The King and Queen of Spain have begun their State Visit to Peru. Felipe VI and Letizia touched down in Lima at the start of a three-day trip focused on boosting relations between Spain and Peru as well as celebrating the historic ties between the two countries.
The first engagement of this visit saw the Spanish King and Queen lay a wreath at the National Heroes Pantheon, dedicated to those who fought in the Peruvian War of Independence which saw the country break free of Spanish rule in the early 19th century. Felipe and Letizia then travelled to Lima’s Governmental Palace for an official welcome which included a 21 gun salute and an inspection of troops by Spain’s king. The national anthems of the two countries were also played.
The royal visitors were greeted by the President of Peru, Martin Albert Vizcarra, and his wife, Maribel Carmen Diaz. King Felipe later held talks with President Vizcarra while Queen Letizia had an audience with the First Lady. Then it was down to business as the Spanish and Peruvian delegations signed four agreements between their two countries before Felipe VI was presented with one of Peru’s highest honours, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit for Distinguished Services.
During the lunch which followed, Spain’s King gave a speech in which he highlighted the strong relations between the nations, adding ”we have a clear will to work for a shared future on the solid foundation that our deep common roots constitute”.
As the first day of their state visit continued, Felipe and Letizia went on a walkabout in the centre of Lima where they were greeted by children from the ‘Kingdom of Spain’ school before being presented with the key to the city by the mayor of Peru’s capital, Luis Castaneda.
The royal couple then carried out a series of individual engagements. King Felipe visited the Congress of the Republic of Peru where he met politicians before heading to the Palace of Justice for more meetings. Queen Letizia, accompanied by Peru’s First Lady, spent time at a major emergency centre for women to hear about work going on in the country against violence against girls and women and domestic abuse.
The state visit will continue on November 13th with business meetings and engagements centred around shared cultural ties. In the evening of day two, Felipe and Letizia will host a reception at the Spanish Embassy in Lima. The tour comes to an end on November 14th with visits focused on the build-up to the bicentenary of Peruvian independence and the celebrations planned for that event in three years time.
Felipe and Letizia last visited Peru eight years ago on an official trip while they were still Prince and Princess of Asturias. The last Spanish state visit to the country took place in 2008 during the reign of Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos I.