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Spanish royal visit to UK postponed until July due to snap election

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Spanish royal visit to UK postponed until July due to snap election
18:43 CEST+02:00
Spanish King Felipe VI has rescheduled his royal visit to Britain due to UK's early election on June 8th.

The king and his wife Letizia, who had been forced to postpone their planned visit last year because of the political crisis in Spain, had been scheduled to visit Britain on June 6-8th.

But the British royal family announced on Friday that the visit would be postponed.

"Her Majesty The Queen and The King of Spain have agreed that the planned Spanish State Visit to the UK in June will be postponed until July," Buckingham Palace announced in a tweet.

The Spanish king and his wife Letizia had been scheduled to visit Britain on June 6-8, but will now do so a month later, on July 12-14.

The announcement comes two days after the British parliament backed Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise call for a snap election on June 8.

The Spanish royal couple had already been forced to postpone their planned visit last year because of the political crisis in Spain.

READ MORE: Long-term Brits in Spain to be denied vote in UK election again

The last Spanish state visit to Britain was that of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1986.

The Spanish King was expected to make an address to the British Parliament where he was tipped to discuss the importance of bi-lateral relations between the two-nations in the wake of Brexit.

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

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 would have been 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.

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