King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcome Italian President for State visit – Royal Central
With all the ceremony due to the occasion, King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and his daughter Laura Mattarella for a two-day state visit.
President Mattarella landed at Madrid Barajas-Adolfo Suarez Airport on the morning of November 16 and was greeted there by Italian and Spanish authorities. From there he proceeded to the Royal Palace of Madrid, where King Felipe and Queen Letizia greeted him with military honors.
King Felipe and President Mattarella listened to the two national anthems and the 21-gun salute and reviewed the guard of honor, before heading inside the palace for a short meeting, which was attended by also attended Queen Letizia and President Mattarella’s daughter, Laura.
During the meeting at the Royal Palace, a Spanish delegation of authorities was present, including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the Presidents of the House and Senate and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.
President Mattarella then placed a wreath on the monuments for those who have fallen in love with Spain (Monumento a los Caídos por España), an act in which he was not accompanied by the king.
The two heads of state then met at the Zarzuela Palace, where they held another meeting which this time included Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who also travels with the Italian president, as well as many authorities. Spanish.
The day continued with a meeting between President Mattarella and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at the Moncloa Palace, before the State Dinner concluded the day’s events.
President Mattarella has been traveling with his daughter Laura as first lady, since he lost his wife Marisa to cancer in 2012. Although she has done so in the past, the agenda of this visit does not foresee her going solo, which means that Queen Letizia’s schedule will also be quite light compared to usual state visits.
According to the website of the Italian Presidency, the last state visit of an Italian president to Spain was carried out in 1996 by then president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. King Felipe and Queen Letizia have already met President Mattarella on several occasions, most notably in 2015, when the newly elected president paid an official visit to Spain.