Spain’s Queen visits Oxford

Spain’s Queen Sofia has visited the UK’s Oxford University this week, attending an event at Oxford University’s Exeter College.


The royal made the visit on Tuesday as part of the celebrations commemorating the 700th anniversary of Exeter College.

Queen Sofia is an honorary fellow of Exeter College and the patron of the Queen Sofía Junior Fellowship.

The fellowship was established to fund scholarships in contemporary Spanish literature and culture at the college.

Queen Sofia attended a seminar on Spanish literature and its study in the University of Oxford, which was first cemented with the establishment of the School of Modern Languages in Oxford in 1905.

The event was held at the Taylorian Institution, where speeches were delivered by the current holder of the King Alfonso XIII Professorship, Professor Edwin Williamson.

The holder of the current Queen Sofia Junior Fellowship, Dr Daniela Olmor, and fellow students also spoke at the event, which was followed by a formal lunch.

Each spoke about their personal experiences in the study of Spanish as well as their individual research interests in the field.

In a speech given during the meal at Exeter’s hall, Queen Sofia gave a brief speech in which she said: “I am truly happy to join you for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of Exeter College, an august institution which throughout its history has contributed to the development of society through its remarkable educational vocation and its excellent academic achievement.

“Spain shares in the joy of this commemoration, not only because the Chair of Spanish Studies which, since 1927, has borne the name of King Alfonso XIII, but also because your university is one of the leading centres for teaching and studying Spanish, one of the world’s great languages, together with English.”

Following the event Her Majesty was taken on a tour of the college gardens by college rector Frances Cairncross, during which she was introduced to Spanish students from the college.

Queen Sofia was born into the Greek Royal family in 1938. She married the current King of Spain, Juan Carlos in 1962.

She studied at Athens University before spending time in the UK at Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge.

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