The king and queen of Spain are on their way to New Orleans. Gov. John Bel Edwards will meet them at Louis Armstrong International Airport tonight.
Then, they'll tour the city tomorrow and Saturday.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell will welcome the royalty at Gallier Hall, then they'll visit Jackson Square.
Tulane history professor James Boyden says Spanish roots are deep in south Louisiana.
"Much of the infrastructure of the old city of New Orleans actually dates from the Spanish period. The French Quarter, for example, St. Charles Avenue, which was, in fact named for the patron saint of the then king of Spain Charles III. Infrastructure elsewhere in south Louisiana, for example, a military road that connected the New Orleans area to Baton Rouge," he said.
The visit coincides with the city’s tricentennial. Boyden says King Felipe VI is interested in keeping connections open between Spain and the United States.
"He's got a long-term interest in the United States," said Boyden.
King Felipe studied foreign policy at Georgetown in the ‘90s. And Queen Letizia was a top news anchor in Spain before they married.
They will visit the New Orleans Museum of Art on Saturday. And then they’ll head to San Antonio, Texas — also marking its tricentennial — before visiting the White House.