Spanish King and Queen welcomed to Andorra in historic first visit

CREDIT: Casa de S. M. el Rey

THE King and Queen of Spain are on a state visit to Andorra, the first official visit by a Spanish monarch in the country’s 700-year history.

Don Felipe VI and Doña Letizia, accompanied by the Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez, were received by the co-princes at the Casa de la Vall, the old headquarters of Parliament in the capital.

The archbishop of La Seu d’Urgell (Lleida), Joan Enric Vives, and Patrick Strzoda, the representative of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who is the other head of state of Andorra, welcomed the monarchs, who arrived by helicopter.

The reception with honours on the esplanade of the Casa de la Vall was also attended by the President of the Andorran Government, Xavier Espot, and the general trustee, Roser Suñe.

The King and Queen greeted the presidents of the five parliamentary groups that make up the Chamber in Andorra.

This is the first official visit of a Spanish monarch to Andorra, a country founded more than seven centuries ago with joint Heads of State as a symbol of equality in the balanced relations between Spain and France.

Spain established formal diplomatic relations in 1993 with Andorra once it was recognized as a State by the United Nations.

Until now, the highest authority that had visited Andorra from Spain was the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, in 2015, four years after Spain stopped considering Andorra a tax haven.

A shopkeeper waiting outside his business to see the King and Queen told them, “you are welcome here”.

Around 27,000 Spaniards live in Andorra, a third of the total population, many of whom gathered, holding Spanish flags, to see the Royal couple, who spoke to locals although there was no hand-shaking due to the current restrictions.

Their trip continues today, Friday, March 26, with more cultural visits.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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