LONDON – A state visit to the United Kingdom by the King and Queen of Spain has been pushed back a month due to a snap election taking place there at the same time in June, Buckingham Palace said on Friday.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia’s visit was now set to take place July 12-14 so that it would not coincide with the general election, called by the UK government this week for June 8.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain have agreed that, in light of the General Election, the planned State Visit to the United Kingdom from 6th to 8th June 2017 by King Felipe and Queen Letizia should be postponed,” a statement released by the Palace said.
“The Visit will now take place on 12th to 14th July 2017,” the statement said.
Spanish diplomatic sources confirmed that the visit had been pushed back as it would have otherwise coincided with the day of the election.
The UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday a surprise bid to hold a general election, a move that was approved by the House of Commons – the lower chamber of Parliament – the following day.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said Thursday that it would be “logical” for the royal visit to be postponed due to the date clashing with the election.
The royals originally planned to visit the UK in March 2016, but due to the difficult process of forming a Spanish government at that time, the trip had to be canceled.
The visit would be the first state visit by Spain’s royal family since that of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in April 1986.