption scandals and gaffes. His daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, are under investigation in a corruption case. The king, whose health is failing and has had a number of hip operations in recent years, is stepping down for personal reasons, Rajoy said. The Prime Minister confirmed that a new constitutional amendment is to be proposed that will allow Crown Prince Felipe to succeed his father.