Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have embarked on five-day visit to the United States, where they will first travel to Louisiana and Texas to honor Spanish cultural legacy and then go to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump.
The monarchs, who are accompanied by Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, will land Thursday night in New Orleans, where they will spend two days before traveling on to San Antonio, Texas.
This year, those two cities are marking the 300th anniversaries of their founding.
Although New Orleans was founded by the French, it was ceded to the Spanish Empire in 1763 and remained in Spanish hands until 1803, a flourishing period that has left a significant cultural and historical legacy.
San Antonio, which is now the 7th-most populous US city, was founded by Spanish Franciscan missionaries, who helped colonize the area and convert the indigenous population.
The monarchs will be received by Louisiana Governor John B. Edwards and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as by the mayors of New Orleans and San Antonio, who will present King Felipe and Queen Letizia with the keys of their respective cities.
The two monarchs will also attend several cultural events focusing on Hispanic legacy.
On Friday, they will inaugurate "Recovered Memories: Spain, New Orleans and the Support for the American Revolution," an exhibition showing how the Spanish Crown helped the US gain its independence.
In San Antonio, the monarchs will inaugurate "Designing America: Spain's Imprint in the US," an exhibition organized by the US-Spain Council.