Pomp and Pageantry In Parliament For Spanish Monarch
LONDON (AP) _ King Juan Carlos of Spain became the first foreign monarch to address a joint session of the British Parliament on Wednesday. He made only a glancing reference to the nations’ dispute over Gibraltar.
He told the packed house that the British colony was ″the only problem that separates″ Spain and Britain.
The two countries have held talks about Gibraltar for the past two years. The dispute dates back to 1713 when Spain ceded Gibraltar, an island on the southern tip of Spain, to Britain.
″The recently resumed dialogue over Gibraltar is a step forward, but there still remains a long way to go,″ said Juan Carlos.
″Geography and history have caused Spain and Great Britain to journey along the same paths throughout the long and complex road of European and world history, at times in opposition and other times as allies,″ he said.
The king and his wife, Queen Sofia, were on the second day of a four-day state visit at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was the first visit to Britain by a Spanish monarch in 81 years.
President Reagan and two French presidents, Francois Mitterand and Charles de Gaulle, are the only other heads of state to have addressed a joint session of Parliament.