Spain Crowns Its New King

Felipe becomes king as nation exits World Cup

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 19, 2014 5:19 AM CDT | Updated Jun 19, 2014 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Spain's Prince Felipe became King Felipe VI at midnight as the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos, became official. The occasion was fairly low-key, with no foreign heads of state present and no huge state banquet, which the palace says was "in keeping with the criteria of austerity that the times recommend," the AP reports. The 46-year-old king was later proclaimed head of state in a parliamentary ceremony where he promised to be a monarch "who is ready listen and understand, warn and advise as well as to defend the public interest at all times," the BBC reports.

The new king spoke of the need to "look ahead to the Spain we are building together as I begin this reign," reports CNN, which notes that while the monarchy remains popular in Spain, the royal family has been accused of corruption and excess during the country's economic crisis—and Juan Carlos' image suffered after he went on a luxurious elephant-hunting trip in the middle of the recession. Felipe and his wife, who is now Queen Letizia, will be driven through the streets of Madrid before appearing at the palace but they may find that many Spaniards aren't in the mood for cheering: The country's soccer team, which won the World Cup in 2010, crashed out of the tournament last night with a 2-0 loss to Chile.

Spain's King Juan Carlos, right, talks to his son after handing over his military chief sash to him during a ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain.
Spain's King Juan Carlos, right, talks to his son after handing over his military chief sash to him during a ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Zipi, Pool)
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI, left, accompanied by Queen Letizia, waves as they arrive at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain today.
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI, left, accompanied by Queen Letizia, waves as they arrive at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain today.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Spain's newly crowned King Felipe VI listens to the national anthem next to his wife and their two daughters.
Spain's newly crowned King Felipe VI listens to the national anthem next to his wife and their two daughters.   (AP Photo/Sergio Barrenechea, Pool)
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI waves to the crowd as King Juan Carlos is kissed by Queen Sofia at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI waves to the crowd as King Juan Carlos is kissed by Queen Sofia at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Laura Leon)
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI waves as he rides in an open-top Rolls Royce during his arrival at the Royal Palace in Madrid, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI waves as he rides in an open-top Rolls Royce during his arrival at the Royal Palace in Madrid, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI reviews troops at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain, Thursday June 19, 2014.
Spain’s newly crowned King Felipe VI reviews troops at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain, Thursday June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia wave to the crowd on a balcony of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia wave to the crowd on a balcony of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Spain's King Felipe VI is sworn in as the new Spanish King during ceremony at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
Spain's King Felipe VI is sworn in as the new Spanish King during ceremony at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/J. J. Guillen, Pool)
The crown is seen during the swearing-in ceremony of Spain's King Felipe VI at the Spanish Parliament, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
The crown is seen during the swearing-in ceremony of Spain's King Felipe VI at the Spanish Parliament, on Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
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