Sevilla’s royal gift to King Charles III

Sevilla's royal tradition.

Hugh Elliot receiving Sevilla's finest oranges. Credit: HughElliottUK/X

The city of Sevilla ensures its international ties remain strong, by continuing an age-old gesture of goodwill towards the British monarchy.

On Friday, February 16, the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, was presented with approximately 20 kilos of Sevilla oranges.

The fruits, plucked from the historic trees of the Reales Alcazares, are destined to be transformed into marmalade for King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

A revived tradition

The Mayor of Sevilla, Jose Luis Sanz, is keen to maintain a tradition resurrected by the previous PSOE government team five years ago, under the guidance of Manuel del Valle, the former Mayor and Alcazar curator.

This tradition dates back to the union of Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg in 1906, which solidified the bond between Spain and the United Kingdom.

The wedding of Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg, the great-grandparents of Felipe VI, on May 31, 1906, strengthened ties between the crowns of Spain and the United Kingdom.

It symbolises the enduring connection between the two nations through the annual gift of bitter oranges, a tradition cherished by both monarchies.

Elliott’s personal touch

UK’s ambassador Hugh Elliott posted the event on Twitter/X: ‘One more year, as tradition dictates, I have the honour of receiving some of the famous bitter oranges from @SevillaAlcazar from the Mayor of Sevilla @jlsanzalcalde, with which every year we prepare the Marmalade that we will send to Buckingham Palace.’

The person in charge of making the marmalade is none other than the British ambassador himself, using a cherished recipe from his mother, going so far as to show off his culinary skills on social media some years back.

His personal involvement not only showcases his culinary skills but also adds a touch of familial warmth to this diplomatic exchange.

Elliott’s connection to Andalucia is profound, having worked as a tour guide in the region before embarking on his diplomatic career.

A living legacy

The orange and lemon trees of the Real Alcazar, some over five centuries old, are a living testament to Sevilla’s rich history.

Legend has it that the oldest orange tree was planted by King Pedro, while another significant planting was attributed to Charles V and Isabella of Portugal.

The annual harvest of these trees, carried out manually, continues to contribute to the preservation of this historical legacy, while also providing the raw ingredients for a gift that transcends borders.

A visit to the Alcazar gardens in 2011, with the former Prince Charles expressing his admiration for its Mudejar art, underscores the deep cultural ties that the gift of Sevilla oranges marmalade represents.

Every year, this gesture renews a piece of Europe’s oldest palace in use, serving as a reminder of the enduring bonds formed through shared traditions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.