King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will carry out a state visit to the UK in June. The palace has confirmed that the royal couple accepted an invitation from the Queen to stay at Buckingham Palace.
The trip has been a long time coming. Felipe, 49, and his wife Letizia, 44, were due to visit the Queen in March last year on their first trip to Britain since they became king and queen in 2014. However, a month before their expected departure, the state visit was postponed due to the political situation in Spain.
The December general election in 2015 resulted in a hung parliament for the first time, meaning that Felipe's attention was turned to meeting with political leaders in a bid to try and form a ruling coalition government. An official statement issued by the Spanish Foreign Office said: "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."
Following the announcement, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace 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," the statement said. "The Queen, of course, fully understands the decision and the context in which it was taken."
The monarchs were due to visit from Mar. 8 to Mar. 10 2016 and were set to stay at Windsor Castle. The castle, which is a 90-minute drive away from London, is often used by Her Majesty as her weekend home. Details of this summer’s itinerary have not yet been revealed, but royal watchers are hoping that Felipe and Letizia will be 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 last state visit from Spain was by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in 1986. Meanwhile, the Queen and Prince Philip paid a state visit to Spain in 1988.