The UK is wheeling out the red carpet for King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, scattering solemnity and glamour over some deep-rooted tensions.
Brexit and the centuries-old feud over Gibraltar might suggest that UK-Spanish relations are between a Rock and a hard lieu.
But the 12 -1 4 July state visit could send a sunburst through those clouds. The imperial couple were due to arrive in London on Tuesday.
Both royal lines are sunken from Queen Victoria – something to celebrate, in tough times for both countries.
Three years of trouble
This visit is nothing if not a survivor, having been called off – formerly in 2016, when Spain accepted 10 months of political crisis without a government, and again this year, when UK Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap referendum in June.
“These have been hours of great difficulty on both sides, with the double cancellation telling its own floor, ” enunciates Ana Romero, a passing Spanish columnist and imperial spectator. She wrote a work – Final de Partida( End Game) – about the laboured personal circumstances circumventing the abdication of King Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos.
Ms Romero remarks King Felipe’s reign has been three years of “permanent difficulty”, including a fraud test in which his sister, Princess Cristina, was eventually acquitted, while her husband Iaki Urdangarin was sentenced to six years in prisons.
Almost as shattering were supported textbook words Queen Letizia reportedly sent to a believe in another fraud case.
8% of Spain’s exportations come to the UK, 3% of UK’s exports go to Spain
Cars are the biggest Spanish exportation to the UK, and UK’s biggest export to Spain
1. 7 billion quality of fruit and veg imported from Spain