Juan Carlos de Bourbon y Bourbon (January 5, 1938) was the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014. He took the crown at the end of the Franco era, and was instrumental in guiding the country towards Democracy, but also towards Socialism. Because of these machinations, he commanded respect among the majority of Spanish Socialists and Liberalists.
The Spanish monarch's role in the government of Spain is mainly symbolic, in a similar way to the monarchy of the United Kingdom. Like the British monarch the Spanish one has the right to sign or veto bills, appoint or dismiss the government and dissolve the lower house of the parliament (in Spain the "Cortes Generales"). After the unsuccessfull francoist putsch of 1981 Juan Carlos never used one of these powers again. He signed both the bill which allows abortion in any case and the bill legalizing "same-sex marriage". When a journalist asked him, if he would veto the "same-sex marriage" law, Juan Carlos negated and began mocking King Baudouin of Belgium for refusing signing a bill which would allow abortion in Belgium.
Juan Carlos is the grandson of King Alfonso XIII. He was born in Rome, Italy in 1938 and went to Spain to further his studies in 1947. In 1955 Carlos entered the General Military Academy at Zaragoza followed by the Naval Military School at Marín in Pontevedra, the General Academy of the Air at San Javier in Murcia, and the University of Madrid. In 1969 Francisco Franco decided to restore the monarchy, but didn't know that Juan Carlos would betray him. Two days after Franco’s death in 1975 Carlos took the throne. On June 2, 2014 he announced his resignation.