Spain’s king and queen arrive to celebrate New Orleans Tricentennial

NEW ORLEANS -- King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have come to Nola to celebrate its 300th birthday.

The festivities kicked off in Gallier Hall, where Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell welcomed their majesties.

"In terms of the culture, the strength has always been rooted in our diversity," Cantrell said during Friday's press conference with the royals.

Mayor Cantrell presented the king and queen with a framed key to the city.

The governor recognized the traditions and cultures that pay tribute to Spain on a daily basis.

He also poked fun at New Orleans' take on famous events held in Spain.

"We even have our own version of running of the bulls here in Louisiana to emulate what you do in Spain," Edwards said.

The two royals are set to visit the St. Louis Cathedral and Cabildo, which were both built under Spanish rule.

"Examining this era highlights just how far back Spain's mark on the United States reaches and how deep it's roots are as reflected in the close bond between our nations," said King Felipe VI.

This weekend is all about honoring Spain's cultural heritage in the city, which was a Spanish colony from 1763 to 1802.