Juan Carlos: Spain's monarch abdicates

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MALAGA, Spain — Spanish King Juan Carlos always said that he would die wearing his crown but he unexpectedly stepped down Monday in favor of his son Crown Prince Felipe, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced in a nationwide television broadcast.

The abdication 39 years after Juan Carlos ascended to the throne, a period when the king oversaw Spain's transition to democracy in the wake of the nation's notorious dictator Francisco Franco, comes as corruption scandals have dogged the royal family, and as the monarchy has seen renewed calls for its disbandment.

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