MADRID (AP) -- Spain's new King Felipe VI has taken part in the first official act of his reign, receiving the red sash of Captain General of the Armed Forces from his father Juan Carlos.

Felipe is being formally proclaimed monarch Thursday after 76-year-old Juan Carlos abdicated.

Felipe was to swear an oath at a ceremony with lawmakers in Parliament in front of Spain's 18th-century crown and 17th-century scepter.

After a brief military parade, King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia were to drive through Madrid in a Rolls Royce before appearing before crowds at a balcony in the royal palace.

The ceremony will be low-key so as not to clash with the tough times most Spaniards have had to cope with as the country emerges from a severe economic crisis.


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