Carlos I, the current king of Spain, was crowned on November 22, 1975. The
crowning of Juan Carlos restored democracy to Spain after the dictatorship of
Francisco Franco. Juan Carlos was born in 1938 in Rome.
In 1947 Franco announced
that Spain was a kingdom and that he had decided that Juan Carlos should one day
be king. (He is a grandson of King Alfonso XIII, who had been forced into exile
in 1931.) The future king was given a military education. He attended the
Instituto San Isidro in Madrid, the Navy Orphans’ College, and the Academia
General Militar at Saragossa.
He became a lieutenant in the army in 1957. He
then attended the Naval Academy in 1957 and 1958 and the Aviation Academy in
1959. In July 1969 the Spanish Cortes declared Juan Carlos “Prince of
Spain”. On February 23, 1981, Juan Carlos gained the respect of many
Literally millions of people were fallowing a part of the army, which
had kidnapped many government officials in order to overthrow the Democracy. The
King appeared on Spanish National TV in his General Captain military uniform,
and spoke out against the “coup”. Hours later, the coup’s plan failed.
This story shows how Juan Carlos saved democracy.
I had no prior knowledge of
Juan Carlos I, but he proved to be a very interesting person.