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Princess Anne to become first royal to visit Gibraltar House

Princess Anne will set a precedent by becoming the first member of the Royal Family to visit Gibraltar House in London.

The Princess Royal will attend a reception hosted by the Gibraltar Government ahead of the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival, of which she is a patron.

Also referred to as Representative of Gibraltar, Gibraltar House is the diplomatic mission of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. This year it will hold the fifth edition of the festival from 16 to 19 November.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo welcomed the news and said, “We should be very honoured that Her Royal Highness has agreed to attend a reception for the second time in her role as Patron.

“Of great significance is that the Princess Royal will be the first member of the Royal Family to visit Gibraltar House in London.

“I’m delighted to be able to welcome Her Royal Highness to our home in the United Kingdom.

“The Princess Royal’s commitment to the Festival is a reflection of the quality of this event and the product of a dedicated team of hardworking people both in Gibraltar and in the UK that make this happen.”

The Princess Royal has paid several visits to Gibraltar over the years. Her first trip was in 1954, accompanying her mother on Her Majesty’s only visit to the Rock.

In 2009, Princess Anne returned to open a military clinic bearing her name, prompting a protest by the Spanish government and parliament, which described the visit as ‘annoying.’

Britain and Spain have been at odds over who controls Gibraltar, which was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Gibraltarians have over the years expressed their wish to remain under UK rule, namely in the 1967 and 2002 referendums.

The Queen herself tackled the subject during a royal visit by the Spanish King Felipe VI when she said that the two countries did not always see “eye to eye.”

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