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Spanish royals to make rescheduled state visit to UK

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Spanish royals to make rescheduled state visit to UK
King Felipe and Queen Letizia will be visiting the British royals in June. Photo: AFP
14:56 CET+01:00
King Felipe will address the UK parliament on Brexit in a state visit that will take place between June 6th - 8th according to sources cited in Spanish media.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will make a state visit to the UK in June, rescheduling a trip that was postponed by Spain's delay in forming a government last year.

Although there has been no official confirmation of the visit by the British Government or Buckingham Palace, the news has been widely reported in the Spanish press.

According to sources cited in Spanish newspapers ABC and El Pais, the Spanish King will make an address to the British Parliament where he is expected to discuss the importance of bi-lateral relations between the two-nations in the wake of Brexit.

The pair will likely be hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The monarch is also tipped to meet privately with Prime Minister Theresa May, and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.

 The State visit, the first by Spanish monarchs for 31 years, was originally scheduled to take place in March 2016, but was called off after inconclusive elections left Spain without a government.

It will be the royal couple's first visit to the United Kingdom since Felipe became king in June 2014, after his father, King Juan Carlos abdicated.

The last state visit by Spanish royalty to the UK was by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1986, while the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh last paid a visit to Spain in 1988.

Since then the Spanish and British royal families have paid a number of formal visits to each other's countries.

In 2011, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall paid a three-day official visit to Spain that was hosted by Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia.

A few weeks later Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attended the wedding in London of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia had been due to stay at Windsor Castle during the cancelled three-day visit last March and it is likely that the rescheduled trip in June will follow the same format.

The British and Spanish Royal Families are directly related through the marriage of Alfonso XIII of Spain to Princess Victoria Eugenia, known as Ena, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in 1906.  Victoria Eugenia is the great-grandmother of King Felipe.

The Spanish royals have made several foreign trips since taking to the throne in 2014, including to the United States in September 2015 and a visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. 

The palace has also rescheduled state visits to France, Mexico, Portugal and Japan.

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