Spain's King Felipe VI (2nd L, back), Spain's Queen Letizia (3rd L, back) and Spanish Crown Princess of Asturias Leonor (1st L, front) and Spanish Princess Sofia (2nd L, front) pose for photos prior to the new king's succession ceremony in Madrid, Spain, June 19, 2014. Felipe VI was crowned on Thursday at the lower house of parliament. (Xinhua/Xie Haining)
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MADRID, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbon y Grecia was proclaimed King of Spain on Thursday at the Spanish parliament in a solemn ceremony.
Felipe VI, who became King since midnight after his father sanctioned on Wednesday evening the law on his abdication, received the royal sash from his father, Juan Carlos, at 9:30 local time (0730 GMT) at the Palace of Zarzuela.
Half an hour later, Felipe VI and Letizia, the new Queen, drove to the Spanish Congress along with their daughters, the Princess of Asturias, Leonor, and her sister Infanta Sofia.
Many citizens gathered in the road to greet the new monarch on their way to the parliament and many more were awaiting the arrival of them at the Spanish parliament.
All the operation was carried out under tight security measures as around 7,000 members of the country's security forces watched over the proclamation.
The monarch arrived at the Congress at 10:30 local time (0830 GMT), where the King received military honors and the national anthem was played before the King, the Queen, the Princess of Asturias, her sister and Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy got inside the parliament.
Former king of Spain, Juan Carlos, did not assist to the ceremony as according to the Royal House, the spotlight should rest on the new King on Thursday and on the former King on Wednesday, when Juan Carlos sanctioned the law on his abdication.
The ceremony was attended by lawmakers, high-level politicians and also some members of the King's family. No foreign leaders have been invited to the ceremony.
After swearing loyalty to Spain's constitution, the new King began his speech paying tribute to his father, former King Juan Carlos I, for his "exceptional reign" that was already part of Spain's history, and also to his mother, former Queen Sofia for "her dignity and hard work".
Felipe VI highlighted the fact that the parliamentary monarchy must continue to serve Spain, defending general interests and representing stability and neutrality.
He defended the idea of "a new monarchy for a new era" and the unity of Spain.
After the proclamation, the new King and his wife drove through some of the most emblematic streets in the heart of Madrid to the Palacio de Oriente.
The streets were lined with people to greet the new King and Queen, while around 8,000 people were at the square of the Palacio de Oriente.
Felipe VI, his wife Letizia, their children, and former King Juan Carlos and Sofia saluted the crowds from the palace's balcony.
Afterwards, there was a reception at the Palace with around 2,000 guests from all walks of society.