A state visit in preparation for 40 years – Royal Central
Frankie Fouganthin / CC BY-SA Wiki Commons
According to the website of the Royal Swedish House, the Scandinavian country will soon host a state visit that has been in preparation for 40 years.
On November 24 and 25, 2021, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will travel to Sweden with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares.
The last time a Spanish royal couple visited the Scandinavian kingdom was in 1979, when King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia welcomed King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía. Two years later, in 1981, it was the Spanish royal family that welcomed the Swedes. To give readers an idea of how time has passed, in 1979 King Felipe (then Prince Felipe) was 11 and Crown Princess Victoria was two.
The 1979 State Visit included three gala occasions (that is, three occasions that required commissions and for which women were required to wear tiaras): the State Banquet, the Return Banquet, and an evening gala, which in this case was a theater performance. In 1981, the tone was already more in line with the most significant State Visits of the present time, with “just” the State banquet and the return banquet.
Currently, Spain is not known for hosting lavish events at home, as the country has gone through a series of economic recessions. King Felipe made it a focal point of his reign to project an image of austerity to the public. But Sweden is the exact opposite, with the King and Queen always going out of their way for any incoming state visit.
And we all know that one of the basic principles of the protocol is reciprocity. This does not simply mean that the King and Queen of Spain will be called upon to host a state visit for their Swedish counterparts in the future, but that it will also have to be similar, if not equal, in terms of pomp and ceremony. ceremony. So what can we expect from this long-awaited meeting?
As an expert in protocol, I can say that a happy medium will probably be necessary; the traditional state banquet is sure to make an appearance in the timeline, with King Felipe and Queen Letizia possibly sporting the Order of Seraphim sashes that King Carl XVI Gustaf awarded them earlier today.
And, as the visit will only last two days, I wouldn’t expect King Felipe and Queen Letizia to have time to organize a homecoming banquet or gala evening. Instead, they might have lunch on the second day with the King and Queen (and possibly other members of the Swedish Royal Family) at the Spanish Embassy in Stockholm. As for the timeline of the return visit, my expert opinion is that we will see it happen over the next couple of years, to honor the history of the previous ones as well.
And since Queen Letizia has shown, over the years, a positive attitude towards borrowing her mother-in-law’s dresses, it wouldn’t surprise me if she chose to wink. eye to the 40 years of waiting in its choice of clothes or accessories. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Queen Silvia pay homage to 1979 or 1981 by collecting pieces from her closet that she had 40 years ago. After all, diplomatic dress is one of the general skills of diplomacy, and state visits aim to strengthen the relationship between two countries.