The Guardian

Archive, October 1975: Juan Carlos takes over power from dying Franco

As General Franco lay critically ill, his dictatorship effectively ended with the news that heir-designate Prince Carlos was taking over as provisional head of state. See how the Guardian reported events
General Franco and Juan Carlos, 1975. Photograph: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Prince takes reins from dying Franco

by Walter Schwarz
31 October 1975

Spain has a new head of state, although General Franco is still alive. Prince Juan Carlos, the designated successor, today took over power “provisionally” – while Franco was lying critically ill with a weak heart, stomach bleeding, and Parkinson’s disease.

The prime minister, Señor Arias, said tonight that the 37-year-old Prince had agreed to the “temporary” takeover, a course which he had strenuously resisted throughout Franco’s long illness. The Prince seems to have been finally persuaded during a meeting lasting an hour with Señor Arias today.

The Prince will preside as Provisional Head of State at the weekly cabinet meeting tomorrow. Reliable reports said he had already been sworn in by Señor Rodríguez de Valcárcel, president of Parliament and of the Council of the Realm.

It is not known

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