The rise and fall of Juan Carlos: Is the Spanish monarchy in peril?

The royal family of Spain.
The royal family of Spain. © France 24 screengrab

Appointed by the late dictator, Francisco Franco, as next in line to the Spanish throne, Juan Carlos I was long respected as the king of Spain’s democratic transition. But today, he may turn out to be the cause of the monarchy’s downfall. Money laundering, tax evasion, suspicious gifts ... the scandals never seem to stop.


In 2014, Juan Carlos relinquished the throne, and in August this year he went into self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates. Discredited and vulnerable, Spain’s monarchy is now supported only by a minority.

But it would be difficult for the country to eliminate the institution: "Right at the heart of the Spanish constitution, [the king] is protected by a sort of shield which makes it very difficult to remove him," lawmaker Gloria Elizo says.

Our reporters took to the streets to test the temperature of Spain’s sentiments towards the monarchy.

Click on the player to watch the full FRANCE 24 report

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