Spanish King Felipe VI and his wife Letizia are to visit the UK on an official state visit between June 6-8 to meet with the British head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
The state visit was postponed last year due to Spain’s ongoing political deadlock, but now King Felipe’s calendar for 2017 can focus on more ceremonial measures after spending much of 2016 officiating on the country’s political landscape…
However, the King of Spain’s visit is likely to be overshadowed by the ongoing furore concerning US President Donald Trump, who the Queen is controversially going to welcome later in the year.
Nevertheless, the meeting of the Spanish and British heads of state is an occasion to savour, particularly in the current climate of uncertainty regarding Brexit and the relationships of the two countries. Although it is unlikely that the two Royals will discuss anything too political, symbolically at least their meeting is a good opportunity to remind Brits and Spaniards of the goodwill that exists between the countries, and the deep ties they share.
A recent report by the Spanish government has forecast that the results of a “hard” Brexit could hurt Spain and the UK’s economy by as much as €4 billion, but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy appears to be taking a sensible, non-hysterical approach to proceedings, telling reporters: “There is no need to over-dramatise things. What we need to do is have good negotiations. The UK wants good negotiations, so does Europe and so does Spain, and I hope that things will turn out pretty well for everyone.”
Hardly headline-making stuff, but that is Rajoy’s point: sensible debate will win the day, and if the two nation’s heads of state can kick-off proceedings this summer with a meeting full of smiles, handshakes and excellent photo opportunities, then we are already well on the way towards a harmonious future.