On Friday, July 14, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain completed a three-day State Visit to the U.K. Even though this was the Spanish monarchs first-ever state visit, they excelled in fashion, diplomacy, and elegance. Before we look at a few of my favorite photos from the State Visit, let’s see how the two royal families are related.
Both the British and Spanish royal families descend from both Queen Victoria and Christian IX of Denmark. Queen Victoria’s great-grandson was Paul I of Greece, the father of Spain’s Queen Sofia who married her cousin, King Juan Carlos. They are the parents of the current Spanish monarch, King Felipe. Although the blood lines have intermingled to a confusing extent over time, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia are all related – having all descended from Queen Victoria.
Here are some of my favorite photos.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Spanish Royals left Spain and were greeted on behalf of Queen Elizabeth by The Viscount Brookeborough, Lord-in-Waiting.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall greeted the Spanish King and Queen on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, at their Hotel on Wednesday morning. Their Royal Highnesses then traveled with Their Majesties to Horse Guards Parade, where The King and Queen received a Ceremonial Welcome.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh formally welcomed The King and Queen on Horse Guards Parade. Presentations were made, the Guard of Honour gave a Royal Salute and the Spanish National Anthem was played. The King, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, inspected the Guard of Honour. Afterward, The King and Queen joined The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh for a state carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
Following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, given by The Queen, Her Majesty invited The King and Queen of Spain to view an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to Spain.
In the afternoon The King and The Queen met The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall for tea at Clarence House.
Afterward, The King and Queen visited the Palace of Westminster, where they were welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The King delivered an Address in the Royal Gallery to Parliamentarians and other guests, followed by a reception with Members and invited guests.
In the evening The Queen gave a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace for The King and Queen. The Queen and The King made speeches at the start of the banquet. Letizia looked absolutely gorgeous. Her Majesty wore the Fleur de Lys tiara – the most prominent diadem that the Spanish royal family possesses. It is affectionately named the “La Buena,” or “The Good One” by the royal family. The tiara is one of the joyas de pasar, a collection of jewels designated by Queen Ena in her will for the select use of Spanish queens. The large diamond earrings and the weighty diamond bracelet that Letizia also wore are part of that group as well.
Letizia’s red gown was designed by Spanish designer Felipe Varela. Queen Letizia was decorated with the Order of Carlos II and King Felipe proudly wore his new Order of the Garter, bestowed upon by Queen Elizabeth earlier in the day.
And the menu? The banquet menu began with poached fillet of salmon trout with fennel. It was followed by a medallion of Scottish beef with bone marrow and truffles, with a sauce made from Madeira, and a dark chocolate and raspberry tart for dessert. Don’t you just love all these details?
Thursday, July 13, 2017
The King attended a UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House, accompanied by The Duke of York. Speeches were made by The King and the Secretary of State for International Trade.
The King and Queen of Spain visited Westminster Abbey, accompanied by HRH Prince Henry of Wales. The King laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior while prayers were said by the Dean, and then they were taken on a short tour of the Abbey, including the Tomb of Eleanor of Castile.
Their Majesties went on to the Spanish Ambassador’s Residence for a reception with members of the Spanish Community.
Later, The King visited No. 10 Downing Street and met with Prime Minister Theresa May.
In the evening, The King and Queen, were joined by The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and attended a Banquet at Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor and The King both made speeches at the end of the banquet. Queen Letizia looked majestic in a sapphire blue asymmetric off-the-shoulder draped gown with a slender silhouette. The gown was from the Italian fashion house of Armani.
Friday, July 14, 2017
The King and Queen of Spain formally bid farewell to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in the morning.
Thereafter, their Majesties, accompanied by The Duke of York, visited the Francis Crick Institute. They were met by Chief Executive, Sir Paul Nurse, and toured the institute, met members of the Spanish scientific community working in the UK.
The King and Queen went on to the Weston Library where they were greeted by The Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of Oxford University. Their Majesties viewed an exhibition of Spanish treasures from the Oxford University archive then proceeded to The Divinity School for lunch at which The King gave a speech.
After lunch The King and Queen arrived at Exeter College, home of the King Alfonso XIII Professorship of Spanish Studies and the Queen Sofía Fellowship in Spanish, where they attended a reception for Spanish nationals working and studying at the University and members of the University who are studying, researching and teaching on Spain.
At the end of the Spanish State Visit, the Lord Chamberlain bid farewell to The King and Queen on behalf of The Queen. Their Majesties departed privately from London from RAF Brize Norton.
Undoubtedly, the state visit was a huge success for both royal houses and countries. The three days were filled with military parade, glamour and statesmanship. Well done, Felipe and Letizia.