King Juan Carlos will abdicate in favor of his son, Prince Felipe. The 76-year-old king had been dogged by a series of health problems and scandals.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the announcement Monday explaining the king was stepping down for personal reasons, but analysts took that to mean Juan Carlos was leaving the throne because he lost public support.
Until fairly recently the king’s popularity was high but a series of missteps coupled with poor economy had many calling for him to step aside. His reputation took a hit in 2012 when it was revealed he went on an expensive elephant hunting trip, at a time when Spain was in the middle of a recession and millions were unemployed.
Making things worse his daughter Princess Cristina and her husband are currently caught up in a long running investigation into their spending habits.