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Elizabeth to welcome King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain during UK State Visit

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will be making a State Visit to the UK next March.

The couple will be staying at Windsor Castle during their stay from 8-10 March 2016, making this the first Spanish state visit to the United Kingdom since 1986 when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh last visited Spain in 1988.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were hosted by Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia for a three-day official visit in 2011 and a few weeks later Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia travelled to London for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

In June 2014, Felipe, 47, acceded the throne after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated. It was the first royal transition in Spain since democracy was put back into place in the 1970s.

Juan Carlos reigned over Spain for 39 years and was praised for his help in restoring democracy, however his reputation was tarnished when he went on a high-end African elephant-hunting safari while the rest of Spain was dealing with an economic crisis.

King Felipe’s sister, Cristina also has lent her hand in ruining the reputation of the royal family. Cristina has been accused of tax fraud, she denies all wrongdoing but is due to go on trial in January.

Simon Manley, the British Ambassador to Spain spoke of the announcement of the State Visit:

“The British government is delighted that Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have accepted the invitation from Her Majesty The Queen,

“This State Visit will celebrate not only the long and deep royal and historic ties between our two countries, but also our strong relationship as partners in the European Union, NATO and United Nations. We enjoy close connections in terms of culture, trade, investment, security and defence. This is an opportunity to celebrate and deepen those links.”

The two royal families are directly related through the marriage of Alfonso XIII of Spain to Princess Victoria Eugenia, known as Ena, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in 1906.  Victoria Eugenia is the great-grandmother of King Felipe.

More information, including Their Majesties’s itinerary, will be released on Royal Central as it becomes available in due course.

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