San Antonio, Texas, was host to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain yesterday. The King and Queen are currently in the United States to celebrate the tricentennial of New Orleans, Louisiana, and San Antonio. Today, they will spend day two in the city. Tuesday, their visit will continue in the capital of the United States – Washington D.C. There, they will be welcomed to the White House by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
Yesterday, Their Majesties were officially welcomed to San Antonio in an official ceremony at the Governor’s Palace where they unveiled a commemorative plaque and received the first edition of the key of the missions of San Antonio. The missions of the city have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Next, Felipe and Letizia made a visit to the Mission of San José where the Archbishop of the Diocese of San Antonio and the parish priest of the Mission guided them around the church, barn and the acequias system. They took time to greet assembled students, as well, from the organisation “SOS Spain Ambassadors.” These students will soon travel across the pond to Spain.
Their Majesties were then at the MagikTheatre building, formally the Beethoven theatre, where the artist Daniel Muñoz. Casa Real explained his work as a “mural in the facade in the context of a series of municipal initiatives aimed at recovering and regenerating the public spaces of the city neighbourhood.”
Lunchtime saw Spain’s King and Queen open the exhibit “Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S.” at the Bexar County Courthouse; this was sponsored by the Spain-United States Council Foundation. After a tour of the exhibition, Their Majesties attended a reception with various guests from the government, judicial authorities and members of the House of Spain and Spanish residents. A short time later, King Felipe held a meeting with the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. He then held an audience with North American historians and presidents of San Antonio’s main universities.
In the evening, a dinner at the Pearl Stable Center was held in honour of the King and Queen’s visit. His Majesty spoke at the event saying, in part, “It is indeed difficult to reach a profound and objective knowledge of History, but it is a worthy endeavour since it can guide us and help us look ahead into the future. How could we not pay tribute to all those who work towards making Spain’s presence in these lands be known and valued fairly?
“Where would our historiography be today without the selfless work of great scholars and writers such as Herbert Bolton, as well Carlos Castañeda and, obviously, Gilberto Hinojosa and Félix Almaraz, both present here today? I feel the duty to render them our homage; they have been pioneers in a field where they have excelled in their honesty and intellectual reach.”