ROYAL SNUB: Spain’s Queen cancels UK Jubilee visit over Gibraltar dispute

Queen Sofia of Spain has cancelled a visit to the UK to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee because of disputes over Gibraltar. A Spanish government statement said it was “hardly appropriate” for Queen Sofia, 73, to attend a lunch on Friday. (see related news)


Spanish Queen Snubs Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Over Gibraltar Dispute (IBTimes):

Spain’s Queen Sofia won’t be attending Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee celebration on Friday as planned amid a dispute over Gibraltar.






Sovereign Monarchs Lunch – HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Windsor Castle – May 2012 :



Rights groups have slammed a lunch hosted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Friday for including monarchs criticized for their countries’ human rights records.

Among those who attended the event at Windsor Castle is the king of Bahrain, whose government has come under fire for its crackdown on anti-government protests last year and its handling of continuing unrest.

Swaziland’s King Mswati III, accused by critics of enjoying a lavish lifestyle at public expense while his people suffer great poverty, was also there.

No significant protests marked the monarchs’ arrival at Windsor, where they were each greeted by the queen and the duke of Edinburgh before sitting down to eat. But rights group Amnesty International said the event risked giving the impression that Britain did not care about the victims of human rights abuses.


“We can imagine why victims of recent human rights abuses in countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland and Thailand might feel their plight has been ignored when they see the guest list for the queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International. (More Here)







Returning the Rock – Gibraltar:

The colony of just 6.5. sq km has been in British hands since the early 18th century. It was an important staging post for the Empire, and played a vital role in both world wars. On 14 occasions the rock has come under siege from Spain, but Britain has always clung on to its colony. “Spain has never liked the fact that they lost Gibraltar and have consequently made difficulties” says the Governor of Gibraltar.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures 29 April 2002

Gibraltar employing struggling Spaniards :

Spain’s unemployment problems are forcing some people to cross the border into the neighbouring British territory of Gibraltar, where there is almost full employment.

BBC’s Tom Burridge reports.







Elizabeth I deals with the Spanish ambassador:

Scene from the 1937 movie “Fire Over England” (92 min). (Storyline based on the novel “Fire Over England” by A. E. W. Mason.)

Philip II of Spain plots against Elizabeth I and England :

Scene from the 1937 movie “Fire Over England” (92 min). (Storyline based on the novel “Fire Over England” by A. E. W. Mason.)

David Cameron Vs 

Mariano Rajoy on the Status of Gibraltar :






King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, 50 years serving Spain :

Madrid, 14 May (EFE).- Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were married fifty years ago today, a marriage that brought together the Spanish and Greek royal families. The monarchs have decided, though, to not organise official celebrations to mark their golden wedding anniversary.








Diamond Jubilee: Spain’s Queen Sofia cancels UK visit (bbc)


Queen Sofia of Spain has cancelled a visit to the UK to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee because of disputes over Gibraltar.

A Spanish government statement said it was “hardly appropriate” for Queen Sofia, 73, to attend a lunch on Friday.

The UK and Spain have been in dispute over fishing rights off Gibraltar, a UK territory which Spain also claims.

Spain has also protested over a visit to Gibraltar by Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie.

The prince and the Countess of Wessex are to visit Gibraltar on 11-13 June as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign.


Spain continues to claim sovereignty over Gibraltar, which has been ruled by Britain since 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht.

Queen Sofia’s husband, King Juan Carlos, had already declined his invitation to the lunch at Windsor Castle on Friday.


He is recovering from surgery last month after he fell and broke his hip while hunting elephants in Botswana.

In 1981, the Spanish royal couple declined an invitation to Prince Charles’s wedding ana, Princess of Wales because they planned to visit Gibraltar as part of their honeymoon.

And a visit by Princess Anne to Gibraltar in 2009 sparked an official complaint from the Spanish government.

An additional cause of unhappiness for the Spanish royal household is the fact that the British regimental band of Gibraltar will be performing at the Diamond Jubilee, reports the Spanish news agency Efe.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the AFP news agency: “The visit was a private commitment and we don’t comment on private visits.”


Sovereign’s lunch


Officials at Buckingham Palace have refused to confirm which monarchs are attending the lunch on Friday, but the BBC’s royal correspondent Peter Hunt said Prince Albert of Monaco and the Emperor of Japan would be at Windsor Castle.

Emperor Akihito, who is 78, underwent heart surgery in February and only returned to full official duties in April.

Swaziland’s King Mswati III, who critics accuse of leading a “lavish lifestyle” while his people starve, is among those attending.

Protests were held outside the Savoy hotel in London on Wednesday by Swazis living in the UK, who claim two-thirds of people in Swaziland are living in extreme poverty.

Our correspondent said the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, could also attend, despite public unrest in the country and accusations of human rights abuses.

The lunch will be followed by an evening banquet at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Prince of Wales.



Recommended Photo Essay :

 In pictures: Monarchs at Windsor for Diamond Jubilee (bbc)


Recommended Reading :


World royals mark Diamond Jubilee (bbc)



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