A traditional British welcome! King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, Royal visit to London to a DOWNPOUR after an elegant royal send off in Madrid in glorious sunshine their first state visit to the UK.
The visit is seen as an important step in securing relations with Spain as the UK leaves the EU
The Spanish royals will be formally greeted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on Horse Guards Parade today Wednesday 12th of July 2017. The state visit is seen as an important step in securing relations with Spain as the UK leaves the EU. The last incoming state visit by a Spanish king – Felipe’s father Juan Carlos – was 31 years ago.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia’s trip was postponed twice – firstly because of a political crisis in Spain in March 2016 and then again when the rescheduled date clashed with June’s snap general election.
The Royal tour will see the King and Queen enjoy a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, afternoon tea at Clarence House and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace tonight with a host of faces from the royal family. The Duke of York will accompany the King at UK-Spain Business Forum in the Mansion House. The Spanish royals will also visit Westminster Abbey escorted by Prince Harry, and they’ll also meet Prime Minister, Theresa May at No. 10 Downing Street.
The Spanish royals, Felipe and Letizia, are staying at Buckingham Palace, will attend a grand state banquet in the ballroom tonight – with Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also expected to participate. It will be the first time full-time royal Harry, who is 32, has taken part in a state visit.
King Felipe will today deliver an address at Westminster from the Royal Gallery to parliamentarians, where he is expected to raise the thorny issue of Gibraltar! He will go on to meet Mrs May for talks at Downing Street on Thursday.
King Felipe, in a speech Last September to the UN General Assembly in New York, called for a negotiated handover of what Gibraltarians affectionately call ‘the Rock’. He said’I invite the UK, on this first occasion at the UN after Brexit, to end the the colonial anachronism of Gibraltar with an agreed solution between both countries to restore the territorial integrity of Spain,’ he declared.
The future of Gibraltar is likely to be a major point of contention in the British EU exit talks with the EU offering Spain a right of veto over the relationship between Gibraltar and the EU.
It comes after the European Union’s court of justice ruled that Gibraltar and the United Kingdom can be treated as a single EU member for certain aspects of EU law, a finding that could complicate the territory’s hopes of winning an individual status after Brexit.
The Duke of Edinburgh will formally welcome The King and Queen on Horse Guards Parade. Presentations will be made, the Guard of Honour will give a Royal Salute, and the Spanish National Anthem will be played. The King, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will inspect the Guard of Honour, which will be the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. Afterwards, The King and Queen will join The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh for a state carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.