HM The Queen has today bestowed on TM The King and The Queen of Spain the Order of the Elephant. This took place in Christian VII’s Palace in connection with the start of The King and Queen’s state visit to Denmark. At the same time, the Crown Prince Couple were decorated with the Grand Cross of Spain’s Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic.
When foreign heads of state pay state visits, there is a tradition that, in connection with the state visit, an exchange of royal orders of chivalry and medals takes place, as long as both the host country and the country from which the visit is made have a system of orders and decorations.
As a part of this tradition, the Spanish King and Queen, who are on a state visit the days of 6-8 November 2023, were awarded the Order of the Elephant by The Queen today.
In 1980, the last time a Spanish state visit took place, The Queen received the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III with chain, which is particularly bestowed on heads of state. At that time, it was Spain’s then royal couple, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, who visited Denmark.
A few years later, in 1983, The Queen and Prince Henrik paid a state visit to Spain, and, on this occasion, The Queen was given the Royal House of Spain’s finest order of chivalry, The Distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece, which almost exclusively is bestowed on royal personages. The Queen will wear this order at the State Banquet this evening.
As part of the exchange of orders, the Crown Prince Couple have been decorated with the Grand Cross of Spain’s Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic, while, among others, representatives of the government and the civil service as well as a number of the Court’s employees have also received decorations.