Spanish crown prince in Miami airport snit

April 10, 2004 at 2:57 PM
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MIAMI, April 10 (UPI) -- The mayor of Miami-Dade County has sent an apology to Spain's Crown Prince Felipe after he and his fiancee were made to go through airport security.

The Miami Herald reported Saturday that Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz, the television newscaster he is due to marry in May, had arrived at Miami International Airport from the Bahamas Thursday with four Spanish security men to board an Iberia Airlines flight to Madrid.

Airport security staff insisted on searching the party's carry-on baggage despite their protests that this was a breach of protocol. "But we're your allies," one of them shouted in Spanish. The baggage was searched in private.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas sent the prince a letter apologizing for the "apparent disregard for protocol and disrespect of His Highness and his delegation." He said he had ordered an investigation into the incident.

But a spokesperson for the Transportation and Security Administration told the paper the standard State Department practice required 72 hours advance notice for diplomatic treatment, whereas the Spanish party had given six hours.

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