Juan Carlos I

King of Spain Juan Carlos I Full Name: Juan Carlos I


Profession: King of Spain
Why Famous: Born in Rome during his family's exile, Juan Carlos was named as the successor to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco over his father. He became the King on 22 November 1975 after Franco's death two days earlier, and the monarchy was thus restored.

Though he was expected by many to continue Franco's fascist and dictatorial policies, Juan Carlos is instead credited with beginning and supporting the Spanish transition to democracy, which culminated in a general election in 1977 and a new constitution in 1978. An attempted coup was put down by the King in 1981.

Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 after a series of scandals surrounding him and his family, particularly an extravagant elephant hunting trip to Botswana in the middle of a severe recession in Spain, which significantly damaged his popularity and legitimacy. He was succeeded by his son, Felipe VI.

Born: January 5, 1938 (80 years old)
Star Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Famous Kings