UK & World News
Spain's New King Felipe VI Officially Sworn In
Felipe VI has been officially sworn in as the new king of Spain at the country's parliament following the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos.
The swearing-in ceremony lacked the usual pomp and ceremony associated with a royal coronation in recognition of the hardship being endured by many Spaniards in austere times.
The 46-year-old, wearing military uniform with a sash, took an oath of loyalty to Spain's constitution before giving an address.
"We have a great country. We should all be proud of being Spaniards," Felipe, who officially ascended to the throne at midnight, said at the ceremony.
Felipe promised "a renewed monarchy for new times", after scandals tainted his father's reign.
To shouts of "Viva el Rey (Long live the king)!", Felipe said: "Today, more than ever, the people rightly demand our public lives be guided by... moral and ethical principles."
He ended his speech by saying "thank you" in three Spanish regional languages - Catalan, Basque and Galician - where independence movements are strongest.
Felipe, a former Olympic yachtsman, was then honoured with a military parade before being driven through the sunny streets of central Madrid with his wife, Queen Letizia, a former journalist.
Thousands of supporters lined the streets and cheered the king - the occasion providing a welcome distraction to Spaniards reeling from their team's shock exit from the World Cup.
The newly crowned king, his wife and their daughters, Princesses Leonor, 8, and Sofia, 7, then greeted crowds from the balcony of the Royal Palace with other members of the royal family.
Felipe†later disappeared to host an afternoon reception at the Royal Palace with 2,000 guests from all walks of society.
His father did not attend the swearing-in ceremony so as not to distract attention from the new monarch, according to the palace.
Monarchists hope Felipe becoming king will bring in a new era for the troubled royal household.
He has remained untouched by a royal corruption scandal, in which his brother-in-law is charged with embezzling millions of euros of public funds in a case that shocked the public.
The outgoing king, credited with helping the country's transition to democracy, also lost favour after going on a secret elephant hunting trip at the height of Spain's recession.
Although polls show the decision to hand over to Felipe has boosted the popularity of the royals, nearly two thirds now also support the idea of a referendum on whether Spain should continue to be a constitutional monarchy.