Spain's King Juan Carlos leaves after the official opening of the Parliament, in Madrid on Dec. 27, 2011.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza—AP
By Per Liljas
June 2, 2014

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced that King Juan Carlos I will abdicate.

The 76-year-old monarch has seen his popularity wane in recent years, following an investigation into his son-in-law’s alleged corruption and a storm of criticism for the King’s high-flying lifestyle.

Calls for Juan Carlos’ abdication have been raised since 2012, when he publicly apologized for going on an elephant hunt in Botswana in the midst of Spain’s grueling economic crisis.

Juan Carlos’ son Felipe will assume the role as new head of the state.

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