JIS News

Spanish monarchs, Their Majesties, King Juan Carlos, and Queen Sofia, are to be conferred with national civil decorations by the Government, during their two-day state visit to the island from February 17-18.
King Juan Carlos is to be conferred with the Order of Excellence, and Queen Sofia, an honorary Order of Jamaica award.
Minister of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports, Olivia Grange, told journalists at Wednesday’s (Feb. 11) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, that Cabinet has approved a recommendation from Prime Minister, Bruce Golding for the conferment.
Ms. Grange said that in his submission, Prime Minister Golding noted that the administration, having agreed to the conferment of the Order of Excellence on King Juan Carlos, deemed it fitting to confer an award on Queen Sofia, “given the constitutional importance of the position of Queen in the Spanish Constitution.”
The Order of Excellence is the most recent honour to be created, having being established in 2003, and may only be conferred on a current or former foreign head of state, or government. To date, South African President, Thabo Mbeki, is the only recipient of this decoration, having been conferred with same in 2005. Consequent on the stipulation of the award, Queen Sofia will be conferred with the honorary Order of Jamaica.
Their Majesties, who will be visiting Jamaica, and the English-speaking Caribbean for the first time, will participate in a number of scheduled activities in Kingston, Spanish Town, and Montego Bay.
Their Excellencies, Governor General, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall, and Prime Minister Golding, will head the dignitaries and officials, who will be on to greet the Royal Couple, when they arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport on February 17.

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