As it happened: Spanish King Juan Carlos I to abdicate

Key points

  • King of Spain Juan Carlos is abdicating
  • Crown Prince Felipe is to take over the throne
  • A constitutional amendment will be proposed to allow the abdication to happen
  • The 76-year-old has had health problems in recent years
  • His popularity has fallen following corruption scandals and gaffes
  • All times in BST (GMT +1)

Live text

Reporting:

  • Victoria Park 
  • Alexandra Fouché 
  • Yaroslav Lukov 
  • Helier Cheung 

Last updated 2 June 2014

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Hello and welcome to the BBC's coverage of Spanish King Juan Carlos I's decision to abdicate.

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the announcement in a televised address. He said a new constitutional amendment would be proposed to allow for the abdication to happen.

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"His Majesty King Juan Carlos has just informed me of his desire to renounce the throne and begin the process of succession," Mr Rajoy said in his address.

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Mr Rajoy praised Juan Carlos as a "tireless defender" of Spain's interests, describing him as "the best spokesman for the monarchy".

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"I'm convinced this is the best moment for change," Mr Rajoy added.

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File photo: King Juan Carlos Juan Carlos popularity has fallen in recent years following a number of gaffes and corruption scandals

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The king has had health problems in recent years, and is stepping down for personal reasons, Mr Rajoy said.

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Juan Carlos (left) shakes hands with Mariano Rajoy, 2 June 2014 This photo released by the Spanish royal household shows the king handing over his abdication letter to Mr Rajoy on Monday morning

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The king had been considering ceding the throne to his son, Crown Prince Felipe, for some time, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports.

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