Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bertie visits Gibraltar: ill-feeling in Madrid

April 11, 1903

King Edward VII's recent visit to Gibraltar has, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy, caused much "ill feeling" in Spain.  This is the first visit by a British sovereign to the "historic rock" since the days of the crusades.  (Great Britain did not exist at the time.)  King Richard I of England visited the rock.

The Spanish have "always resented the presence" of the British on Spanish soil.  They are apparently angry that King Edward's visit to Lisbon should have been followed by a trip to Spain to meet King Alfonso XIII. 

But King Edward could not have gone to Madrid to meet the young king until Alfonso had first visited London.

The Spanish people, "so proud and sensitive," would have "warmly appreciated" King Edward's action if he had any regard for their feelings, "restrained from visiting Gibraltar.

Edward's visit to Gibraltar has only increased the bitterness that the Spanish feel toward England, which also maintained a "pro-American attitude" during the war of 1898.

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