LONDON – The King and Queen of Spain are to make a state visit in June to the United Kingdom during which they will stay at Buckingham Palace, the palace confirmed Friday.
Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II, released a short statement confirming that Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia had accepted the invitation offered by the Queen for a visit from June 6-8.
“The King and Queen of Spain will stay at Buckingham Palace,” said the statement.
The last visit to the UK by a Spanish head of state was made in 1986 by King Felipe’s parents, King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia, while Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, visited Spain in 1988, the palace pointed out.
“In this Sapphire Jubilee celebration year for Her Majesty the Queen, I am delighted that that Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have accepted her invitation to visit the UK,” the British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said in a statement following the announcement.
“This State Visit will celebrate not only the long and deep royal and historic ties between our two countries, but also our strong relationship as partners bilaterally, within Europe and on the global stage,” he added.
The British embassy pointed out that there were about 300,000 Britons residing in Spain, while 18 million UK citizens visited the Mediterranean nation in 2016.
The royal visit, the first in over 30 years, had been slated for March 8-10, 2016, but had to be postponed due to political turmoil embroiling the Spanish government at that time, according to the Spanish foreign ministry.
The visit was to mark the end of a round of visits to other European royal families after visits to the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.