Spain's royalty coming to San Antonio, according to media reports

By On May 24, 2018

Spain's royalty coming to San Antonio, according to media reports

  • Spain's Queen Letizia, (from left) Spain's King Felipe VI, Spanish Princess Sofia, Spanish Crown Princess of Asturias Leonor, Spain's former Queen Sofia and Spain's former King Juan Carlos stand during a handing-over ceremony for the sash of the Capitain General in the Chamber of Audiences at the Zarzuela Palace. Spain's King Felipe VI began his reign in 2014. Photo: ZIPI /AFP /Getty Images / AFP
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Spain's Queen Letizia, (from left) Spain's King Felipe VI, Spanish Princess Sofia, Spanish Crown Princess of Asturias Leonor, Spain's former Queen Sofia and Spain's former King Juan Carlos stand during a handing-over ceremony for the sash of the Capitain General in the Chamber of Audiences at the Zarzuela Palace. Spain's King Felipe VI began his reign in 2014. less Spain's Queen Letizia, (from left) Spain's King Felipe VI, Spanish Princess Sofia, Spanish Crown Princess of Asturias Leonor, Spain's former Queen Sofia and Spain's former King Juan Carlos stand during a ... more Spain’s royalty coming to San Antonio, according to media reports Back to Gallery

The king and queen of Spain will visit San Antonio in honor of the city’s Tricentennial and make a stop in the nation’s capital during a short U.S. tour, according to Spanish media, though local offi cials could not confirm the dates.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia plan a June 16-18 stop in San Antonio, followed by a meeting with President Donald Trump on June 19 in Washington, several Spanish newspapers reported. The royal couple will also visit New Orleans on June 15 in observance of that city’s tricentennial, which happens to coincide with San Antonio’s.

A source close to talks between San Antonio leaders and the Spanish monarchy, but not authorized to speak, said the reported dates of the visit have not been been officially confirmed but are consistent with what local officials were told. The San Antonio Museum of Art is set to open an exhibit, “Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Muse ums of Madrid,” to the public on June 23, just a few days after the reported visit. That exhibit will run through Sept. 16.

The royal couple had reportedly planned the trip to San Antonio and New Orleans for months and added the stop at the White House. One Spanish publication, Vanitatis, referenced the potential “face-to-face” between first lady Melania Trump and Queen Letizia â€" “two style icons” whose meeting was likely to draw the attention of photographers. The format of the first-time meeting between Trump and King Felipe has not been determined, according to Spanish media reports.

The reports also have said the king referenced U.S. relations in a Jan. 31 speech, saying, “This year there will be plenty of opportunities to promote political contacts and strengthen trust between both countries.”

“The United States is an essential ally of Spain and one of our main economic partners. Foundational times of that great American nation, the continuity and quality of shared values and interests prevail,” the king is reported to have said in Spanish during the speech.

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San Antonio was founded by Spanish Franciscan missionaries, backed by the Spanish monarchy and government. The founding of the original site of the Mission San Antonio de Valero, on May 1, 1718, was followed four days later by the founding of a presidio in the name of King Philip V (F elipe V) of Spain. Like Felipe V, Felipe VI is of the royal House of Bourbon.

Sources close to the reported visit said its implications are beyond symbolic, giving impetus for strengthened business relations and cultural and educational exchanges, while raising San Antonio’s profile as a center for cultural tourism and conventions. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce organizes an annual trade mission to Spain to promote awareness of the dozens of Spanish businesses in Texas, such as Acciona Energy, a dealer in renewables, and call center services provider Atento, as well as Aldonza Gourmet, a wine and olive oil company whose initial foothold on U.S. sales has been linked to the Alamo City.

Although then-Mayor Ivy Taylor invited the king and queen more than t wo years ago to visit, Tricentennial officials have been vague when asked about an official follow-up.

Taylor was one of several San Antonians who attended a September 2015 dinner reception in St. Augustine, Florida, welcoming King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who were in Florida for the U.S.-Spanish Council’s International Summit during the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine’s founding in 1565. During the dinner, held two months after San Antonio’s five historic missions were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taylor invited the royal couple to visit during the 300th anniversary celebration in 2018.

A local delegation, including Taylor and six Tricentennial Commission officials, traveled in May 2016 to Spain and the Canary Islands to reinforce overseas relations, in the city’s first goodwill trip of its kind in 40 years. Pedro Morenés, Spanish ambassador to the United States, met in San Antonio last year with city, business and Tricentennial officials.

In a letter dated July 6 to D. Jaime Alfonsín Alfonso, head of the House of His Majesty the King, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff reiterated the invitation “to Their Majesties to join the City of San Antonio in celebrating the 300th Anniversary of its founding.”

“It should be emphasized that hosting Their Majesties would be the most special and most important part of the Tricentennial,” the letter said. “They would represent the continuity of connection, the confluence of civilizations and the thread of history that binds our communities together.”

Earlier this month, the Most Excellent Pedro de Alcántara Roca de Togores, duke of Bejar, Spain, and his wife, the Most Excellent Marta Roca de Togores, duchess of Bejar, led a delegation from Spain that visited San Antonio during the May 1-6 Tricentennial Commemorative Week.

Scott Huddleston is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. Read more of his stories here. | shuddleston@express-news.net | @shuddlestonSA

Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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