The visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Spain continued on Thursday with a visit to meet both the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.
The Spanish Press has noted how the Royal Visit has highlighted the Prime Minister’s lack of English. Zapatero is reported to have said to Prince Charles ‘Yes, very well fandango’. The press contrast the Prime Minister’s lack of linguistic skill with that of Prince Felipe, and that of Esperanza Aguirre, the regional PP President of Madrid.
However interpreters were on hand for Zapatero and Charles to talk about the world economic crisis, the fight against climate change, and the creation of low carbon economy. El País reports that other subjects raised were inter-religious dialogue, support for youngsters in business, and the relationship between the two countries. No political mattes were talked about and there was no mention of Gibraltar, which had however been raised by Prince Felipe during the gala dinner on Wednesday night in honour of the royal guests.
Gallardón praised the system of the parliamentary monarchy and presented Charles with the golden keys to the city. Gallardón said that Britain had been the ‘glorious pioneer’ in the system, and that Spain was now one of the best current exponents.
Gallardón compared the attitude of the British monarchy in the First and Second World Wars with that of Spain during the transition.
Reports indicate that Charles made a joke over the keys to the city, hoping he said that they were not going to change the lock. 200 years ago the same honour went to the first Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley.
Charles told the Mayor that he felt very at home in a city which has so many street names of British cities.
In the afternoon Charles is visiting the Repsol Biomass Technology Centre in Mostoles with Prince Felipe, while Camilla goes with Doña Letizia to visit the guide dogs at the ONCE blind centre in Boadilla del Monte.
On Friday the Prince and Duchess will officially visit Sevilla between 1pm and 5,30pm and then their visit to Andalucía will continue with a private nature over the weekend in the thousand hectare estate of the Duke of Wellingon in Íllora, Granada.