Spain still has a king, but the king’s power is restrained by law.
The current ruler is King Juan Carlos I, who succeeded Franco upon the dictator’s death in 1975. Born in 1938, Juan Carlos helped Spain make the transition from autocratic to democratic rule.
As a constitutional monarchy, the country is governed by the Cortes, or parliament.
Spain has been without a monarch for only three periods since Christopher Columbus’s day, during the first republic (1873-1874), the second republic (1931-1939), and Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975).