Spanish royals start delayed state visit to Germany

Oct 17, 2022, 4:00 AM | Updated: 4:11 am
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, second left, and his wife Elke Buedenbender, left, welcom...

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, second left, and his wife Elke Buedenbender, left, welcome Spain's King Felipe, second right, and Queen Letizia, right, for a meeting at the Belevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have started a state visit to Germany that was delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will see the monarch and the German president open the annual Frankfurt Book Fair.

Felipe was received with military honors by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday at the German head of state’s Bellevue palace in Berlin.

“Finally we’re here – we’re very happy about that,” Felipe said. He said Germany and Spain are “united by the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

The king also is due to hold a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; visit the German parliament, Berlin city hall and the capital’s Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of Germany’s post-Cold War reunification; and attend a German-Spanish forum that will address issues such as the transition to a greener future and digitization.

Felipe and Steinmeier are due to open the Frankfurt Book Fair together on Tuesday. Spain is the guest of honor at this year’s fair, which runs until Sunday.

“We hope it will help promote even more the Spanish language and culture as a vehicle for mutual understanding between our two peoples,” Felipe told reporters at the presidential palace.

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              The wife of Germany's President Elke Buedenbender, left, and Spain's Queen Letizia, right, talk during a military welcome ceremony at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
            
              Elke Buedenbender, left, wife of German President, speakes Spain's Queen Letizia during an official visit at Bellevue Palace, in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia arrives for an official visit to Germany at Bellevue Palace, in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              Spain's King Felipe VI arrives for an official visit at Bellevue Palace, in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
            
              German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, welcomes King Felipe VI of Spain with military honors in front of Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. The Spanish royal couple is in Germany for a three-day state visit. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)
            
              From left, the wife of Germany's President Elke Buedenbender, Spain's Queen Letizia, Spain's King Felipe and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier pose for the media prior to a military welcome ceremony at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
            
              German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, second left, and his wife Elke Buedenbender, left, welcome Spain's King Felipe, second right, and Queen Letizia, right, for a meeting at the Belevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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Spanish royals start delayed state visit to Germany