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Spaniards Rally in Support of Monarchy in Capital

Image: Dozens of demonstrators gather and wave Spanish flags around the monument of Charles III, a former King of Spain, during a demonstration in support of the Spanish Monarchy in the main square of Madrid, Spain
Demonstrators gather and wave Spanish flags around the monument of Charles III, a former King of Spain, during a demonstration in support of the Spanish Monarchy in the main square of Madrid, Spain, on June 6. Andres Kudacki / AP

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered and waved Spanish flags around the monument of Charles III, a former King of Spain, during a demonstration in support of the Spanish Monarchy in the landmark Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid Friday.

King Juan Carlos plans to abdicate the throne and pave the way for his son, Crown Prince Felipe, to become the country's next king.

The 76-year-old Juan Carlos oversaw his country's transition from dictatorship to democracy but has had repeated health problems in recent years. His popularity also dipped following royal scandals, including an elephant-shooting trip he took in the middle of Spain's financial crisis that tarnished the monarch's image.

Image: Dozens of demonstrators gather and wave Spanish flags around the monument of Charles III, a former King of Spain, during a demonstration in support of the Spanish Monarchy in the main square of Madrid, Spain
Demonstrators wave Spanish flags around the monument of Charles III during a demonstration in the main square of Madrid, Spain, on June 6. Andres Kudacki / AP