Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A tale of two queens

They have met before several times and are often seen chatting at royal events - after all, they do share a common language having both grown up speaking Spanish.  But today, two of the newest queens in Europe will enjoy another official royal encounter as Queen Letizia of Spain accompanies her husband, King Felipe, to the Netherlands where they will begin their introductory tours of other European courts.

All smiles in Madrid - Felipe and Letizia greet Willem-Alexander and Maxima on their introductory visit to Spain in September 2014

The King and Queen of Spain have already paid introductory visits to the Vatican, France and Morocco but their trip to see their Dutch counterparts marks the beginning of a series of visits in which they will introduce themselves to other royal families on the continent as monarchs.  When King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima made their introductory visit to Madrid in September 2013, the then Prince and Princess of Asturias greeted the royal couple at the airport and accompanied them to the Zarzuela Palace where they joined King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia for lunch.  

Time for the return trip - this time round it will be Felipe and Letizia making an introductory visit

During that visit there was a lot of attention paid to the relationship between Argentinian born Queen Maxima and Letizia and the two women have since been seen sharing confidences when both visited the UN in New York in September this year.  The two consorts watched King Felipe make a speech to the organisation  - Maxima was there in her role working with the UN on accessible finance.  

Queen Letizia and Queen Maxima at the United Nations in September 2014

The itinerary for the visit will follow much the same pattern as the trips made by the Dutch monarchs and the new King and Queen of the Belgians when they made their own introductory tours.  There will be royal greetings, a lunch and then a chance for the visiting monarchs to meet the country's politicians including the Prime Minister.  The introductory visits usually last just one day and Felipe and Letizia will be back in Spain this evening.  But while the kings will take the lead, all eyes will be on this latest meeting of two new queens.

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