The Spanish Senate on Tuesday approved King Juan Carlos’s abdication, completing the final parliamentary procedure needed for the proclamation of Felipe VI as Spain’s next monarch.
The upper house of Spain’s Parliament voted 233-5, with 20 abstentions, to approve the abdication law, opening the way for the king’s son, Felipe de Borbon, to ascend to the throne on Thursday.
The lower house of Parliament voted by a wide majority last Wednesday to pass the law approving the king’s abdication.
King Juan Carlos will sign the law at a ceremony Wednesday that will be his last act as head of state after nearly 39 years on the throne.
The 46-year-old Crown Prince Felipe will be at the ceremony along with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who will ratify the last law approved by King Juan Carlos.
The “short and solemn” ceremony, which will be witnessed by 160 guests, will take place in the Hall of Columns at the Royal Palace in Madrid, the Royal Household said.
Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, Cabinet ministers and other high-level government officials will be present at the ceremony, the Royal Household said.
The 76-year-old King Juan Carlos will make his abdication official in the same hall where the treaty admitting Spain to the European Community was signed on June 12, 1985.
Juan Carlos ascended to the throne on Nov. 22, 1975, and Felipe de Borbon became Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish Crown, in January 1977.
Princess Leonor, the eldest daughter of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, will automatically become Princess of Asturias and heiress to the throne.
Once King Juan Carlos signs the law, it will be ready for publication in the Official Bulletin of the State, taking effect at the start of Thursday, June 19, when Felipe VI will become king of Spain and his eldest daughter, Leonor, will become Princess of Asturias.
Felipe VI will be proclaimed king of Spain before Parliament on Thursday morning in a ceremony that will be attended by the nearly 700 members of the lower house and Senate, the Cabinet and more than 100 special guests, such as the presidents of the regional governments and former prime ministers.
King Juan Carlos will not attend the proclamation ceremony in Parliament, but Queen Sofia and the new monarch’s daughters, Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Princess Sofia will be there.
Princess Elena and King Juan Carlos’s sisters, Pilar and Margarita, as well as the future Queen Letizia’s family, will attend the ceremony.
No addresses are planned by the new monarch or King Juan Carlos, but the government will read the content of the abdication law approved by Parliament.