Spain's new king Felipe VI sworn in in muted ceremony

MADRID, June 19 Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:28am EDT

MADRID, June 19 (Reuters) - Spain's new king, Felipe VI, was sworn in on Thursday in a low-key ceremony which monarchists hope will usher in a new era of popularity for the troubled royal household.

Felipe became king after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated earlier this month following a series of scandals that led many Spaniards to question the role of the monarchy itself.

Hopes for the new king are high, and some believe that, despite his role being mainly symbolic as head of state, he will use his position to push dialogue over the challenge of a separatist movement in wealthy northeastern Catalonia. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Toby Chopra)