Queen Letizia, 46, wore a green and blue flowered dress and emerald earrings
Prince Charles greeted the Spanish Royal Letizia with a kiss on the cheek
They were at the exhibition by Spanish impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida
The Queen of Spain and Prince of Wales have jointly celebrated the opening of a National Gallery exhibition of works by a Spanish impressionist, in an evening hailed as a moment of European unity.
Letizia, 46, looked glamorous in a green and blue flowered dress, thought to be custom Caroline Herrera, while Prince Charles was dressed in blue pinstriped suit for the occasion.
The Prince of Wales is a Patron of the National Gallery and they both previewed the new exhibition by the late Spanish impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.
Greeting each other with a kiss, the Spanish royal also matched her dress with Bvlgari emerald earrings, rumoured to cost around £13,000.
Queen Letizia and the Prince, who spoke warmly throughout the hour-long visit, were shown dozens of works by Sorolla, described as the ‘master of light’ in a glamorous evening at the London gallery.
The Spanish Queen, said be affected by traffic, was around 20 minutes late to meet the Prince, who had waited in the foyer of the Sainsbury Wing for her before eventually deciding to get a sneak peek of the exhibition himself before she arrived.
When she walked down the steps, the pair greeted one another with a smile and a double kiss on the cheek.
The former journalist looked happy and relaxed to be there, wearing her hair tied back and natural makeup, with a hint of smokey eye.
They were shown around by Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the gallery, and curator Christopher Riopelle, and accompanied by a large entourage including Sarah Chatto.
The royal pair appeared to get on famously, with the Queen regularly touching the Prince’s arm to guide him towards a favourite painting or to navigate through the gallery.
Told by Dr Finaldi that curators had brought in a portrait of Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, the great-great-grandmother of Philip VI of Spain and sister of the great-great-grandmother of Prince Charles on loan from the National Portrait Gallery next door, Queen Letizia said: ‘I recognise it!’
In a large reception, where champagne and canapés flowed for hundreds of guests, Queen Letizia and the Prince were thanked in a speech by Hannah Rothschild, the chairman of the gallery, who praised their symbolic unity during difficult political times.
At time when it feels like Britain is turning its back on Europe, it is particularly pleasing to see you here, Your Majesty,’ she said.
‘Art always has and always will transcend borders. British art owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Royal Family of Spain.’
The Queen and Prince spent around 15 minutes mingling with guests, being introduced to donors, those involved in bringing the exhibition together, and Spanish guests including Tamara Rojo, the ballerina.
Speaking afterwards, Christopher Riopelle said: ‘She (Queen Letizia) had perfect English. She knows the artist very well and so it was in many ways like greeting an old friend.
‘We talked about him, and she in turn talked a lot to Prince Charles about him, sharing her knowledge. It seemed to be a very relaxed evening. They seemed to be very friendly.’
The last time Queen Letizia of Spain visited the UK was in July 2017, while the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall last paid an official visit to Spain in March 2011.
The majority of the works for the exhibition, the first solo show of works by Spain’s Impressionist Sorolla in more than a century, have been loaned from Spanish institutions.
Other Spanish private collectors were persuaded to loan their paintings after hearing of the prestigious exhibition, with the attendance of the Queen helping to convince them.
A spokesman for the National Gallery said: ‘In 1990, the National Gallery was honoured to welcome Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain to open our exhibition Painting in Spain in the later 18th Century, and again in 2006 Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina to open Velázquez.
‘Both were historic occasions for the National Gallery and it is with this in mind that our Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, invited Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain to attend the opening Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light.
‘We are delighted that Her Majesty accepted the invitation and will attend with our Royal Patron His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.’
Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light will include portraits and genre scenes of Spanish life, as well as the landscapes, garden views, and beach scenes for which he is most renowned.
Filling the Sainsbury Wing exhibition galleries, the display will feature sixty works spanning the artist’s career, including important masterpieces on loan from public and private collections in Europe and the United States.
Prince Charles has had a busy day, this afternoon he attended the annual Prince’s Trust Awards at the London Palladium, to celebrate the success of young people helped by his Prince’s Trust.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE