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  • Writer's pictureRCS Ottawa

Britain Welcomes Spanish King, Tries Not to Mention the Armada

British diplomats are brushing over a century of conflict and one attempted invasion as they seek to bolster ties with Spain in the midst of the Brexit negotiations.

The U.K. Foreign Office is vaunting “500 years of partnership” with “some of Britain’s oldest friends” ahead of King Felipe VI’s state visit which begins on Wednesday. That reading skips over a few details along the way though, such as the time Spain sent its Armada to conquer Britain and the sporadic wars of the 18th century, not to mention the dispute over Gibraltar that’s been simmering for more than 300 years.

Elizabeth II’s grand greeting for Felipe and his wife Queen Letizia, with all the pomp that Britain can muster, is more to do with the country’s current predicament than the history of its relationship with Spain, said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.


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