From Spain, a Warning to All Monarchs

From Spain, a Warning to All Monarchs

Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who until only recently was beloved by a vast majority of his subjects, announced Monday that he had decided to hand the crown to his eldest son. Within hours, before the sun even had time to set over the Iberian Peninsula, tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to demand a referendum on abolishing the monarchy altogether.

It was a head-snapping collapse in popular approval for a man who was once hailed as Europe’s most popular monarch and was considered without hyperbole as a savior of Spanish democracy.

And it comes as a cautionary tale for all royal families seeking to maintain their place by serving as a unifying frame to a democratic state.

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