June 3 - King Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe attend a military ceremony at the El Escorial monastery. Nathan Frandino reports.
At a military ceremony fit for royalty, Spanish King Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe attend their first public event since the announcement of the King's abdication. The El Escorial monastery and former royal palace hosted the father and son with grand pomp and circumstance. The king is said to be stepping down for personal reasons, but a royal palace source says political factors drove the decision. Spaniards have been growing unhappy with the country's political elite and the scandal-hit monarchy. To help facilitate the abdication, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held a cabinet meeting Tuesday. Spain does not have a law that regulates abdication and succession. The transition will probably be done by passing a law in parliament, where Rajoy's party has the majority. Back at El Escorial, the 76-year-old king looked frail in contrast to 46-year-old Felipe. A recent poll showed high approval ratings for the prince. It also indicated that most Spaniards believed the monarchy could recover its prestige if Felipe ascended the throne.