A Royal Affair

San Antonio rolls out red carpet for special Tricentennial visit from Spanish royals

San Antonio rolls out red carpet for special visit from Spanish royals

San Antonio skyline
San Antonio welcomes King Felipe VI and Queen Letiza on June 16.  Photo by SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

The King and Queen of Spain will make their first-ever visit to San Antonio on June 16-18, as part of the city's year-long Tricentennial celebration. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia plan to honor the city's deep Spanish roots as well as conduct the inaguration of two landmark art exhibitions.   

During their two days in Alamo City, the royal couple will have a full itinerary. A tour of San Antonio historical sites that reflect a longstanding connection to Spain — including the Spanish Governor’s Palace and Mission San Jose, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — will be among the highlights. They are also scheduled to attend the Young Hispanic Leaders Summet, a conference bringing together thought leaders in business, politics, and media for the purpose of strengtehnining ties between Spain and the U.S.    

“San Antonio is proud to commemorate the special bonds that tie us to Spain. We welcome Their Majesties to visit San Antonio during our Tricentennial year to collaborate and build a stronger foundation now and in the future," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a release. “The everlasting impact of Spain’s culture is woven into the fabric of San Antonio’s legacy for generations to come.”

The reinging Spanish monarchs will open the exhibition Designing America: Spain's Imprint in the U.S., presented by the Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos, and hosted by the Bexar County Courthouse. The interactive art installation reflects the Spanish imprint on San Antonio's culture, history, and politics, and explores 500 years of shared history between the United States and Spain.

The second exhibition, Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid, showcases more than 40 masterpieces from major collections in Madrid. Never before seen in the U.S., the collection  includes work from Pablo Picasso, Diego Velasquez and El Greco, among others. Hosted by the San Antonio Museum of Art, the show will be open to the public from June 23 to September 16. 

Closing out the visit, their majesties will be honored with an official dinner at the historic Pearl brewery. Celebrating San Antonio’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the dinner will feature dishes prepared by famed local chefs Johnny Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnson, and Steven McHugh.      

“As we welcome ...  the King and Queen of Spain to the community, we are reminded of the unique, shared history that San Antonio and Bexar County have with Spain," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "From our urban layout to our architecture and cuisine, we can see Spanish influences in our daily lives. We are honored to celebrate our Tricentennial year with them and continue to collaborate to provide prosperity for all."

Following their time in San Antonio, the King and Queen will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on June 19.