Diplomatic row afterPrince’s bags searched
12 April 2004
MADRID- Officials at a Miami airport caused a diplomatic incident with Spain by insisting on searching the bags of the country’s future king, Prince Felipe, it was reported Monday.
Security officials ignored what were reported by the Miami Herald to be complaints of “humiliation” and “insults” by the prince’s party, which included four of his own bodyguards.
The prince and his fiancee, a former television journalist, Letizia Ortiz, could usually have expected to be spared an airport search before they got on a plane.
But this time they were taken to a VIP lounge by what officials said were “top-notch screeners with VIP experience” and were told they would have to have their bags searched.
The prince had failed to give sufficient warning of his plan to change flights from a private jet bringing him from the Bahamas to a commercial flight to Spain.
According to the newspaper El Mundo, after the initial search the future queen visited the toilet, and when she came back her handbag was searched again, as if officials thought she might have been handed something illegal.
The mayor of Miami-Dade, Alex Penelas, has written to the Spanish royal family apologising and pledging to open an investigation.
Subject: Spanish news