King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain will make their first state visit to the UK in March 2016. They accepted the invitation from Queen Elizabeth II, it was announced on Thursday.

The royal couple will visit the United Kingdom from 8-10 March and will stay at Windsor Castle, Hello reports. The castle, Her Majesty's weekend home, is just a 90-minute drive from London. Windsor has hosted visits from various foreign leaders and dignitaries like King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, and President Jacques Chirac of France. The castle is also used to host state banquets.

The king abdicated from the throne in June 2014, but still retains his title. This is the first Spanish state visit to the UK since King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia visited in 1986. Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, on the other hand, last visited Spain in 1988.

Details of the itinerary have not yet been released. However, a red carpet welcome is expected to be rolled out for King Felipe and Queen Letizia that includes a ceremonial welcome at the Horse Guards Parade.

The monarchs attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 when they were still called Prince and Princess of Asturias. During the London Olympics in 2012, the couple was spotted cheering for their country at various events. They attended the games with their parents.

Juan Carlos brought back democracy in the country, but his image suffered when he went on a luxurious African elephant-hunting safari despite Spain's economic crisis, BBC reports. The royal family’s reputation suffered further when Felipe’s sister Cristina was accused of tax fraud. She denied the accusations, but will go on trial in January.

The two royal families are directly related through the marriage of Alfonso XIII of Spain to Princess Victoria Eugenia in 1906. Ena is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and is the great-grandmother of King Felipe, Royal Central reports.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.