Spanish royals start delayed state visit to Germany

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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