The British Embassy in Spain hosted a birthday party on Thursday at the residence of the ambassador, Simon Manley, in Madrid, in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II, who is 92 this year.
The Madrid Metropolitan joined more than 700 guests from the worlds of politics, business and society attended the event, which is equivalent to Britain’s national day.
“Again this year, we are celebrating the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. And, on this occasion, I invite you to explore what might surprise you about my country. I invite you to find your own Great Britain. I would like to welcome you to a modern Britain, a European nation, whether inside or outside of the European Union. A country devoted to freedom, which has been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights, from the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century to the suffragettes in the twentieth, the centenary of whose victory we celebrate this year. A UK that is a melting pot of unmissable experiences, where famous landmarks neighbour undiscovered gems, and where vibrant cities sit next to epic countryside,” the ambassador said.
Inspired in the campaign “I Travel for the Unexpected” rolled out by VisitBritain, the UK national tourist body, the party featured a number of unexpected treats. The artist Hugo Lomas, known as Sfhir, created graffiti art in a live performance, and guests enjoyed sets by Katy Sainz, one of Madrid’s most popular and innovative DJs. A landscape of lavender taken from Surrey landscapes, the imagery referred to haute cuisine in Edinburgh, the Boom Town fair in Winchester, and images of the Bristol hot air balloon festival.
The Ambassador, Simon Manley, expressed pride in the fact that more than 175,000 Spanish nationals have made Britain their home, enriching its economy, culture and cuisine. He highlighted that the UK and Spain have an excellent trade relationship worth €60 billion annually, and strong educational ties: 55,000 pupils and students attend British educational institutions in Spain. Britain is the second most visited destination for Spanish tourists after France, and Spain is the most popular destination for British tourists, who made almost 19 million visits last year.
The party was sponsored by Sanitas, BP Oil España, King’s Group, banco HSBC, KPMG, Ferrovial, Banco Santander, Iberdrola, BT Global Services, Natwest España, INTU Eurofund and Hays.
Products were provided by AMC–ICFC Ice Creams (who unveiled a new range); Diageo (with its Gordon’s Pink Gin label and the launch of the alcohol-free “Gordon’s Sin”); Fever Tree (tonic water and soft drinks); the UK restaurant chain Wagamama; fish from the Northern Ireland fisheries cooperative Sea Source, meat provided by Dunbia (one of the leading red meat processors in the UK and Ireland) and beer from Mahou.