Progressive ruler of Spain who rose to power following the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. He notably stepped away from the authoritarian policies of the Francoist regime and began to transition Spain towards democracy. He abdicated the throne in 2014.
He attended military academy, naval school, and air force school while growing up to gain training and experience. Franco made him the Prince of Spain in 1969.
He oversaw Spain's first post-Franco democratic elections and helped promulgate a new constitution.
Felipe VI of Spain, Juan Carlos's son, became king in 2014 following Juan Carlos's abdication.