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Spanish State Visit to the UK 2017

Items from the Royal Collection shown during the visit of King Felipe VI

Replica lion busts, seated on a base with paws resting on an orb

State Visits play an integral role in strengthening Britain's relationships with countries across the world. In July 2017 Her Majesty The Queen welcomed King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain to Buckingham Palace. The last State Visit from Spain took place in April 1986 and in 1988 The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, made the first visit to Spain by a reigning British Monarch when she visited the country at the invitation of King Felipe's father, King Juan Carlos.

HM Queen Elizabeth and King Felipe view a table of archival items in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace

TRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip view a display of items from the Royal Collection in the Picture Gallery with TRH King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain ©

To mark the occasion the Royal Collection put together an exhibition of items celebrating the historic ties between the United Kingdom and Spain, presenting objects dating back to the sixteenth century and gifts from the 1988 State Visit, as well as examples of Spanish craftsmanship and artworks by British artists based in Spain.

Click on the trail to see some of the objects that were displayed and learn more about the relationship between the two countries.

Sixteenth century dynastic ties

Ties between date back to at least the sixteenth century

Queen Ena of Spain

Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg was the youngest granddaughter of Queen Victoria

British artists and the Alhambra

In the nineteenth century British artist developed a romanticised view of Moorish Spain

Spanish metalwork

The Prince of Wales visited the historic metalwork centre of Toledo in 1876

1988 State Visit

The first visit by a reigning British monarch was undertaken in 1988