Ever since the Queen and Prince Philip announced they would be taking on fewer royal duties, senior members of the royal family have gladly stepped in to help. And it seems that later this month Prince Harry will take part in his first state visit, hosting the king and queen of Spain for one engagement during their stay in the UK.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia will spend 12 to 14 July in London as guests of the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace. On Thursday 13 July, Prince Harry will accompany the Spanish royals to Westminster Abbey where the king will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. Prayers will be said by the Dean, followed by a short tour of the Abbey, including the Tomb of Eleanor of Castile.
Felipe and Letizia are due to arrive privately in the UK on Tuesday 11 July. The couple, who will travel without their daughters Princesses Leonor and Sofia, will be met by the Queen's lord-in-waiting the Viscount Brookeborough. The following morning, they will receive a formal ceremonial welcome from the Queen, 91, and Prince Philip, 96, at Horse Guards Parade.
Other engagements in their jam-packed diary include a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, an afternoon tea with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House, and a visit to Westminster, where the king will deliver an address. Felipe and Letizia will also meet Prime Minister Theresa May and spend an afternoon at the Spanish Ambassador's Residence for a reception with members of the Spanish Community. On Wednesday 12 July, the Queen will host a state banquet at Buckingham Palace for her royal guests of honour.
The Spanish state visit has been a long time coming. The royals were due to visit the Queen in March 2016, but the trip was postponed due to Spain's general election in December 2015 that resulted in a hung parliament for the first time. Felipe's attention was turned to meeting with political leaders in a bid to try and form a ruling coalition government. In June 2017, the state visit was postponed for a second time as it coincided with polling day following Theresa May's snap general election.