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Queen Elizabeth Welcomes Spain's Queen Letizia to England

13 July 2017

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greet King Felipe VI and Letizia of Spain at his hotel in central London at the start of the King's State Visit to the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd were also spotted in extravagant hats at the Horse Guards Parade in London.

Spain's King Felipe said on Wednesday he was confident that an acceptable arrangement could be worked out with Britain over the future of Gibraltar, a British territory that Spain wants back.

Both royal lines are descended from Queen Victoria.

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Last September, Felipe used his address to the UN General Assembly in NY to call for a negotiated handover of The Rock. The prestigious occasion is reportedly in hope of improving relations over Brexit and Gibraltar.

Felipe and Letizia are the first Spanish monarchs to visit Britain since Felipe's father toured the country in the 1980s.

He said: "The people of Gibraltar are rightly nervous".

Spain earlier this year agreed to the EU's ruling on Brexit negotiations that "no agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom can be applied to the territory of Gibraltar without an agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom".

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As a effect to the visit beginning one day later than anticipated, Prime Minister Theresa May had to miss Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons to welcome the Spanish royals.

A guard of honour, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, lined up in front of the royal party and Philip escorted Felipe across the parade ground to inspect the troops.

Security will be tight for the royal carriage procession along The Mall in what will be the first state visit to take place since the terror attacks in Manchester and London.

King Felipe VI is to address MPs and peers in Parliament's Royal Gallery, but many diplomats and the Foreign Office fear his stay may be tainted by the issue of Gibraltar's future after a Brexit deal is sealed between the United Kingdom and EU.

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Queen Elizabeth Welcomes Spain's Queen Letizia to England