Protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid, Barcelona and other cities across Spain to demand a vote on whether to rid Spain of its royal family.
The protests came after Spain's King Juan Carlos, who led the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced scandals during the nation's near financial collapse, announced on Monday he would abdicate in favor of his son, Felipe, making way for a "new generation."
Prince Felipe, 46, a former Olympic yachtsman, would take the title King Felipe IV.
Far-left parties called for a national referendum to abolish Spain's monarchy after the king made his announcement.
Juan Carlos has been on the throne for nearly 40 years and was a hero to many for shepherding Spain's smooth transition to democracy after the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
Juan Carlos' popularity took a blow after royal scandals, including one involving an extravagant elephant-hunting trip to Botswana that he took in 2012 at the height of Spain's financial crisis.
The trip, which came to light after he broke his right hip and was flown home for surgery, undermined the king's earlier declarations that he lost sleep thinking about unemployed young people.
Juan Carlos' daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, are under investigation for corruption.
A poll published in Spanish newspaper El Mundo in January showed that almost two-thirds of Spaniards wanted Juan Carlos to step down. Younger Spaniards, who were not alive during the Franco years, were overwhelmingly in favor of the idea.
However, a majority of Spaniards interviewed in the study supported his heir Felipe, believing he could restore the family's prestige.
Al Jazeera and wire services