King Charles III of Britain welcomed President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal today for an audience at Buckingham Palace, commemorating the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.
The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, the oldest diplomatic alliance in existence, remains in force to this day. Its origins can be traced back to the signing of the Treaty of Tagilde on July 10, 1372, by King Edward III of England and King Fernando and Queen Leonor of Portugal.
The event commenced with a warm reception at the Queen’s Chapel, where members of the UK and Portuguese Armed Forces greeted His Majesty and the President. Subsequently, they attended a Service of Thanksgiving held at The Queen’s Chapel in St. James’s Palace, Marlborough, to honor this significant milestone.
Following the service, King Charles III and President Rebelo de Sousa visited The National Archives to view the original Treaty of Tagilde from 1373, where they received a commemorative gift from Portugal-UK 650 and had the opportunity to meet individuals who played a role in the celebrations. The service, which featured readings, psalms in both English and Portuguese, as well as music composed by artists from Portugal and England, marked the culmination of the Portugal-UK 650 celebrations that commenced in The Queen’s Chapel in 2019. The festivities concluded with a reception at the residence of the British monarch in London.
This enduring alliance was further solidified in the 14th century with the Treaty of Windsor, Initially formed as a military alliance against their common adversary, Castile, it established provisions for mutual aid in the face of aggression. The alliance was additionally reinforced in 1406 when King John I’s daughter, Philippa of Lancaster, married King Henry IV of England.
Founded on the principle of “perpetual friendship,” throughout the centuries the alliance has withstood political turmoil, conflicts, and leadership changes. During the Napoleonic Wars, Portugal emerged as a crucial ally of Britain, joining forces to repel Napoleon’s armies during the Peninsular War. In the 20th century, Portugal proved to be a valuable partner to Britain during World War II and subsequent conflicts, including the Falklands War.
Today, the alliance between England and Portugal remains robust, characterized by close collaboration on trade, defense, mutual security matters, and cultural exchange. Both countries are active members of the European Union and NATO, and they continue to engage in a wide array of political and military initiatives.
Watch the sequence of events on YouTube