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British and Spanish royals meet at the Príncipe de Asturias hotel in Malaga

Prince George and Princess Beatrice of Battenberg arrive at the Príncipe de Asturias hotel in Malaga.
Prince George and Princess Beatrice of Battenberg arrive at the Príncipe de Asturias hotel in Malaga. / SUR
  • Representatives from the two respective royal families met in and toured the city during their time together

February of 1928 was a significant month for the city of Malaga as representatives from two royal families came together in the city at the same time.

It was Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, mother of Queen Victoria Eugenie and youngest child of the UK's Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who facilitated the meeting. During this time she would spend long periods residing in the Príncipe de Asturias hotel.

The first visitor to arrive was Prince George (later King George VI, played by Colin Firth in the film The King's Speech in 2010) on 10 February after a visit to Gibraltar. He stayed for two days before coming back again on 21st aboard the battleship HMS Nelson.

On this second visit, he was joined on 24 February by Queen Victoria Eugenie, married to then King of Spain Alfonso XIII, and their children, Jaime, Beatriz and Cristina. They stayed in the royal pavilion of the hotel until 10 March.

The members of the royal families, and the aristocrats who accompanied them, toured the city and its surroundings, enjoying both the El Retiro and La Cónsula gardens. The former is now private property while the latter would later (in 1959) be frequented by the likes of Ernest Hemingway.

The royals also attended various sporting events, including an international tennis tournament and a football match between Malaga CF and British Royal Navy personnel who were docked in the port.

Today, the Príncipe de Asturias hotel is known as the Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga's first five-star luxury hotel, and it received its first guests earlier this year.

Designed by renowned Malaga architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan and first opened in 1926, it was turned into a field hospital during the Civil War and only partially reopened, as the Hotel Miramar from 1939-1967. It then housed Malaga's lawcourts from 1987 until 2007, before falling into disrepair. Its latest incarnation hopes to restore the building to its former glories when royals would frequent the corridors and suites.