The King of Spain, Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia, yesterday, 13th April, had an audience with the British Ambassador, Hugh Elliot, to offer their condolences on the death of the Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who died last week at the age of 99.
The two Philips were blood related – indeed the family ties of the British and Spanish royal households run deep – going back to the “grandmother of Europe”, Queen Victoria.
Felipe VI is the great-grandson of Queen Ena of Spain, who started life as Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the only daughter of Queen Victoria’s youngest child, Princess Beatrice and who married Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1906.
The infamous wedding which took place in Madrid was the scene of an attempted assasination of the royal couple by an anarchist who threw a bomb at their carriage killing 25 people.
On his mother´s side, Felipe is related as well – through his mother, Queen Sofia, who was the daughter of King Paul of Greece, who was himself was a grandson of Victoria, Princess Royal and the eldest of Queen Victoria´s nine children.
The Duke of Edinburgh´s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg – who was also a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and who married into the Greek royal family.
The Battenberg name was Anglicised for the British branch of the family to Mountbatten in 1917.
The former king, Juan Carlos I maintained a close relationship with Queen Elizabeth and made a historic visit to the UK in 1986, in which he was the first reigning monarch to address both Houses of Parliament.
King Felipe was similarly honoured during his state visit with Queen Letizia in 2017, in which he spoke of the British-Spanish relationship as being “profoundly intertwined.”
During the visit, Felipe was made a Knight of the Garter, the oldest and most senior chivalric order in the United Kingdom.
The Duke had himself been awarded the Spanish Royal Order of St Charles by King Juan Carlos in 1986.
Felipe and Letizia sent a telegram offering their condolences to the Queen, which the BBC reported as being “particularly poignant” sending “all our love and affection” to “Aunt Lilibet” (the affectionate name for the Queen) over the death of “Uncle Philip”.
“We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him,” they said.