The Queen will welcome the Spanish monarchs to England in 2016 for the first time since they ascended to the throne. It was announced on Thursday (Dec. 3) that King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will make a state visit next year, having accepted an invitation from Her Majesty.
The monarchs will visit from March 8 to 10 and stay at the Queen's weekend home, Windsor Castle, which is a 90-minute drive from London. The majestic country estate is also used for state banquets and has, in the past, hosted visits from King Abdullah II of Jordan and former leaders president Mbeki of South Africa and president Chirac of France.
Details of the itinerary have not yet been released, but royal watchers can expect to see the red carpet rolled out for Felipe, 47, and Letizia, 43. Monarchs are usually greeted with full pomp and grandeur, including a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade.
Royal fans will also hope to see the Spanish royals reunited with the nation's sweethearts, Prince William and Kate. The Spanish king and queen attended William and Kate's wedding in 2011 when they were still styled as the Prince and Princess of Asturias.
The following year, Felipe and Letizia returned to the capital to attend the 2012 Olympic Games. The couple flew over with Felipe's parents, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, and the group were spotted cheering on their country at various events, including basketball and handball games.
The last state visit from Spain was by the patriarch and matriarch of the family in 1986. The king abdicated in June last year, but retains his title.
As for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, their last visit to Spain was in 1988.