Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon Dos Sicilias is known as the savior of Spain and currently Spain's king. He was born January 5, 1938 in Rome Italy. Juan Carlos dismantled the Francoist regime and moved Spain closer to democracy. In 1978 a referendum established a constitutional monarchy and Carlos became the first reigning king since 1931. Carlos is considered the head of state and commander in chief of the Spanish Armed Forces. He is the president of the Ibero-American States Organization and represents over 700 million people in 24 member nations globally.
Carlos was educated in the naval school at Marin, Pontevedra, Air Force school in San Javier and he studied law and international political economy and public finance at Complutense University. Francisco Franco named Juan Carlos his successor believing that he could groom the young prince to maintain his dictator principles. However, Juan Carlos was secretly meeting with those who were fighting to bring liberal reform to Spain. October 30, 1975 Franco turned full control of the government to Juan Carlos. Carlos was anointed king on the 27th of November.
Carlos instituted reforms which displeased the military who expected Carlos to maintain the authoritarian state in Spain. Numerous scandals have rocked the monarchy of Carlos. His trip to Botswana to kill elephants, his reputed womanizing, and alleged corruption in conjunction with his son in law Inaki Urdangarin have placed the Spanish monarchy in a very bad light. However, historians call Juan Carlos the founding father of Spanish democracy.
Anti-royal protests have become common in recession battered Spain. The monarchy is becoming highly unpopular amount the younger generations. Still Carlos is the main force preventing a constitutional crisis with Catalonia.
Juan Carlos is married to Queen Sofia of Spain (married May 14, 1962 in Athens). She was originally a princess of Greece and Denmark. They have three children who are currently in line to the throne of Spain.