Portugal and the UK have a diplomatic alliance that will be 650 years old next year
President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has justified the three days of national mourning declared for Queen Elizabeth II of England with the “protocol in relations between states” and the importance of the monarch in the history of Portugal.
“There is a certain protocol in the relations between states and there had been a mourning, for example, for the death of the emperor of Japan of three days” and for “several important heads of state, but not so important in terms of the history of Portugal” as was Elizabeth II, said the President, speaking in London on Sunday evening.
In the words of the president, the Queen, who died on September 8, “represented six and a half centuries of history” and the country that had “much” of a role in Portugal’s independence.
“It was a tribute not only to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but to the historic role in crucial moments of the United Kingdom: first from England, then from the United Kingdom, working for our independence in the 14th century, working again in the 17th century,” said Marcelo, responding to questions from journalists at the official residence of the Portuguese ambassador in London. “Part of our independence is due to this country.”
The president noted that Portugal and the UK have a diplomatic alliance that will be 650 years old next year and is “the oldest Portuguese alliance, and perhaps one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the United Kingdom” – even if throughout history there have been “difficult moments” in relations between the two countries.
In this regard, he gave the example of the “unfortunate moment” of the British ultimatum to Portugal in 1890 and when Portugal recognised and supported the United States, which declared independence in the 18th century, “against its traditional ally”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa arrived in London on Sunday to attend Elizabeth II’s state funeral, which takes place today (Monday, September 19) and brings together more than 2,000 guests, including heads of state and government, members of royal families and other figures.