SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

Spain

Spanish State Visit to Cuba : the photos


Casa de S.M. El Rey

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have carried out a three day State Visit to Cuba. The trip, which some MPs in Madrid tried to stop, took place between November 11th and November 14th and saw the couple visit Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The State Visit was intended to strengthen relations between the two countries as well as celebrate the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana. Royal Central looks back at the visit, in pictures.

Depature

Embed from Getty Images

The King and Queen of Spain departed Madrid on November 11th 2019 and arrived late that same night in Cuba.

Day One

Embed from Getty Images

The official start of the State Visit took place on November 12th when King Felipe and Queen Letizia laid a wreath at the Jose Marti Mausoleum, dedicated to Cuba’s national hero.

Embed from Getty Images

The official welcome took place at the Palace of the Revolution where, after inspecting a guard of honour, the couple were hosted by the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canal, and his wife, Lis Cuesta. King Felipe held a private audience with the Cuban president before witnessing the signing of an agreement between the two countries. Queen Letizia was accompanied by Cuba’s first lady on a trip to see projects supported by Spain in the local area.

Embed from Getty Images

Later, Felipe and Letizia were given a walking tour of Old Havana, visiting some of its oldest buildings including the cathedral.

Embed from Getty Images

In the evening, the Spanish king and queen visited the Alicia Alonso theatre where they saw a photographic exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of Havana. Following that, they were guests of honour at a ballet recital in the same theatre.

Day Two

Embed from Getty Images

The second day of the State Visit began at El Templete in Havana, considered the birthplace of the city. It was here, in November 1519, that the first mass and the first council meeting were held following the Spanish conquest of the island now called Cuba. Felipe and Letizia were given an overview of the history.

Embed from Getty Images

From there, the couple returned to the Alicia Alonso theatre to meet some of the Spanish community in Havana.

Embed from Getty Images

King Felipe gave a speech in which he underlined the links between Spain and Cuba as well as the people living in both countries.

Embed from Getty Images

Felipe then travelled to the Spanish Embassy in Havana where he attended the launch of a book written to mark the 500th anniversary of the city.

Embed from Getty Images

That evening, the Spanish monarch was joined by his wife for a reception for the people from all walks of life in Cuba. King Felipe and Queen Letizia then travelled to the Palace of the Captains General to host a dinner for the President of Cuba and his wife.

Day Three

Embed from Getty Images

Day three began at the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana where King Felipe and Queen Letizia saw a self portrait of Spanish artist, Goya, which has been lent by the Prado in Madrid for a month. It’s on show in Havana until December 12th 2019.

Embed from Getty Images

The State Visit then took the Spanish royals to the Molecular Immunology Centre of Cuba where they heard about developments in treating and preventing diseases. From there the couple travelled to Santiago de Cuba where they laid a wreath at the tomb of an unknown Spanish soldier who died during Spanish Cuban war. From there, King Felipe and Queen Letizia began their journey home to Madrid, concluding their State Visit to Cuba.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.