When crowns collide: Spanish royals visit the Windsors

Prince Charles kisses Queen Letizia of Spain on the hand as she arrives to view the Francisco de Zurbarán art collection, Jacob and His Twelve Sons, at Auckland Castle on April 5, 2022.
A version of this story appeared in the April 8 edition of CNN's Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on Britain's royal family. Sign up here.

London (CNN)When European royals come together, it tends to be for landmark moments like jubilees, weddings and funerals. So it was a nice change of pace this week when Prince Charles teamed up with Queen Letizia of Spain for a rare joint appearance.

The duo met at Auckland Castle in County Durham, northern England, where the two art lovers viewed Francisco de Zurbarán's series of paintings "Jacob and His Twelve Sons."
The 17th-century Spanish painter's 13 life-sized works adorn the walls of the castle's Long Dining Room and have been housed at the residence for 250 years.
    The pair then officially opened the town's new Spanish Gallery, the first exhibition space devoted exclusively to the art, history and culture of Spain in the UK.
      Joint engagements such as these tend to be over shared interests.
      Letizia's passion for the arts is well known. She has consistently used her position to raise the profile of Spanish cultural projects globally and as such would have been keen to participate in this week's events.
      She's also joined forces with Charles before, with the pair seen together in 2019 for the inauguration of the "Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light" exhibition at London's National Gallery.
        In light of Letizia's involvement, we reached out to Claudia Rebaza, a correspondent for CNN en Español based in London, to find out more about how the royal visit was received back home. She tells us the Spanish press sang their Queen's praises.
        Royal fans came out en masse to see Charles and Letizia.
        "The arrival of Queen Letizia with the heir to the British throne, Charles of England, has electrified local life for a few hours," reported Spanish newspaper El Pais.
        Another prominent publication, El Mundo, went even further, saying in a headline, "Prince Charles, surrendered to Queen Letizia," a reference to the affectionate welcome the Prince of Wales gave her. "The Prince greeted her like a gentleman, outside the castle, and kissed her hand after two welcome kisses," the newspaper described.
        "It was one of the most anticipated moments and they have not disappointed," one of Spain's glossy magazines, Lecturas, wrote of the visit.
        While the gesture may have seemed unexpectedly adoring, it was in fact the formal and deeply respectful way of greeting a woman of higher rank. Charles has often been seen greeting his mother in this way. But his use of the gesture here also emphasized the longstanding respect between the two royal families.
        Letizia's outfit and choice of hairstyle also made headlines, Rebaza explained -- again not dissimilar to the scrutiny members of the Windsor clan face.