Spanish royalty celebrate city's tricentennial

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Updated: Jun. 15, 2018 at 6:32 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The king and queen of Spain paid New Orleans a special visit Friday to celebrate the city's tricentennial.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain arrived at Gallier Hall, welcomed by Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

"King Felipe VI, he and I had a very nice meeting this morning already to discuss some economic development opportunities that would be mutually beneficial. Of course, I thank him for his visit, and we look forward to at least 300 more years to have a good relationship with Spain," Cantrell said.

Edwards spoke about how they hope to strengthen economic ties.

"We also have Spanish companies here who are looking to get involved in public-private partnership financing for infrastructure development. They're looking at liquified natural gas opportunities that would be very important to the State of Louisiana," Edwards said.

Louisiana was a colony of Spain from 1763 to 1803, and city leaders say the country's influences are still felt.

"We would not be who we are in the 300 history of the city of New Orleans without that strong partnership that continues to exist and to thrive in this city," Cantrell said.

Cantrell warmly welcomed the royal couple , presenting them a key to the city.

"I am sure you are perfectly aware of just how much this visit means to me and to the queen. For this very reason, please accept our sincere thanks for presenting us with the key to the city, with the key to the hearts of all people of New Orleans. It's a deeply touching gesture of friendship and hospitality," King Felipe said.

She also gave them a plaque commemorating their visit and shared history.

"It is our hope that through this visit, these bonds will become even stronger because we have solid reasons for them to grow much stronger in the future," King Felipe said.

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