Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Spanish State Visit to UK: the final countdown

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain on one of their most recent public appearances
(photo Casa Real Twitter)

Felipe and Letizia are on their way. In just a few hours time, the King and Queen of Spain will touch down at Luton Airport ahead of their much anticipated State Visit. They are in the UK from July 12th to July 14th (see the full agenda here) with plenty of headline making moments lined up. And plenty of preparation has gone into the visit. As the final countdown begins, here's a look at how the UK is getting ready for this major State Visit and how the trip is doing down in Spain.

Spanish flags are already hanging in the Mall ready for the State Visit. The King and Queen of Spain will ride down the world famous street in horse drawn carriages as the trip gets under way. The flags have been fluttering in the summer breeze for several days now as final preparations are made for the first State Visit from Spain since 1986. And those preparations are taken very seriously indeed. 

On Friday July 7th 2017, the Household Division were up bright and early for rehearsals ahead of the State Visit. The troops took to the streets of London just before 4am to finalise their preparations while the capital city was (largely) still sleeping. On Wednesday, they will be part of the pomp and ceremony that will welcome Europe's newest king and consort to the UK.

Everything and everyone involved in the State Visit was put through its paces. El Mundo has gone into great detail about the Belgian Suite at Buckingham Palace where Felipe and Letizia will reportedly stay during their time with the Queen. The paper also comments that the State Visit will focus on showing Spanish people living in the UK that they have their country's full support as the Brexit negotiations continue. ABC, meanwhile, has been looking at the many historic links between the two countries and discussing the economic ties that now exist.
All the media outlets in Spain agree this is a big visit and a major moment in the still young reign of King Felipe VI. There will be plenty of interest in whether he mentions Gibraltar in any of his set piece speeches while the address at the Palace of Westminster and the visit to Oxford University will also garner much interest. The flags are flying, the red carpet is being rolled out. This State Visit for the history books is on its final countdown.

There will be lots of coverage of the State Visit here on the blog. Hope to see you for some royal spotting!!

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