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King Felipe and Queen Letizia celebrate language and unity in unique meeting

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain travelled to Cádiz to attend the opening session of the International Congress on the Spanish Language (Congreso Internacionál de la Lengua Española, CILE). 

Their Majesties arrived on 27 March, accompanied by many state officials and language authorities, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Royal Spanish Academy, who also acts as the President of the Association of Spanish Language Academies. 

The King and Queen were welcomed by local authorities, including the Mayor of Cádiz, before making their way inside the Falla Grand Theatre, where the inaugural session of the congress began with a few words from King Felipe, who highlighted the importance of the event in bringing together all aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia then visited a series of exhibitions in the House of Latin America, each dedicated to a different aspect of the Spanish language, from history to contemporary and future technologies. 

Specifically, they visited, among others, an exhibition titled “Books and authors of the Viceroyalty of Peru,” dedicated to the cultural heritage of the three centuries in which Peru was a monarchy. This period also saw the opening in 1551 of the first American university. 

Another exhibit, titled “Lies and wonders. Implausible representations of ‘the other’,” was centred around Jean de Madeville’s “Book of Wonders of the World” and showcased art pieces demonstrating the various forms of representation of what is ‘other’ than us. 

After moving to Taller de Forjas, an original 2878 ship repair space that is a protected area within the “El Dique” Museum, for lunch, King Felipe went alone to the afternoon conference, which was centred around the use of the Spanish language in modern technologies, especially AI. 

The panellists discussed not only the key role that Spanish plays in the world of tech but also the changes that this sector has brought to the language itself and how these new technologies can be used to make the Spanish language more accessible. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s day in Cádiz was concluded by the attendance to the “Tempo de Luz” concert at Falla Grand Theatre. The performance was carried out by the Cádiz flamenco company, which includes many recipients of National Awards that the King and Queen have handed out over the years, including Carmen Linares, one of the two recipients of the Princess of Asturias Awards for Arts in 2022. 

This year, the International Congress of Spanish Language celebrates its ninth edition. It is organised every three years in a different city in a different country among those in the Spanish-speaking world.

The first congress was organised in Mexico in 1997, and this one is already the third one of King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s reign – both of them attended the previous ones in 2016 in Puerto Rico and 2019 in Córdoba, Argentina.