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Prince Charles appears in great spirits as he meets with framers before opening an Auction Mart

The Prince of Wales welcomed Queen Letizia of Spain with a very gallant greeting earlier today during a rare joint public engagement in County Durham.

Prince Charles 73, was snapped in a jovial mood as he greeted the Spanish royal, 49, with a kiss on the cheek and a squeeze of the hand at Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland this morning.

The mother-of-two, who was among the foreign royals who attended Prince Philip’s memorial service last week, cut an elegant figure during the appearance, donning a raspberry dress and wrapping up against the cool spring chill in a black coat. 

Meanwhile Charles donned a light grey suit for the outing, which he paired with a burgundy tie and matching pocket square. 

The pair are set to open the exhibition ‘Zurbarán: the twelve tribes of Israel: Jacob and his sons’ at the Spanish Gallery of the castle during the visit. 

The Prince of Wales put on a friendly display as he met with Queen Letizia of Spain earlier today for a rare joint public engagement in County Durham

The 73-year-old could be seen holding the hand of the Spanish royal as the pair met in County Durham for the rare joint appearance earlier today

The 73-year-old could be seen holding the hand of the Spanish royal as the pair met in County Durham for the rare joint appearance earlier today 

The mother-of-two and the Prince of Wales exchanged a kiss on the cheek as they arrived at the engagement earlier today

The mother-of-two and the Prince of Wales exchanged a kiss on the cheek as they arrived at the engagement earlier today

The mother-of-two and the Prince of Wales exchanged a kiss on the cheek as they arrived at the engagement earlier today 

The Prince of Wales appeared to kiss Queen Letizia's hand after the pair greeted at Auckland Castle earlier today

The Prince of Wales appeared to kiss Queen Letizia’s hand after the pair greeted at Auckland Castle earlier today 

Prince Charles appears in great spirits as he meets with framers before opening an Auction Mart

The Spanish Gallery at the castle is the home of the biggest assortment of work Spanish works from the Golden Age in the UK. 

Prince Charles has met with Queen Letizia on a number of occasions in the past, including in 2017 when he hosted a meeting with her and her husband King Felipe at Clarence House. 

Meanwhile in 2019, the Queen of Spain and Prince of Wales jointly celebrated the opening of a National Gallery exhibition of works by a Spanish impressionist, in an evening hailed as a moment of European unity. 

The Prince of Wales is a Patron of the National Gallery and they both previewed the new exhibition by the late Spanish impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.  

Queen Letizia of Spain and Prince Charles appeared entranced as they were offered a tour of the gallery earlier this afternoon (pictured)

Queen Letizia of Spain and Prince Charles appeared entranced as they were offered a tour of the gallery earlier this afternoon (pictured) 

The royals looked at paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran, during a visit of Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland earlier today

The royals looked at paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran, during a visit of Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland earlier today

The royals looked at paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran, during a visit of Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland earlier today 

Queen Letizia opted for a raspberry pink gown for the occasion, which she perfectly matched with Prince Charles' tie (pictured)

Queen Letizia opted for a raspberry pink gown for the occasion, which she perfectly matched with Prince Charles’ tie (pictured) 

The two royals could be seen chatting to members of staff as they were offered a tour of the castle this afternoon (pictured)

The two royals could be seen chatting to members of staff as they were offered a tour of the castle this afternoon (pictured) 

Queen Letizia was greeted by a host of school children waving Spanish flags after their visit to The Spanish Art Gallery in Bishop Aukland

Queen Letizia was greeted by a host of school children waving Spanish flags after their visit to The Spanish Art Gallery in Bishop Aukland

The pair appeared in high spirits while meeting members of the public during the outing in the north east earlier today

The pair appeared in high spirits while meeting members of the public during the outing in the north east earlier today 

The monarch swept her hair back into a half up-do for the outing earlier today, where she was greeted by crowds of cheering school children

The monarch swept her hair back into a half up-do for the outing earlier today, where she was greeted by crowds of cheering school children

The monarch swept her hair back into a half up-do for the outing earlier today, where she was greeted by crowds of cheering school children 

Queen Letizia of Spain appeared charmed by the hoards of school children at the gallery in Bishop Auckland earlier

Queen Letizia of Spain appeared charmed by the hoards of school children at the gallery in Bishop Auckland earlier 

The Queen beamed as she joined the Prince of Wales to meet with schoolchildren at the gallery in County Durham earlier

The Queen beamed as she joined the Prince of Wales to meet with schoolchildren at the gallery in County Durham earlier

The Queen beamed as she joined the Prince of Wales to meet with schoolchildren at the gallery in County Durham earlier 

Queen Letizia and the Prince, who spoke warmly throughout the hour-long visit, were shown dozens of works by Sorolla, described as the ‘master of light’ in a glamorous evening at the London gallery.

While the Spanish royal attended Prince Philip’s memorial service last week, it is unknown if she spoke with Prince Charles during the event.   

Earlier in the day, Charles was in great spirits as he chatted to farmers on a visit to Darlington to officially open an auction mart. 

Charles looked relaxed as he joked and laughed with local farmers in the quaint cafe. with a group of people while enjoying tea and cake at Dot’s Cafe in County Durham. 

Queen Letizia waved to crowds as she arrived at the gallery earlier today, where she was joined by Prince Charles

Queen Letizia waved to crowds as she arrived at the gallery earlier today, where she was joined by Prince Charles 

The mother-of-two cut an elegant figure in a raspberry red dress for the outing, which she paired with matching accessories

The mother-of-two cut an elegant figure in a raspberry red dress for the outing, which she paired with matching accessories

The Queen, who attended Prince Philip’s memorial service last week, was in high spirits today as she greeted locals in the area (left and right)  

The mother-of-two cut an elegant figure in a raspberry red dress for the outing, which she paired with matching accessories (pictured)

The mother-of-two cut an elegant figure in a raspberry red dress for the outing, which she paired with matching accessories (pictured)

Prince Charles and Queen Letizia, who days ago attended Prince Philip's memorial service in London, appeared to be in high spirits during the visit

Prince Charles and Queen Letizia, who days ago attended Prince Philip’s memorial service in London, appeared to be in high spirits during the visit 

The mother-of-two, who was among the foreign royals who attended Prince Philip's memorial service last week, cut an elegant figure during the appearance, donning a raspberry dress and wrapping up against the cool spring chill in a black coat

The mother-of-two, who was among the foreign royals who attended Prince Philip’s memorial service last week, cut an elegant figure during the appearance, donning a raspberry dress and wrapping up against the cool spring chill in a black coat

The royals perfectly coordinated their outfits for the rare joint occasion, with Queen Letizia opting for a raspberry coloured dress which matched Prince Charles' tie

The royals perfectly coordinated their outfits for the rare joint occasion, with Queen Letizia opting for a raspberry coloured dress which matched Prince Charles' tie

The royals perfectly coordinated their outfits for the rare joint occasion, with Queen Letizia opting for a raspberry coloured dress which matched Prince Charles’ tie 

Meanwhile Queen Letizia of Spain wrapped up against the cool spring chill in a black woolen coat during the appearance earlier today

Meanwhile Queen Letizia of Spain wrapped up against the cool spring chill in a black woolen coat during the appearance earlier today 

The mother-of-two swept her hair into a half-up do for the outing in Bishop Auckland today, revealing a pair of delicate silver earrings

The mother-of-two swept her hair into a half-up do for the outing in Bishop Auckland today, revealing a pair of delicate silver earrings 

The pictures are the latest sign the Prince of Wales is moving on following the fall-out from his brother Prince Andrew’s appearance at Prince Philip’s memorial last week.  

The Duke of York, 62, took centre stage at Westminster Abbey’s Thanksgioving of Life service escorting the Queen to the front row leaving the royal family ‘dismayed’.

It had been expected that the Dean of Westminster would take the Queen to her seat, with Andrew behind. But the shamed royal instead walked her right in front of live cameras.  

The prince has been forced to step back from public life over his association with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Prince of Wales appeared in great spirits on Tuesday as he chatted to farmers in Dot's Cafe, County Durham

The Prince of Wales appeared in great spirits on Tuesday as he chatted to farmers in Dot’s Cafe, County Durham

Prince Charles 73, was snapped in a jovial mood as he laughed with a group of people while enjoying tea and cake

Prince Charles 73, was snapped in a jovial mood as he laughed with a group of people while enjoying tea and cake

The Royal was there to open the Darlington Farmers Auction Mart in Darlington

The Royal was there to open the Darlington Farmers Auction Mart in Darlington

The Prince of Wales viewed livestock as he got a tour around the new mart by local officials

The Prince of Wales viewed livestock as he got a tour around the new mart by local officials 

Earlier this month he paid millions to Virginia Giuffre, who had accused him of rape. He has consistently denied her allegations.  

Insiders have claimed he’ll use the opportunity as a springboard to support his mother at a Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral in June and is not bothered if ‘public opinion is against him’,

However, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams suggested there is ‘no way’ William and Charles will accept Andrew’s part in the celebrations.

He told the Mirror: ‘In terms of royal events, I don’t expect we will see Prince Andrew appear in the near future – if ever again.

He looked at the cattle that will soon be up for auction in the new mart

He looked at the cattle that will soon be up for auction in the new mart

Charles chatted to farmers and met with local people during the tour of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart

Charles chatted to farmers and met with local people during the tour of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart

The Duke of York, 62, took centre stage at Westminster Abbey's Thanksgioving of Life service escorting the Queen to the front row leaving the royal family 'dismayed'

The Duke of York, 62, took centre stage at Westminster Abbey’s Thanksgioving of Life service escorting the Queen to the front row leaving the royal family ‘dismayed’

‘He won’t play any kind of a role in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, of that I think we can be quite sure.

‘Prince Charles and William will be totally apposed to it, it’s a non-starter.’  

A family source said that senior royals – including Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge – were ‘dismayed’ by events and that Andrew’s decision to put himself ‘front and centre’ of the service had caused ‘consternation’,

However, experts have also suggested walk with Andrew was the Queen’s way of signalling it’s ‘ok’ and that Her Majesty is ‘very clearly stating that he has a role at family occasions’.  

The prince has been forced to step back from public life over his association with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

The prince has been forced to step back from public life over his association with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Vanity Fair royal editor Katie Nichol said the Queen ‘deliberately chose to have Andrew play such a prominent role’ to show the public ‘she still makes decisions’.

‘This was the Queen’s way of showing two things; one, that the buck stops with her, and she makes the decisions, and secondly that she believes he’s innocent. She made the point very, very clearly.

‘But Charles and William were very aware of the perspective, of the optics of this.’

It had been expected that the Dean of Westminster would take the Queen to her seat, with Andrew behind. But the shamed royal instead walked her right in front of live cameras

It had been expected that the Dean of Westminster would take the Queen to her seat, with Andrew behind. But the shamed royal instead walked her right in front of live cameras

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