Spain's King Felipe VI and Spain's Queen Letizia pose on the balcony of the Palacio de Oriente or Royal Palace in Madrid, following a swearing in ceremony of Spain's new King before both houses of parliament June 19, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL RIOPA)
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Spain's new king, Felipe VI, was sworn in Thursday in a relatively modest ceremony which monarchists hope will usher in a new era of popularity for the troubled royal household.He called immediately for Spain to stay united but respect the cultural differences among its regions, ending a speech by saying "thank you" in four languages: Castilian Spanish, Basque, Catalan and Galician. Felipe became king after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated earlier this month following a series of scandals that led many Spaniards -- especially younger generations -- to question the role of the monarchy itself. One of the biggest challenges for Felipe will be whether he can use his symbolic role to spur dialogue between the leaders of Spain and the wealthy northeastern region of Catalonia, where there is a growing independence movement. King-to-be Felipe has remained untouched by a royal corruption scandal, in which his brother-in-law is charged with embezzling millions of Euros of public funds in a case that shocked ordinary Spaniards.
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