King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain’s state visit to the U.K. has been cancelled for the time being. The Spanish royal couple were forced to cancel their planned visit to meet Queen Elizabeth II due to political uncertainty in Spain. They were due to visit the country from March 8 to March 11, which would have been their first visit to Britain since Felipe acceded to the throne in June 2014.
The December’s general election resulted in a hung parliament for the first time in Spain. Felipe has been having several meetings with political leaders in a bid to try and form a ruling coalition government. “Notice is given that due to the process of the formation of a new government currently underway in Spain, [the state] visit has been postponed,” an official statement issued by the Spanish foreign office.
Meanwhile, shortly after a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that the queen understood why the Spanish royals had chosen to postpone their trip. “The Queen has been informed of the Spanish Government’s decision to cancel the forthcoming State Visit,” a statement said. The spokesperson added that any future plans to reschedule the visit were a bit too early to talk about.
Felipe and Letizia were scheduled to stay at the Windsor Castle during their visit. However, details of the itinerary had not been released. Royal watchers were hoping to see Felipe, 47, and Letizia, 43, reunited with the Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Spanish king and queen attended the British royal couple’s wedding in 2011 when they were still styled as the Prince and Princess of Asturias.
The last state visit from Spain was by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in 1986. Felipe’s parents still retain their royal titles.
This is not the first time that a state visit has been put off. In June 1961, the king and queen of Belgium were forced to reschedule their visit for five years later in 1966. Besides, the president of Italy due to political circumstances was forced to put off his 1987 trip until 1990.