Lt. Gov. Brad Owen will meet with the king and queen of Spain during a trip to their country next week.
His office is emphasizing that Owen is traveling at no cost to taxpayers – or at least Washington taxpayers. The Spanish government is footing the bill.
Owen is making the trip as head of Washington’s delegation to a ceremony at the University of Washington’s study center in León.
He traveled there last year for a similar ceremony, to “formally open” the 9,000-square-foot center housed in a 14th-century palace, according to a news release. The May 4 event is to “inaugurate” the center. Sounds similar, but a spokesman for Owen said the main difference is that King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia are expected to attend this year.
Owen has met the king and queen once before – in 2004, when they visited Seattle for a Spanish art exhibit. In 2008, a ceremony in Washington bestowed a Spanish knighthood on Owen, but the royal couple wasn’t present. This will be his first time seeing them as “Don Brad.”
The lieutenant governor will be joined by diplomats, University of Washington faculty, officials from the Makah Nation, and representatives of businesses like Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing and Sur La Table.