The Spanish State Visit To the United Kingdom

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia State Visit to the United Kingdom: July 12 – July 14, 2017.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia made a successful visit to the United Kingdom, the first for them as monarchs. The last State Visit from Spain was made by Felipe’s parents, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, in 1986.

Felipe and Letizia were toasted with all of the pomp and circumstance that Britain is known for – after inspecting a guard of honor, the visiting monarch then traveled with The Queen in a Carriage Procession back to Buckingham Palace. Queen Letizia rode with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall greet the king and queen at Clarence House.

Later, King Felipe addressed the government and in his speech urged that the two nations work closely together over an agreement over the future of Gibraltar and called for a guarantee of future rights for Spanish citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

“I am certain that this resolve to overcome our differences will be even greater in the case of Gibraltar, and I am confident that through the necessary dialogue and effort our two governments will be able to work towards arrangements that are acceptable to all involved.”

Later on that evening, the Spanish king and queen attended a State Banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. The royal women glittered, and there were smiles all around between the king and Queen Elizabeth II, who are related through Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Victoria Eugenie (known as Ena).

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, looks fabulous in the honeycomb tiara that once belonged to the Queen Mother.

Day 2 (July 13th)

Prime Minister Theresa May greets King Felipe VI of Spain at 10 Downing Street

Prince Harry accompanied the king and queen during their visit to Westminster Abbey. Here he greets the king, a rare photo of Harry from the back!

Prince Harry, Queen Letizia of Spain, King Felipe of Spain and the Dean of Westminster Dr John Hall stand beside the grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey

Felipe also made another visit during the busy schedule, this time to the UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House, London.

Felipe, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and Letizia attend the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Guildhall.

Day 3 (July 14th)

Letizia and Felipe meet school children as they visit the Weston Library at Oxford University.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia greet Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, during a visit to the Francis Crick Institute.

King Felipe during visit to the Francis Crick Institute.

A successful visit, one that I hope happens again in the near future. I hope Letizia and Felipe will bring their daughters, Infanta Sofia and Leonor, the Princess of Asturias. Surely a meeting of royal children needs to happen! ;)

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia will make State Visit to UK

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia are headed to the UK for a State Visit. It has been in the making for a while: the trip was announced in December 2015 and scheduled for the following March. It was then postponed due to Spain’s political turmoil happening at that time. They tried again for June 6-8 of this year, but that was canceled due to the UK’s own general election.

Happily, it’s back on for July 12-14th (i.e. next week). There will be a State banquet where, I’m sure, the glamour-factor will be through the roof. Might I add that it will be excellent to see Prince Harry escorting Felipe and Letizia to Westminster Abbey, where the king will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

There will most likely be discussion between the king and Queen Elizabeth II over Gibraltar, an area of contention between Britain and Spain. The political issue caused Queen Sofia, Felipe’s mother, to back out of Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Elizabeth II.

NOTE: Queen Victoria is the mutual connection between the Windsors and Spain’s Borbon dynasty. Queen Victoria is Felipe’s great-great-great-grandmother and Harry’s great-great-great-great-grandmother.

Royal visit to Germany ahead of crucial referendum

Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are in Germany on a three-day state visit at the request of the government. This royal visit highlights close ties between Britain and Germany. It is to perhaps assuage the German government’s fears over the UK’s impending referendum. This referendum, to be held before the end of 2017, will decide whether the Brits stay in the European Union or if they will say farewell.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Germany today for their three-day state visit. This is their seventh visit to the country, and this particular trip will include a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Joachim Gauk, and a historic visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp memorial.

This is not the first meeting between the Queen and Merkel. The Chancellor met Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace in February 2014.

“We need a strong United Kingdom with a strong voice inside the European Union,” said Merkel, addressing the members of Parliament.

This visit will further serve to underscore the good relationship between Britain and Germany, who wants to keep its ally close. The British government will hold a referendum within the next two-and-a-half years to determine whether they remain within the European Union, and Germany is showing signs that it is worried it may lose its close partner within the bloc.

A Royal Departure

A visit by the Queen is always a thrill, but more so now for Germans because this tour may well be her last foreign trip. In a sense, they get the honor of  a “send off ” for the Queen — not to retirement, per se, but to a life much closer to home.

The 89-year-old monarch already bade farewell to traveling to Commonwealth nations because of the extremely long travel time. Her trip to Australia in 2011 to change the succession law was her last long-haul tour.

This is also one more opportunity to visit the land of their ancestors; both Elizabeth and Philip are descendants of Queen Victoria, whose lineage comes from the German House of Hanover, and Prince Albert, who hailed from the German duchy of Coburg.

Despite cattle-calls of mockery over German roots (usually from republicans), Victoria and Albert loved England and the English form of government. They did, however, wish to remain close to Germany – of their nine children, five married into princely or ducal German families.

Though tradition reigns in the House of Windsor, Elizabeth and Philip did not follow the Victorian model for foreign relations. All four of their children married Britons, and it looks like their grandchildren are doing the same.

Countries today no longer rely on royal intermarriages to keep relations cordial, but they still strive to maintain excellent partnerships. This recent visit by the Queen and her husband, along with visits by Prime Ministers past and present, show that Britain is still a major power on the world stage and happy to be in cooperation with all who share her values.

Singapore State Visit, Kate Amazingly Well Again

Kate looks amazingly well. Hypermesis Gravidarum has made the Duchess of Cambridge horribly ill for weeks now, but it now looks as though it hasn’t made one dent in her spirits. It’s incredible.

This state visit is a big event, and no one thought Kate would be well enough to attend. Happily, she pulled through just in time.

Tony Tan Keng Yam is the first president of Singapore to make an official state visit to the UK.  He is Singapore’s former deputy Prime Minister, elected as the nation’s seventh president in 2011.

This visit highlights the UK’s increasing economic ties to Southeast Asia.


Tiara Time: Kate May Don A Sparkler

It’s tiara time! Kate may don a sparkler during her Southeast Asia/Oceania tour with the Duke of Cambridge. Will it be the Halo Scroll tiara or one from the royal vaults?

From the Daily Beast:

[The royal couple will tour] Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, from September 11 to 19, details of which were released by the Palace today.

The Solomon islands and Tuvalu still count the Queen as head of state.

In Malaysia, Kate and William have been invited to join Malaysia’s King for a banquet in his palace.

There you have it. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dining with the king of Malaysia at a formal banquet. That means, yes, that long-awaited headpiece. Thank you! The tiara drought is coming to an end!

Visit The CIA World Factbook about:

The Solomon Islands
and Borneo (Wikipedia)

The Queen in Ireland

IRELAND - MAY 20:  Queen Elizabeth II waves go...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Queen Elizabeth II has returned home from her historic visit to Ireland.

Her Majesty’s speech during her visit moved many, but her mere presence was what spoke the loudest. No British monarch has visited the shores of the Emerald Isle in 100 years. The last British sovereign to set foot on Irish soil was the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, who visited Ireland in 1911 with his consort, Queen Mary.

It is fitting, then, that the Queen should be the next monarch to visit the Republic of Éire. King George and Queen Mary had a profound effect on a young Elizabeth. Though no one knew it at the time, the training Princess Elizabeth received from her august grandparents would stand her in good stead as queen.

Dressed in green and smiling brightly, the Queen shook hands with Irish President Mary McAleese. President McAleese did not curtsy, which in my view is appropriate. To do so would have resulted in a tricky political issue at such an historic moment.

The Queen visited the Garden of Remembrance, the memorial garden in Dublin dedicated to the memory of “all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom”, where she laid a wreath; she toured the Guinness Storehouse; the National Stud at Kildare (of course!); and met with traders at the English Market in Cork.

The Queen also acknowledged the “sad and regrettable” mistakes of Britain’s relationship with Ireland during her state dinner in Dublin. Below, an excerpt of her speech:

‘A hUachtarain agus a chairde (President and friends).

Madam President, Prince Philip and I are delighted to be here, and to experience at first hand Ireland’s world-famous hospitality.

Together we have much to celebrate: the ties between our people, the shared values, and the economic, business and cultural links that make us so much more than just neighbours, that make us firm friends and equal partners.


The lessons from the peace process are clear; whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load.

There are other stories written daily across these islands which do not find their voice in solemn pages of history books, or newspaper headlines, but which are at the heart of our shared narrative. Many British families have members who live in this country, as many Irish families have close relatives in the United Kingdom.

These families share the two islands; they have visited each other and have come home to each other over the years. They are the ordinary people who yearned for the peace and understanding we now have between our two nations and between the communities within those two nations; a living testament to how much in common we have.

These ties of family, friendship and affection are our most precious resource. They are the lifeblood of the partnership across these islands, a golden thread that runs through all our joint successes so far, and all we will go on to achieve.

They are a reminder that we have much to do together to build a future for all our grandchildren: the kind of future our grandparents could only dream of.

So we celebrate together the widespread spirit of goodwill and deep mutual understanding that has served to make the relationship more harmonious, close as good neighbours should always be.

Good luck in Ireland today, President Obama. You have a tough act to follow.

Historic Visit – An Irish View

Highlights of Queen Elizabeth II’s State visit to Ireland – RTÉ.ie

The Irish Independent’s Photo Gallery

Poll shows how Queen was taken to Irish hearts

Mutual respect between two states has soared to new high

The week that Anglophobia died

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