King Felipe VI, accompanied by Queen Letizia of Spain, has accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom in 2016, Buckingham Palace has announced. The Spanish royals will be in Britain from 8 to 10 March.
During their state visit, the king and queen of Spain will stay at Windsor Castle, the Palace said. This will be the first state visit from Spain since King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited the UK in 1986. The queen and Prince Philip paid a state visit to Spain two years later.
Queen Letizia and Kate Middleton's style
The visit will also be Felipe and Letizia's first official tour of the UK since they became the king and queen of Spain after Felipe ascended the throne on the abdication of his father Juan Carlos I on 19 June, 2014. The royal couple earlier visited London to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011, as the then Prince and Princess of Spain.
Though 11 years elder to Kate Middleton, Queen Letizia's style is often compared with that of the Duchess of Cambridge. As the Spanish queen visits Britain next year, she is most likely to meet the Duchess, and a comparison of both the royal style icons seems almost inevitable when they come face to face.
A similar situation occurred in the past during the visit of Monaco's Princess Charlene, yet another contemporary royal linked with Kate Middleton for sharing commoner-turned-princess backgrounds with the duchess as does Queen Letizia, who was a television journalist before marrying into Spain's royal family.
In 2012, Princess Charlene, a former South African Olympic swimmer, attended the Queen's Diamond Jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle where she met Kate Middleton. The princess wore a baby blue regal ensemble while Catherine looked like a bubbly young girl in her pleated Emilia Wickstead baby pink dress.
Catherine and Queen Letizia, both mothers of two heirs, may have never seen each other in person but both of their wardrobes have always been in the spotlight. Be it about their choice of wearing vibrant red dresses to official engagements or their outshining in floor-length elegant gowns, Kate and Letizia have seldom shied away from wowing with their presence.
Will there be a fashion faceoff between Catherine and Queen Letizia in March next year? Fashionistas will have to wait to know. For now, we only hope that Letizia's visit does not coincide with the Duke and the Duchess's visit to India that is also said to take place in early 2016 but the dates of which have not been confirmed.