Felipe VI sworn in as Spain’s new King

MOSCOW, June 19 (PNA/RIA Novosti) — The new king of Spain, Felipe VI, has been proclaimed head of state after being sworn in by both houses of the country’s parliament Thursday.

“I swear to carry out my duties faithfully, to conserve and ensure the conservation of the constitution and the law and to respect the rights of the citizens and regions,” Felipe said before the parliamentary chamber.

“I have great hope for the future of Spain. It’s a great nation in which I believe, which I love and admire and whose destiny has been intertwined with my destiny since I was born,” the newly crowned king added.

The king also paid tribute to the service of his parents, the former King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Palacio de las Cortes in Madrid, where the lower house of the Spanish parliament, the Congress of Deputies, meets.

The 76-year-old Juan Carlos announced his abdication on June 2, and signed it late Wednesday. The former king had been having health problems for some time and his son had stepped into his role for official functions.

Juan Carlos I became King on November 22, 1975, two days after death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Soon after being crowned, Juan Carlos introduced reforms to dismantle the Francoist regime and begin the Spanish transition to democracy. This led to the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 in a referendum, which established a constitutional monarchy. (PNA/RIA Novosti)