Prince Felipe battles to revive Spanish royal image
MADRID (Reuters) - Crown Prince Felipe will take his ailing father's place saluting military officers at Spain's national day parade on Saturday as expectations rise he may soon take over the troubled throne.
King Juan Carlos, 75, is recovering from hip surgery, his fifth operation in two years, and will miss the annual parade for the first time.
Palace officials say he does not want to abdicate. But public pressure is mounting as his health and image deteriorate.
Prince Felipe, 45, faces an uphill battle to win back Spaniards, who have soured on royals and political leaders during an economic crisis aggravated by corruption scandals and a widening gap between rich and poor.