By 233 votes against five, and twenty abstentions, the Spanish Senate on Tuesday passed the bill authorising King Juan Carlos's abdication. The King will sign it into law in a ceremony at the Royal Palace at 6 p.m. today, in the presence of some 150 guests, and it will take effect once it is published in the official legal gazette. As there is no longer a print version of this gazette, but only an online version, it is not quite clear when this will actually happen, but one Spanish newspaper reports that it will happen at midnight.
Prince Felipe, who will then succeed to the throne as King Felipe VI, will be invested with the sash of Captain General of the armed forces by his father at the Zarzuela Palace at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday and will thereafter travel to Parliament, where King Felipe will be sworn in in the chamber of the Congress of Deputies. His wife and two daughters will be present, as will Queen Sofía and the Princesses Elena, Pilar and Margarita, but not King Juan Carlos, who stays away to avoid drawing attention away from the new monarch.
After the swearing-in the new King will take the salute at a military parade in front of Parliament before he and Queen Letizia drive through Madrid to the Royal Palace, where King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía will join them on the balcony to greet the crowds. Around 1 p.m. the new King and Queen will host a reception for some 2,000 guests at the Palace.
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