New ambassadors travel from Santa Cruz Palace to Royal Palace to receive Letters of Credence from H.M. the King PHOTO EFE.
Presentation of Letters of Credence

Letters of Credence are documents that officially accredit a foreign ambassador as the representative and maximum diplomatic authority of another country in Spain.

03/02/2016

Arrival in Madrid. Reception of new ambassador
The foreign embassy will inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Directorate-General of Protocol, Chancellery and Orders), through a Nota Verbale, of the arrival in Madrid of a new ambassador, the day, time and means of transport and persons accompanying him, and requesting a date for the presentation of the unsealed copy.

 

Unsealed copy  
The unsealed copy of the Letters of Credence will be handed over to the Ambassadorial Presenter in his official office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Once the time and day have been set, the new ambassador, accompanied by the Chargé d’Affaires, will travel to the main door (Plaza de la Provincia, l) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


A Protocol public servant will be waiting at the entrance to the ministerial department to accompany the new ambassador to the office of the Ambassadorial Presenter.

 

Presentation of Letters of Credence 
Except in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of four and a maximum of six new ambassadors present their Letters of Credence successively on the same day, usually a Thursday. The traditional dress code is a full-length gown for women; and a tailcoat (white tie and waistcoat), dress uniform or national costume, with decorations, for men.

 

Access to Santa Cruz Palace, headquarters of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On the day set and prior to the time established for the ceremony, the senior diplomatic aide appointed will go in uniform, by car, to the residence of the new ambassador to accompany him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ambassadors’ Hall).  

 

Ceremony at Royal Palace 
This event takes place in the Official Chamber, in the presence of His Majesty the King. To his left, slightly behind, is the Minister for Foreign Affairs. His Chief of Staff and the senior members of the Royal Household stand behind His Majesty, in direct line.

Exactly on time, the Head of Protocol of the King’s Household enters the chamber and announces the Ambassadorial Presenter, who enters the Official Chamber and after a respectful salute, looking at His Majesty the King, announces the new ambassador with the official name of his country. Immediately afterwards, the new ambassador comes in, bows his head and addresses His Majesty. Upon arriving in front of the King, he pauses and bows his head again.

The ambassador, accompanied by the senior diplomat and the members of his mission, leaves the Official Chamber by the door to the antechamber known as
‘El Tranvía de la Cámara’. At this moment, the Head of Protocol of the King’s Household takes his leave of the ambassador.

The ambassador and his retinue, together with the senior diplomat, head towards the Prince’s Gate of the Royal Palace, where the official vehicle and the rest of the cars are waiting.

Upon leaving the palace, a section of pipes and drums of the Royal Guard strike up the Spanish National Anthem, while the cavalcade, headed up by motorbikes, set off on the return trip to the ambassador’s residence.

 

 

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