The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 15 June 2023.
The UK and Portugal will celebrate the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance with a service at the Queen’s Chapel and a Strategic Dialogue.
- The Foreign Secretary will join His Majesty The King to honour the 650-year-old diplomatic alliance.
- Tomorrow he will meet the Portuguese Foreign Minister to sign a new agreement on international development.
- The UK and Portugal share the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force today.
This week the UK and Portugal will celebrate the 650th anniversary of their alliance, an unprecedented milestone in the history of diplomacy. 16th June marks 650 years since the signing of the Treaty of London in 1373, an alliance originally between King Edward III of England and King Ferdinand and Queen Eleanor of Portugal.
A service will be held at the Queen’s Chapel in central London where the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, alongside His Majesty The King, the President of the Portuguese Republic and the Portuguese Foreign Minister, will celebrate the historic ties. An original copy of the Treaty, signed almost 20 years after The Plague struck Europe and committing the nations to “peace, friendship and alliance”, will be on display from The National Archive.
Ahead of the events, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:
“The rich history between the UK and Portugal says something special about how we see the world and how our people get along. No other relationship on the planet has survived the test of time as well as ours.
“We are now building on those solid foundations to deliver security and prosperity for our countries, progress towards net zero, and support to Ukraine.”
The Foreign Secretary will also host a Strategic Dialogue with the Portuguese Foreign Minister on Friday (16th June), where they will discuss cooperation on climate change, defence and trade. The two ministers will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which will strengthen international development cooperation between the UK and Portugal.
The UK and Portugal have been commercial partners for almost seven centuries and now hold a modern trade relationship that delivers clean growth, renewable energy and resilient supply chains. Trade between the two countries more than doubled from 2021 to 2022, now worth £11.6 billion and delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the UK economy.
As NATO Allies, the security and prosperity of the Euro-Atlantic is at the heart of the relationship, with both countries providing practical aid and support to Ukraine, and a new bilateral Defence Agreement, due to be signed later in the year, set to take our defence cooperation to the next level.