Spanish king snubs Charles and Diana

CADIZ, Spain -- King Juan Carlos of Spain set off on a Mediterranean cruise today in a deliberate cold-shouldering of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

Carlos' snub -- he sent back his wedding invitation -- was a protest against the royal couple's planned honeymooon stop at Gibraltar, which Spain claims.


A spokesman for the royal household in Madrid said Juan Carlos, hiswife Queen Sofia and their three children left Cadiz aboard the monarch's yacht, Fortuna, about the time they would have been at the London ceremonies. They headed for Palma de Mallorca in the Mediterranean.

The yacht is equipped with television, but it was not known if the 43-year-old monarch watched the wedding.

Juan Carlos sent back his invitation after Buckingham Palace announced Charles and his bride would stop at Gibraltar, a British crown colony guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean.

Spain has claimed the tiny rock enclave on the tip of the Spanish mainlaind ever since Britain conquered it in 1704. In 1967, former dictator Francisco Franco closed the borders to press Madrid's demand after the people of Gibraltar voted 12,138-44 to remain British.

A protest at the Spain-Gibraltar border against the visit was announced by all Spanish parties for Aug. 1.


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