SPAIN’S Queen has snubbed a visit to UK because of disputes over Gibraltar.
Reina Sofia, 73, was due to visit Windsor Castle today (Friday) for an extravagant lunch where all the world’s crowned heads will gather to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
On the guestlist are Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Prince Albert II of Monaco as well as Britain’s Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
But a Spanish royals spokesman said for Queen Sofia to attend would be ‘inappropriate in the current circumstances’, following ongoing disputes over sovereignty and fishing rights.
Last week, as reported in the Olive Press, the Spanish government made a formal protest to Britain over a planned visit by Prince Edward’s visit to the Rock to commemorate the Queen’s 60 years on the British throne.
British ambassador Giles Paxman was told in no uncertain terms that officials were ‘upset and unhappy’ about the three-day trip, planned for the prince and the Countess of Wessex from June 11.
But Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the Overseas Territories All-Party Parliamentary Group, defended the visit, despite fresh tension over the issue of sovereignty.
“Gibraltar may be close to Spain, but it is not Spanish and its people do not want to be Spanish,” he said.
“Members of the Royal Family are perfectly entitled to go to any of Her Majesty’s territories whenever they want.
He added: “I thought Spain had grown up.”
As well as disputes over the royal visit, Gibraltar and Spain are currently at odds over fishing rights off the Rock.