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State Banquet in Spain as King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcome China’s President

The King and Queen of Spain have hosted a State Banquet in Madrid in honour of the President of China and his wife. During the dinner, at the Royal Palace in the city, Felipe VI spoke of the bonds and shared goals between the two countries and looked towards future ties.

Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan joined King Felipe and Queen Letizia at the gala as day two of their State Visit to Spain came to an end.  Before the dinner started, they joined the Spanish royals in welcoming guests, shaking hands with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, who has spoken several times already of the importance he places on this State Visit.

The meal took place in the Banqueting Hall of the Royal Palace which is decorated in parts with Chinese vases. Queen Letizia was seen wearing the Cartier pearl and diamond loop tiara belonging to the Spanish Royal Family for the first time at this State Banquet.

Photo: Casa de SM el Rey

During the banquet, King Felipe told his guests that both Spain and China had long histories and important roles to play globally in the future. He underlined what he called ‘’similar positions’’ in areas including climate change and open commerce and described the State Visit as a ‘’clear sign of the deep friendship which unites our countries and our peoples’’.

Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan arrived in Spain on November 27th for the three day State Visit, the first by a Chinese President since 2005. The Chinese President held an audience with King Felipe soon after his arrival, and later that day, the Spanish monarch and his wife held a dinner at the Zarzuela Palace in honour of their guests.

The official welcome took place at the Royal Palace in Madrid on the morning of November 28th 2018. The traditional ceremony included the playing of the national anthems of Spain and China and the inspection of a guard of honour. Xi Jinping later travelled to the Plaza de la Villa in the Spanish capital to receive the keys of the city while Peng Liyuan and Queen Letizia paid a visit to the Royal Theatre in Madrid.

The Chinese State Visit to Spain will come to an end on Thursday November 29th 2018.

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About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and 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 who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. 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.