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His Majesty the King JUAN CARLOS DE BORBON Y BORBON was born on January 5th 1938 in Rome where the Royal Family was living at that time having had to leave Spain when the Republic was proclaimed in 1931 His father Don Juan de Borbon y Battenberg Count of Barcelona and Head of the Spanish Royal Household ever since King Alfonso XIII had relinquished this status and his mother Dona Maria de las Mercedes de Borbon y Orleans At the express wish of his father he was educated in Spain which he visited for the first time at the age of ten In 1954 he completed his Baccalaureate at the San Isidro School in Madrid and in 1955 began his studies at the Academies and Military Colleges of the Army the Navy and the Air Force During this time he carried out his practice voyage as a midshipman on the training ship Juan Sebastian Elcano and qualified as a military pilot In 196061 he completed his education at Madrids Complutense University where he studied constitutional and international law economics and taxation On May 14th 1962 he married Princess Sofia of Greece the eldest daughter of King Paul I and Queen Federika in Athens After their honeymoon the Prince and Princess went to live at the Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid which is still their residence In 1963 the first of their three children Princess Elena was born followed two years later by Princess Cristina and finally in 1968 by Prince Felipe After his designation as future successor to the Head of State in 1969 he embarked on a series of official activities touring Spain and visiting many foreign countries including France the Federal Republic of Germany the United States Japan China and India On the death of the previous Head of State Francisco Franco Juan Carlos was proclaimed King on November 22nd 1975 In
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