Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
category header The Royals

News/ 

King Felipe VI Becomes New King of Spain Following His Father's Nearly 40-Year Reign

Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias, King Felipe VI of Spain, Queen Letizia of Spain and Princess Sofia Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Spain has a new top leader!

At the stroke of midnight earlier today, Felipe VI became the new king of Spain after his father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated the throne on Wednesday. King Felipe VI was sworn in earlier today during a ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace outside Madrid. Felipe received the royal sash from his father and participated in a swearing in ceremony in front of Spanish Congress members, officials and his family. 

After being named king, Felipe gave a speech and honored his father, who's been king of Spain for almost 40 years (Juan Carlos became the leader back in November 1975).

VIDEO: Prince George walks (sorta)!

Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias, King Felipe VI of Spain, Queen Letizia of Spain and Princess Sofia Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

"This is a nation in which I believe, a nation I love and a nation I admire, a nation whose destiny has been intertwined with my destiny since I was born," the 46-year-old new king stated. "And now, as king of Spain, again with great emotion, it is a great honor for me to be here today and I would like to pay my respects to my father."

Felipe also promised his solidarity with the people of Spain, who are suffering from economic hardships (and being eliminated from the World Cup yesterday).

Felipe and his family, including wife Queen Letizia and their daughters Leonor and Sofía, then stood on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Madrid and waved to the thousands of fans who gathered in honor of the celebration.

PHOTOS: Kate Middleton's sportiest moments!

RELATED VIDEOS:

FROM AROUND THE WEB
MORE ON EONLINE
Elizabeth Hurley and One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn dish on the dramatic new series!