Spanish State Visit to Britain

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are on a 3-day State Visit to Britain, from July 12th to the 14th, on advice from the Spanish Government, to strengthen political, economic, and cultural ties between the two countries. They are being hosted by the British Royal Family, and will stay at Buckingham Palace for the duration of the State Visit. Click HERE to read about the Program.

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On July 12th, King Felipe and Queen Letizia met with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at their hotel, before they set out for the Official Welcome at Horse Guards Parade in London, where they were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. During the Welcome, King Felipe inspected the Guard, before the couple traveled in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace with the Queen and Duke.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia had lunch with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, after which there was the Official exchange of presents. The two couples also viewed a display of objects with a Spanish connection in the Royal Collection, in a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace. Also present were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Wessex, Duke of York, and the Duke of Gloucester.

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In the afternoon, the Spanish King and Queen had tea with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, before they visited the Palace of Westminster, where King Felipe addressed both Houses of Parliament. Despite causing a lot of controversy beforehand, the King’s speech was extremely well received. Click HERE to read the speech.

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In the evening, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of King Felipe and Queen Letizia. Both the Queen and King Felipe gave speeches. Also present were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of York, Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Michael of Kent, and Lady Gabriella Windsor.

For the day events, King Felipe wore a dark suit with a magenta tie. Queen Letizia wore a yellow Felipe Varela dress and coat with a María Nieto hat and gold and pearl earrings from Queen Sofia. For tea and the visit to Parliament, she changed into a red Burberry coat with ruby and diamond earrings from Queen Sofia. For the State Banquet, King Felipe wore White Tie with the Order of the Garter, awarded to him in the morning. Queen Letizia wore a red Felipe Varela gown with the Fleur-de-Lys Tiara, ‘Joyas de Pasr’ earrings, bracelet, and the Order of Carlos III.

For the Day events, Queen Elizabeth II wore a floral dress under a magenta Stewart Parvin coat with a matching Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat, pairing her customary Three Strand Pearl Necklace with the Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch. The Duke of Edinburgh wore a dark suit with a blue tie. For the Banquet, the Queen wore a white gown with the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara and Parure and the Badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The Duke of Edinburgh wore White Tie with the Spanish Order of Carlos III.

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For the day events, the Prince of Wales wore a navy suit with a pale blue tie. The Duchess of Cornwall wore a white dress and coat with a Philip Treacy hat, her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, and one of her diamond insect brooches. For tea, she changed into a patterned dress with her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp. For the State Banquet, the Prince of Wales wore White Tie with the Spanish Order of Carlos III. The Duchess of Cornwall wore a white gown with the Greville Tiara, Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, large diamond earrings, and the Royal Victorian Order.

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At the State Banquet, the Duke of Cambridge wore White Tie with the Order of the Garter. Duchess of Cambridge wore a pink lace Marchesa gown with Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara, Diana, Princess of Wales’ Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings, and the Greville Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace.

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Princess Anne wore a white gown with the Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara. Sir Tim Laurence wore White Tie. The Countess of Wessex wore her Aquamarine Necklace Tiara. The Duchess of Gloucester wore the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara. Princess Michael of Kent wore the Kent Festoon Tiara with pearl earrings and a multiple strand pearl necklace.

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7 thoughts on “Spanish State Visit to Britain

  1. Wow! Queen Letizia’s state banquet red gown is to die for! She looked stunning! That gorgeous gown paired with “La Buena” and the other “joyas de pasar” was absolute perfection! I think Queen Elizabeth II is wearing a new gown as well and she looked marvelous. Surprisingly, she was wearing the Brazilian Aquamarine tiara along with the aquamarine necklace and earrings. I’m sure most everyone bet she would wear the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, but she showed them who’s boss! It seems the other royal ladies brought out their aquamarine tiaras to play as well- Princess Anne as well as the Countess of Wessex. The Duchess of Cornwall went for her usual Greville all-diamond tiara and the Duchess of Cambridge for the Lover’s Knot which is rapidly becoming her go-to tiara as well, so no surprises there. What was a bit surprising was the daring decolletage of the Duchess of Cambridge. One doesn’t usually see something that risqué in a state banquet, but then again she was not at the main table tonight. I wished we could see the other ladies, like the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent, but as I understand it, they don’t take many pictures of these events. What a pity, isn’t it!

  2. Gosh, Princess Michael of Kent looks fabulous, doesn’t she? Can you believe this woman is in her 70’s? The Kent Festoon tiara is so pretty and she wears it so well. I believe she was the one who added the pearls at the base. I thought it was quite a coincidence that so many ladies wore aquamarine tiaras tonight, but then I read that Queen Ena, King Felipe’s grandmother, loved aquas so maybe it was a nod to their guests. All state banquets are glittering affairs, but I think this particular one is especially so. I think the Queen and her government really want to cement their good relations with Spain and vice-versa, which is lovely. I’m all for good relations with everyone! 🙂

    1. Princess Michael really looked stunning, especially considering that she was born on the same day as my grandfather, January 15th, 1945. I personally (conspiracy theory) think that the ladies wore aquamarine jewels because they expected to get the Spanish Order and Sash of Carlos iii, which is usually given on state visits, even to presidents and their wives. But since the Queen didn’t give and Order to Queen Letizia ( she never does for spouses), the Spanish Royal couple probably decided to give orders too. Thus, the ladies had the aquamarine jewels all prepared, and decided to wear them anyway!

  3. Oh! I hadn’t heard about the situation with the orders. That’s quite interesting. King Felipe was awarded the Order of the Garter, which I was glad to see. I think King Philip of Belgium and King Wilhelm-Alexander of The Netherlands are probably the only current monarchs who are not members of the Order of the Garter. I know Queen Elizabeth doesn’t award the Order to spouses, but I was surprised to see that Queen Letizia was wearing the Order of Charles III instead of the Order of the Golden Fleece. That is their highest order, and being queen, I would think she should have it. I wonder why she doesn’t? BTW, the fact that your grandfather and Princess Michael share the exact same birthday is such an amazing coincidence!

  4. Looking back at this event from 2023, the photo of their Majesties at the gala remains one of my favourite royal co-ordination photos – Letizia was stunning in red, and the aquamarines and sashes just blended so well. Beautiful!
    I wish they would have fuller line-ups with all the working royals present – I’m sure we all wanted better pictures of Kate in that necklace and pink gown, as well as the other royal ladies.

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