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King Felipe and Queen Letizia continued their state visit to the United Kingdom last week with a stop at Westminster Abbey.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

While there, they highlighted the long-standing ties between the U.K. and Spain by visiting the tomb of Eleanor of Castile, once an English queen consort.

There are numerous other ties, including Queen Victoria Eugenie, King Felipe’s great grandmother and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe then met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, where they spoke about their ties post-Brexit.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia wore a tiara again, one of her favorites, while visiting the Lord Mayor of the City of London. Princess Anne was there.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties also met with business leaders, Spaniards living in Britain and visited Oxford.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen returned to Spain after a last goodbye from Queen Elizabeth, and strong reviews from the British press.

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King Felipe spoke to the British parliament today, just like his father King Juan Carlos did decades ago.

Don Felipe and Queen Letizia began a  several-day state visit to the United Kingdom today, which included a visit with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Spanish King and Queen also met with Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

During his remarks to Parliament, the King stressed the importance of a united Europe, even as the U.K. seeks to leave the European Union.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

A dinner at Buckingham Palace capped the day, with Queen Letizia wearing one of the most important tiaras in the Spanish Royal Household’s collection.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

On Thursday, the King will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, among several stops.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia department for the United Kingdom today for a long-planned state visit.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties participated in the traditional sendoff ceremony before departing.

The King and Queen left from the State Pavilion at the Barajas Airport in Madrid. The terminal is used for state departures and arrivals.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen have long been meaning to visit the U.K. but a political standoff in Spain delayed their trip.

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King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in the European Parliament over the weekend honoring late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a towering figure in the continent.

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Their Majesties arriving in the European Parliament. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Spanish Royal Household has increasingly used King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, King Felipe’s parents, as emissaries to important events. Both are close to numerous world leaders.

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The King and Queen sitting behind former U.S. President Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Kohl was a major booster of the European Union and Don Juan Carlos helped shepherd Spain joining the block.

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King Felipe once again spoke out against the separatist movement in Catalonia late last month.

The King, while not addressing the issue directly, let himself be understood during remarks at the Princess of Girona Foundation awards.

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Catalan President Carles Puigdemont greets King Felipe. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King, speaking to an audience that included Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who favors a referendum on independence, expressed “sincere and firm commitment” to Girona and Catalonia.

The King also called on the audience to recall actions and values that “have made Catalonia great” and, as a result, “all of Spain.”

The King and the Madrid government have repeatedly stressed territorial unity, coexistence and the rule of law.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia during the ceremony. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

As heir to the throne, King Felipe’s young daughter, Princess Leonor, holds the title of Princess of Asturias.

She also holds several other similar titles based on the different historical kingdoms that now make up Spain.

The Prince or Princess of Girona title went to heirs of the Aragonese throne, which included Catalonia.

The Girona region, north of Barcelona near the French border, is known for above average pro-independence sentiments.

Mini ‘scandal’

A magazine article about Princess Leonor, 11, caused a stir in recent days and gave birth to numerous online memes.

In trying to tell people about the Princess, the piece mentioned her liking Japanese film director Kurosawa.

Many Spaniards felt the Royal Household was trying to oversell the Princess, or that her tastes were too pretentious, particularly for her age.

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The Royal Household excluded King Juan Carlos from an event at the Spanish Congress to commemorate the country’s transition to Democracy, according to several media outlets.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, to the right, and Congress Speaker Ana Pastor, in blue. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, helped steer Spain from dictatorship to Democracy.

But, according to media outlets, the Royal Household thought it was out of protocol for Don Juan Carlos to attend the ceremonies.

Su Majestad el Rey durante su intervención

King Felipe during remarks a the Congress of Deputies Chamber. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Media outlets reported that the elder King expressed his dismay about the snub to friends.

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King Felipe won praise but also skepticism earlier this month when he attended a charity bullfight in Madrid.

Aside from people who oppose the activity, aficionados wondered whether the King — who got a standing ovation — really stands with them.

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King Felipe at the famed Las Ventas bullring in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe has not been as keen on attending bullfights compared to his father, King Juan Carlos, and his sister, Infanta Elena.

Both of them were helping open a new winery in the Basque Country during the Madrid bullfight.

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King Juan Carlos and Infanta Elena. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Conventional wisdom says Queen Letizia is not partial to bullfighting. Neither is Queen Sofia, an animal rights advocate.

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King Felipe with bullfighters. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The late Duchess of Alba was also an animal rights advocate, but an ardent supporter of bullfighting as a Spanish tradition.

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