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Spain

King Felipe arrives in Puerto Rico to mark San Juan’s fifth centennial


© Casa de SM el Rey

King Felipe of Spain has arrived in Puerto Rico to mark its capital, San Juan’s fifth centennial.

He will be in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, from 24 to 26 January.

Celebrations marking San Juan’s founding 500 years ago took place last year, but the global health crisis delayed King Felipe’s visit and other celebrations until 2022.

The King was accompanied by Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, Ángeles Moreno.

Upon their arrival in San Juan, they were greeted by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi; Spain’s Ambassador to the United States, Santiago Cabanas; and the Mayor of San Juan, Miguel Romero.

The King is set to visit cultural institutions surrounding the 500th anniversary and attend an Economic and Business Forum with Puerto Rican and Spanish companies.

His Majesty will hold meetings with both the Governor and the Mayor during his three-day visit.

King Felipe first visited Puerto Rico as King of Spain in 2016.

San Juan was founded by the Spanish in 1521 after Spanish settlers first arrived on the island in 1493. The first governor, Juan Ponce de León, relocated the capital to San Juan in 1521 from the settlement in Caparra. Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony until 1898, when Spain gave the island to the United States after the Spanish-American War.

Puerto Rico has been under US control since 1898. They are an unincorporated territory where their citizens hold US citizenship. They hold primary elections for the President of the United States, but they do not have electoral votes for President or have representatives in Congress. Puerto Rico has twice voted to become a state, but the United States has yet to make it the 51st state.

King Felipe will travel to Honduras after his visit to Puerto Rico concludes. He will visit Honduras to attend the Presidential Inauguration of Xiomara Castro.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.