Fwd: Preset pool report #1 - Royal Palace

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From: Lucia Leal >
Date: July 10, 2016 at 10:50:48 AM GMT+2
To: "Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Preset pool report #1 - Royal Palace

The President arrived at the Royal Palace at 10:43 am.

The motorcade, with US passed through the Armory Courtyard (Patio de la Armer?a), located between Madrid's cathedral and the south facade of the Royal Palace.

King Felipe VI was at the entrance of the Palace to greet the President.They smiled broadly and shook hands. Both men wore dark suits, President Obama with a striped blue tie and the King with a dark blue tie with white dots.

Obama said "Good to see you, what a beautiful day... It's perfect".

The King said "This is the royal palace" and started to explain something we couldn't hear.

The greeting at the entrance of the Palace, called a "reception with honors" is an honor that the King reserves for official visits of dignitaries, and that his father Juan Carlos, who ruled the Kingdom until June, didn't use to do in his later years in the throne due to health issues.

After the greeting, the pool was escorted out, but the President and the King were due to walk to the Ambassadors' hallway ("zagu?n de embajadores") where a "cord?n de gala" (a small group of guards from the Royal Guard) was waiting for them. A man called "macero", carrying a large silver mallet, was set to hit the floor three times, and then the President and the King would then go up the Royal Staircase while drums and short flutes called "p?fanos" played in the background. On both sides of the stairs were "alabardero" Royal Guards wearing a traditional uniform that dates more than 200 years back.

The President and the King were set to pronounce brief welcoming words at the Columns Room, before heading to a brief tour of some of the main rooms of the Palace and then to their meeting at the Official Chamber. They will be passing through the dining room where the King was set to host a luncheon for the President on Monday, and which is now canceled.

Official delegations, per the Royal Palace:

US:

Susan Rice
Josh Earnest
Charles Kupchan
Amy Dove, director for the European Union  and Southerm Europe

Spain:
Vice President, Soraya S?enz de Santamar?a
Foreign affairs minister, Jos? Manuel Garc?a-Margallo
Defense minister, Pedro Moren?s
Chief of the Royal House, Jaime Alfons?n Alfonso
Spanish ambassador in the US, Ram?n Gil-Casares

Thanks to my colleague Alfonso del Rey from Efe who provided background on the ceremony, and to the Royal Palace staff who confirmed details. Feel free to reach out with questions. This pooler is happy to be in her hometown.

--
Luc?a Leal
Correspondent
Efe News
1220 National Press Building
529 14th Street NW
Washington D.C. 20045

Office: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx
Cell: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx
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Luc?a

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