PR received at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Luso-British Alliance

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The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will be in London on Wednesday and Thursday to celebrate the 650th anniversary of the Luso-British alliance, including a meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

The Portuguese President will be received by the British monarch on Thursday morning at Buckingham Palace, where the two national anthems will be played and the two heads of state will review British and Portuguese military personnel on parade.

Afterwards, they will participate in a ceremony in the Queen’s Chapel at Saint James’s Palace, which was used by Queen Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705), married to the English King Charles II.

The Anglican religious service will include readings of biblical texts and English and Portuguese music of the time performed by musicians and two choirs, lasting about 40 minutes in total.

Official representatives from Portugal and the United Kingdom will be present, including the respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho and James Cleverly.

Inside the chapel, the original Treaty of London of 1373, signed by Edward III of England and Ferdinand I of Portugal, which initiated what is the longest diplomatic alliance in force in the world, will be on display.

After the event, the Portuguese President is invited to a reception hosted by the current Duke of Wellington, Charles of Wellesley, at Apsley House, the family’s former residence that is now a historical heritage site and museum.

Wellesley is a descendant of Arthur, the Duke of Wellington who fought against the French Invasions in the Iberian Peninsula between 1808 and 1813, even commanding the Portuguese armed forces.

At the time, his success in repelling Napoleon’s troops earned the British military officer the titles of Marquis of the Douro, Duke of Victoria, Marquis of Torres Vedras, and Count of Vimeiro.

The British king will not be present, but will be represented by his mother’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, Prince Richard, and his wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, Birgitte van Deurs Henriksen.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Charles III were recently together at a reception at Buckingham Palace on the eve of the British monarch’s coronation ceremony on May 6.

Before that, on Wednesday afternoon, the President will visit the Taste of London gastronomy festival, where Portugal will be in the spotlight with an enlarged pavilion and activities promoted by Turismo de Portugal.

In the evening, he will be the special guest at an invitation-only dinner sponsored by the Portuguese Diaspora Council and the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

The celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the Luso-British Alliance are the result of an unofficial voluntary and non-profit initiative that started in 2018 and called Portugal-UK 650.

Portugal-UK 650 estimates to have promoted in the last four years at least 300 activities with more than 180 partners in areas such as academic research, education, culture, economy or military.

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