Spain's King Juan Carlos said he is abdicating to "ensure stability" in the country.
In a televised statement, he said: "My son [Crown Prince] Felipe, who is the heir to the throne, is the incarnation of stability.
"When I turned 76 in January, I decided it was the moment to prepare passing the baton to someone who can ensure stability".
He ended the broadcast with the words: "I will always hold Spain in the depths of my heart".
More top news
Anna Campbell, 26, from East Sussex, has died while fighting with a female Kurdish armed unit in Syria, her father said.
Port drugged and raped four young men and dumped their bodies near his home in Barking, east London.
Yann Arnaud,38, fell to his death in front of audiences during a show in Florida.