King Juan Carlos of Spain has announced his abdication after almost 40 years of ruling.
Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy has announced the abdication in the morning but did not mention the reasons behind it in his speech.
A government source, however, has said King Juan Carlos was stepping down for “personal reasons”.
The king had been on the throne for almost 40 years. He took over after fascism in Spain came to an end with the death of General Franco in November 1975.
King Juan Carlos’ son Prince Felipe – who is 45 – will succeed him.
In his televised address, King Juan Carlos said his abdication was motivated by “a drive for renewal, to overcome and correct mistakes and open the way to a decidedly better future”.
King Juan Carlos said he made the decision to abdicate in January, when he turned 76.
Juan Carlos expressed gratitude to the Spanish people, and said the country had enjoyed a long period of peace, stability and progress.
The king said he made his decision “with great emotion”.
At the end of the relatively short speech, King Juan Carlos thanked his wife, Queen Sofia.
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