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Tearful Spanish king quits throne

Published on Jun 19, 2014 1:09 AM

MADRID (AFP) - A teary-eyed King Juan Carlos sealed his abdication of the Spanish crown on Wednesday after a four-decade reign, clearing the throne for his 46-year-old son, Felipe VI.

The 76-year-old monarch signed the act of parliament ending his reign with a golden pen at a ceremony in Madrid's Royal Palace, then hugged his son, who will be sworn in on Thursday morning.

The embrace between the elderly king and his heir under the palace's chandeliers marked the first royal succession in Spain's post-Franco history.

Dressed in a dark blue suit and pink tie, Juan Carlos, who uses a cane following repeated hip operations, stood unaided during part of the ceremony but had to briefly hold Felipe's arm to steady himself.

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