Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Spanish State Visit to the UK: all the details

King Felipe of Spain may not be having the best of weeks at home but he's got a lot to look forward to on his next trip overseas. Details of the Spanish State Visit have just been released and it's going to be glittering. Felipe and Letizia touch down in a week's time - here's what to expect....

Tuesday July 11th 2017

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will travel to the UK on the evening of July 11th, landing at Luton Airport. On hand to say hello will be The Viscount Brookeborough, Lord-in-Waiting, who is doing the greetings on behalf of the Queen. Felipe and Letizia then whizz down to London where they will stay in a hotel ahead of the State Visit proper starting the following day.

Wednesday July 12th 2017

Here come the carriages, this is where the State Visit gets going. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will meet King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at their hotel on the morning of day one and accompany them to Horse Guards Parade for the official welcome by the Queen. All the traditional elements of a State Visit will then play out including a Guard of Honour (inspected by Felipe and the Duke of Edinburgh) and a carriage procession along the Mall to Buckingham Palace. There will be a private lunch then, as is usual, a tour of part of the Royal Collection connected to the home country of the visitors. The afternoon will see Felipe and Letizia pop into Clarence House for tea with Charles and Camilla and head to the Palace of Westminster where they will be met by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. King Felipe is due to make an address in the Royal Gallery before heading back to his temporary billet at Buckingham Palace where the State Banquet takes place that evening. Tiaras ahoy.

Thursday 13th July 2017

Day two will see Prince Harry take a major role in a State Visit for the first time. He is due to accompany King Felipe and Queen Letizia to Westminster Abbey. The King of Spain will lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and there's a tour planned including a stop at the grave of Eleanor of Castile - one of the many medieval royals from Spain to share a name with Felipe and Letizia's daughter, future queen regnant Leonor. King Felipe will already have packed in a UK-Spain Business Forum that morning, alongside the Duke of York. The afternoon will see Felipe and Letizia head to the Spanish Ambassador's residence to meet members of the Spanish community. Theresa May welcomes the King of Spain to Number Ten Downing Street that afternoon. It's the Guildhall for King Felipe and Queen Letizia on the evening of day two when the attend a banquet there given in their honour by the Lord Mayor of London. The Princess  Royal and Timothy Laurence will be accompanying them.

Friday 14th July 2017

There's a formal farewell on the steps of Buckingham Palace to start the day as Felipe and Letizia take their leave of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. This is a poignant moment - it's probably the final time we'll see Prince Philip on State Visit duties. The King and Queen of Spain then meet members of the Spanish scientific community in London as they tour the Francis Crick Institute. And then, to follow in his father's footsteps, Felipe is heading to Oxford just as Juan Carlos did on his State Visit back in 1986. The King and Queen of Spain start their tour of the city at the Weston Library before lunch at the Divinity School. The day ends at Exeter College with a reception for Spanish citizens studying and working at the University. The last event of the State Visit is the official send off, taking place at Brize Norton, where the Lord Chamberlain says goodbye on behalf of the Queen before Felipe and Letizia fly home. Plenty to pack in. Keep checking back for full coverage.

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