King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain arrived in Brussels on Wednesday (November 16) at the start of a State visit to Belgium.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain arrived in Brussels on Wednesday (November 16) at the start of a State visit to Belgium. The last time a reigning Spanish monarch visited Belgium was 54 years ago, when the visitors were King Juan Carlos' grandfather, King Alfonso VIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia. The visit comes just 12 days after the Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez had spent two days in the Belgian capital rallying support for Spain's bid to join the European Economic Community.
SYNOPSIS: King Juan carlos and Queen Sophia were greeted at the airport by King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola. The Belgian queen was born in Spain, but though of aristocratic birth, she is not a member of the Spanish Royal family. The visit came at a particularly important time for Spain. it applied to join the European Community in July of last year, and it now awaits the Commission's formal reaction.
security was in evidence at the airport when the Spanish party arrived. Although King Juan Carlos guided Spain to its first democratic election in 40 years last July separatist movements, particularly the Basque organisation ETA, are still resorting to violence.
From the airport the Royal party drove to King Baudouin's Palace in Brussels. Horseguards added to the splendour of the occasion
Later King Juan Carlos laid a wreath at the tomb of Belgium's Unknown Soldier. The Spanish monarch's State visit to Belgium was also to include visits to Ghent and Liege.