On Monday, the press service of the royal court reported that His Most Catholic Majesty King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain celebrated their “golden” wedding anniversary with a quiet family affair; they plan no public events on the occasion. Over a month ago, King Juan Carlos decided that a modest celebration of their 50th anniversary of their marriage would be appropriate; it had nothing to do with the incident during his hunting trip to Botswana, where he broke his hip. In honour of the event, the Royal House released a media CD-ROM, which includes photographs showing the most significant events of the 50 years of the marriage of Juan Carlos and Sofía. The Spanish media noted that the king didn’t fulfil the promise he gave to the 17 Spanish couples who have registered their marriages in the same office with Juan Carlos and Sofía on 14 May 1962. During the celebration of his “silver” wedding anniversary, Juan Carlos invited these couples to the celebration, and he publicly stated, “Even if I’m on crutches, you’re all invited to our ‘golden’ wedding anniversary”.
King Juan Carlos I of Spain was born on 5 January 1938 in Rome, where the Spanish royal family lived in exile after the proclamation of the Spanish Republic in 1931. At the request of his father, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, Juan Carlos was educated in Spain, which he first visited at the age of 10. In 1954, he received his baccalaureate at the San Isidro Institute in Madrid; he then continued his education, training at the three military academies, becoming a military pilot, and training on a naval ship. In 1960-1961, he continued his studies at the Complutense University, where he studied Law, International Political Economy, and Public Finance. On 14 May 1962, Juan Carlos married Princess Sofía in Athens, Greece; she was the eldest daughter of King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece. The couple had two marriage ceremonies, first, in a Catholic service, and, then, an Orthodox rite. 137 members of European royal houses, including five kings and seven queens, attended their wedding. A year later, in 1963, Sofía gave birth to Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, and, two years later, she bore another daughter, Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. Only in 1968 did the royal couple receive a son, Felipe, Prince of Asturias, who became the heir to the royal throne.
14 May 2012