Photo: King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia
Felipe VI was sworn in and proclaimed king of Spain before Parliament on Thursday in a ceremony in the lower house of the legislature.
The speaker of the lower house of Parliament, Jesus Posada, swore in the new monarch, who received a long round of applause from the lawmakers and officials present for the ceremony.
Felipe VI then delivered the first address of his reign, expressing the gratitude and respect of the Crown toward Parliament, which is holder of national sovereignty.
The 46-year-old king said he was starting his reign “with deep emotion over the honor that it is to assume the Crown, aware of the responsibility it entails and with the greatest of hopes for the future of Spain.”
Felipe VI said he wanted to express his “gratitude and respect” toward his father, Juan Carlos de Borbon, who signed the legislation making his abdication official on Wednesday.
The new king said his father’s reign had been “exceptional” and the 76-year-old Juan Carlos leaves “an extraordinary political legacy” by having been “king of all the Spaniards.”
Felipe VI also praised his mother, Queen Sofia, thanking her for “a lifetime of outstanding work in the service of Spaniards.”
Spain’s new king said he would be a head of state who was “loyal and willing to listen, to understand, to observe and to advise, and to always defend the general interests.”
Felipe VI said the Crown must continually win the regard, respect and confidence of citizens, serving as a guarantor of “moral authority,” and it must “safeguard the dignity of the institution, preserve its prestige and act with integrity, honesty and transparency.”
“Today, more than ever, citizens demand with good reason that moral and ethical principles be upheld, and that exemplariness preside over our public life. And the king, as the head of state, must not only be an example, but also a servant to that just and legitimate demand of the citizens,” King Felipe VI said.