Weeks of political instability here in Spain, with no government yet to be formed following the December 20 general election and the king’s constitutional role in resolving the situation, has led to the postponement of the March state visit to the UK.
The long-awaited royal state visit to the UK has been scrapped, at least temporarily, because of how long it is taking to form a government.
It was expected to be especially exciting because King Felipe has not visited the UK since he became king in June 2014, and it is 30 years since the last Spanish state visit to the UK by his parents King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1986.
The queen and Prince Philip paid a state visit to Spain two years later.
It was only in December that King Felipe VI accepted the invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom in 2016 and the Spanish royals were due to be in Britain from March 8 to 10.
During their planned state visit, the king and queen of Spain would have stayed at Windsor Castle, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.
The Spanish foreign ministry announced the postponement as the country’s politicians struggle to form a coalition to govern the country.
Political instability brought about by the fragmented results of December 20’s general elections ended Spain’s traditional two-party system.
Although leader of the party gaining the most seats in the Congress, former PP (conservative) prime minister Mariano Rajoy turned down King Felipe’s invitation to form a new government after it became clear he wouldn’t receive the necessary support from the other main parties in order to form a coalition.
Now, the King has nominated PSOE (socialist) leader Pedro Sanchez to form a government but, since it may take up to four weeks to complete negotiations successfully, the Royals have decided that they need to remain at home.
The first of a two-part blog about the life of Gwen Higgs, her MS, the HSCT she received in Russia and her life today – begins tomorrow, Saturday February 6. Be sure not to miss it.