The royal couple requested George Washington's home as their first stop

By Diana Pearl
Updated September 15, 2015 12:00 PM
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Larry French/Getty

Bienvenido to America!

Washington, D.C., is getting the royal treatment this week as the city plays host to Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain.

The glamorous couple – who rose to the throne after Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated in 2014 – are on a four-day tour of the U.S., starting in the nation’s capital.

For their first official visit to the U.S. as king and queen, the Spanish royals took care to start off with spots that held a significance for their homeland. They requested that their first visit be to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, “to highlight the long-standing historic relations between our two countries,” said Ramén Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the United States.

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Back in the 1770s, Spanish officials helped fund the Revolutionary War effort and even led attacks against the British. Washington himself regularly communicated with Spanish representatives, and the country shared weapons and supplies to the U.S. during wartime.

During their visit to Mount Vernon, Letizia and Felipe laid a wreath at the tomb of George and Martha Washington. It was an especially memorable day for Letizia: It’s her 43rd birthday. (Perhaps she exchanged friendly greetings with her royal birthday twin Prince Harry!) Ever the stylish royal, she looked chic in a black-and-white floral dress from Spanish designer Felipe Varelo paired with a white blazer.

Later today, the royals visited the White House. During their visit, King Felipe met with President Obama in the Oval Office. During their meeting, the two discussed the migrant crisis in Europe, and the President expressed his desire to visit Spain before the end of his presidency. Felipe responded warmly, saying “we would welcome you with open arms”.

Meanwhile, Queen Letizia took tea with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Following their stop in D.C., Letizia and Felipe will make their way down to Florida, where they’ll visit two cities with deep connections to Spain: Miami and St. Augustine.

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