King and queen of Spain to visit St. Augustine

According to the St. Augustine Record, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will visit mid-month “as part of the 450th Commemoration.” While details are still being hashed out, a royal visit has been part of the city’s plan for years, according to Dana Ste. Claire, director of the 450th Commemoration.

In addition to Celebrate 450, Sept. 4-8, the U.S.–Spain Council International Summit will be held Sept. 18-20. The forum alternates between U.S. and Spain and brings together more than 200 council members.

Felipe was crowned king last year after his father, formerly King Juan Carlos, abdicated the throne.

In 2001, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited St. Augustine. The king’s visit was met with a crowd of about 5,000 people that filled the Plaza de la Constitucion, according to a previous Record report. The couple toured the historic district, visited the Castillo de San Marcos and dined at the Casa Monica Hotel, according to the story. It was the first time a king and queen had come to the city. Ste. Claire said King Felipe’s visit to St. Augustine could be similar to his father’s.

The Royal Couple has been invited to the following official events: Celebrate 450 Gala on Sept. 7Th, Menéndez Landing Re-Enactment, Procession, and Commemorative Mass on Sept. 8th and the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival Reception Dinner on Sept. 11th.

Ste. Claire said the planned visit is an indication of St. Augustine’s importance. “It validates our standing as one of the most important cities not only in America but one of the most important cities in the world for … the role it played in the historic and cultural development of America,” Ste. Claire said.