King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have joined other European royals in paying tribute to their distant relative, the Queen, who has died at the age of 96.
The Spanish Royal Family echoed sentiments from the Dutch and Swedish royals in praising the Queen’s sense of duty to her country throughout her historic 70-year reign.
Posting a letter to King Charles III on the Casa Real Twitter account, King Felipe said he would ‘dearly’ miss his Aunt Lilibet, a figure he held close.
King Felipe VI of Spain has paid tribute to a ‘dutiful’ Queen in a letter of condolence to King Charles III (Pictured: Prince Philip, Queen Letizia, Queen Elizabeth II and King Felipe VI of Spain just before a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in July 2017)
King Felipe (pictured greeting the Queen in July 2017 during a Ceremonial Welcome on Horse Guard’s parade) affectionately called the monarch ‘Aunt Lilibet’ due to his distant relation to Prince Philip
King Felipe VI posted a letter to King Charles III on Twitter to send his sincere condolences after the death of Queen Elizabeth II
The familiarity between the British and Spanish royal households are thanks to Felipe’s maternal great-grandfather, King Constantine I of Greece (1868 – 1923), also being uncle to the Duke of Edinburgh.
In his statement, King Felipe sent his condolences to the new King and said the British Family were ‘in our hearts and thoughts’.
He wrote: ‘Your Majesty, dearest Charles,
‘Deeply saddened by the sorrowful news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, your beloved mother.
‘I would like to offer Your Majesty and the British people, on my behalf and on the behalf of the Spanish government and people, our most heartfelt condolences.’
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima paid tribute to the Queen in a statement on the Dutch Royal Family’s official Instagram account (pictured: The Queen, centre, Queen Máxima, left, King Willem-Alexander, second from left, the new King Charles III, second from right, Queen Consort Camilla, right at Buckingham Palace in October 2018)
Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands attend a Ceremonial Welcome at the Horse Guards Parade in 2018
The Queen walks through the halls of Buckingham Palace to attend a State Banquet as she hosts the Dutch Royals in 2018
Swedish King Carl XVl Gustaf posted a statement on Instagram to say he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II (pictured: King Carl XVl Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Silvia of Sweden, Prince Philip)
He continued: ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has undoubtedly witnessed, written and shaped many of the most relevant chapters in the history of our world during the last seven decades.
‘Her sense of duty, commitment and a whole life devoted to serving the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland set an example for all of us and will remain as a solid and valuable legacy for future generations.
Game of thrones! How Queen Victoria sat at the centre of a spider’s web of European royal connections
With nine children of her own and 42 grandchildren, Queen Victoria sat at the centre of a spider’s web of royal connections across Europe.
Her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had dreamt of a Europe held together by family connections, and Victoria was determined to carry out his wishes.
They married their offspring into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the nickname ‘the grandmother of Europe’.
Eight of their children married into royal houses, starting with Vicky, who wed the Crown Prince of Prussia.
But after Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria retreated from public appearances and became known for wearing black and living in mourning.
‘Queen Letizia and I send Your Majesty and the whole family our love and prayers.
‘You are all in our hearts and thoughts. We will miss her dearly.’
The King and Queen of Spain, who always referred to Queen Elizabeth II as ‘Aunt Lilibet’, wrote the late monarch a similar letter of sympathy last year after the death of Prince Philip.
In a letter to the Queen, Felipe and Letizia wrote: ‘We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear uncle Philip.’
The Spanish royals’ tribute to Queen Elizabeth II followed messages of condolence from Dutch and Swedish royals after news of her death was reported around the world.
King Willem-Alexander, who is the fifth cousin twice-removed of Queen Elizabeth II, and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands led the tributes with a post on Instagram recalling their state visit to London in October 2018 when they were hosted at Buckingham Palace by the Queen and Prince Philip.
Their statement read: ‘We remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection.
‘Steadfast and wise, she dedicated her long life to serving the British people. We feel a strong bond with the United Kingdom and its royal family, and we share their sorrow at this time.
‘We are very grateful for our countries’ close friendship, to which Queen Elizabeth made such an unforgettable contribution.’
The Swedish Royal Family also paid tribute to the Queen after news of her death was announced.
In a statement also posted on the Royal Family’s official Instagram page, King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus said: ‘My family and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of my dear relative Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
‘The Queen served her countries and the Commonwealth with outstanding dedication and duty.
‘She has been a constant presence, not only in British society but also internationally.
‘She has always been dear to my family and a precious link in our shared family history.
‘We offer our heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty’s family and her peoples.’
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, like Her Majesty and Prince Philip, is descended from ‘Europe’s grandmother’ Queen Victoria.
Following an announcement early yesterday afternoon that doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health, her children, including the new King Charles III, travelled to Balmoral.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on Thursday 8 September to confirm Queen Elizabeth II had passed away peacefully.