Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia concluded their trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the city’s tricentennial yesterday before moving on to San Antonio, Texas, to celebrate that city’s 300th anniversary, as well.
Lousiana was a Spanish colony from 1763 to 1802. Of course, Texas is another former colony of Spain from 1690–1821. Their trip later moves on to the US capital of Washington D.C. where they will visit the White House and meet with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on 19 June.
Saturday began with King Felipe receiving North American historians and presidents of the leading universities of New Orleans in an audience.
Their Saturday in New Orleans also saw Their Majesties be treated to performances from jazz musicians and Mardi Gras Indians at the Museum of Art in New Orleans (NOMA). The Indians dress in elaborate costumes made of feathers and beads and traditionally perform on the streets of New Orleans during the annual Mardi Gras celebrations.
Michael White, a clarinetist, music historian and Xavier University Spanish professor, and the Original Liberty Brass Band performed two songs (“Panama” and “Andalusian Strut”) for the King and Queen that had a connection to Europe and New Orleans. The “Andalusian Strut” was performed for the very first time and composed for the trip of Spain’s King and Queen.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia also met Richard Ford again; in 2016, he won one of the Princess of Asturias Awards in Spain. This was done while Their Majesties held a reception for representatives of the society of New Orleans with the presence of the Spanish community living in the city, as well as a group of descendants of the first settlers of the Canary Islands.
Their Majesties ended the day in San Antonio, Texas, after being sent off by the Mayor of New Orleans at the city’s airport. When they arrived in Texas, they were received by the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, and the Bexar County President, Nelson W. Wolff. The King and Queen will be officially welcomed in a ceremony tomorrow morning in San Antonio.