King Juan Carlos I of Spain, whose abdication was announced today, has been a slightly more relaxed monarch than Queen Elizabeth II.
For example, it’s difficult to imagine the British monarch giving Steven Gerrard a big hug after winning a tournament for England, not that there’s much experience of that to go on. But that’s exactly what Juan Carlos I did for Spanish captain Iker Casillas in 2008.
The King also wasn’t above telling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “te callas” at at a conference in 2007. The full sentence, “Por que no te callas?” means “Why don’t you shut up”.
Chavez had accused the previous Spanish Prime Minister of being involved in an attempted coup d’etat against him in 2002.
Half a million people downloaded the rebuke as their ringtone around the world after barely a week.
Juan Carlos I is probably best known for helping the restoration of political reform and democracy after the death of long-term autocrat Francisco Franco. When a number of officers attempted to overthrow the elected government in 1982, the King backed the government and solidified his own position as a constitutional monarch.