The King of Spain’s state visit to the UK has been postponed after his country’s foreign minister indicated that staging it during the UK’s general election would not be appropriate.
The visit of King Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia, had been scheduled for June 6-8, which would have coincided with polling day, but will now take place from July 12-14, Buckingham Palace said.
The rescheduling comes after Spain’s foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, said his country does not deem it appropriate to continue with the state visit when politicians will be on the campaign trail and Parliament has been dissolved ahead of the June 8 election.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain have agreed that, in light of the general election, the planned state visit to the United Kingdom from 6th to 8th June 2017 by King Felipe and Queen Letizia should be postponed. The visit will now take place on 12th to 14th July 2017.”
King Felipe was due to make a state visit to the UK in March last year, but this was postponed due to a political crisis in his country.
When the dates of the Spanish monarch’s trip were announced, it appeared to confirm speculation that US president Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK would be held in October.
The last Spanish state visit to Britain was made by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1986, while the Queen made a state visit to Spain in 1988.