MADRID Ė Spainís King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will retain their royal titles following the abdication of the monarch next week in favor of the coupleís 46-year-old son, who will reign as King Felipe VI.
The announcement was made Friday by Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria after the approval of a decree that regulates certain aspects of how members of the royal family are to be addressed.
In that regard, Juan Carlos and Sofia will be known for life by the honorary titles of king and queen and will have the status of majesty with honors analogous to those established for the heir to the throne and his or her spouse.
The decree also establishes that their place in the order of precedence will be immediately after the descendants of the future king, Felipe VI.
The descendants of the new monarch are Leonor, 8, and Sofia, 7.
Leonor will become princess of Asturias and heir to the throne when her father is crowned king next Thursday.
King Juan Carlos said last week that he began preparing to step down in January, when he turned 76.