Spain’s Juan Carlos: Once popular former king goes into exile amid scandal

Former king Juan Carlos, who has decided to leave Spain six years after his abdication amid a series of scandals,…

Former king Juan Carlos, who has decided to leave Spain six years after his abdication amid a series of scandals, was a popular monarch for most of his four-decade reign who played a critical role in the country’s transition to democracy.

Born in Rome in 1938 to exiled pretender to the Spanish throne Don Juan and Maria de las Mercedes de Borbon y Orleans, he was caught up in a power game as Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco proclaimed support for the monarchy while striving to keep a grip on power.