Spain's queen snubs Britain's Diamond Jubilee celebrations over Gibraltar

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 04: Queen Sofia of Spain (L) attends the Oath of Allegiance of the Royal Guards at El Pardo Palace on May 4, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Carlos Alvarez
Queen Sofia of Spain, left, attends the Oath of Allegiance of the Royal Guards at El Pardo Palace on May 4, 2012, in Madrid,.
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) MADRID - Royals from around the world are gathering to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, but Spain's queen won't be marking the 60-year milestone.

Spain's Royal Palace says Queen Sofia has canceled a visit to London at the request of the government because of fresh disagreements over the disputed British colony of Gibraltar on Spain's southern tip.

Pictures: Spain's royal family
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A spokesman said Thursday the decision was made because the government felt it inappropriate for the queen to take part in Queen Elizabeth II's jubilee events, given the circumstances. He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace policy.

Last week, Spain complained to Britain over an upcoming visit to Gibraltar by Britain's Prince Edward (the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II) and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Spain ceded Gibraltar's sovereignty to Britain in 1713 but has persistently sought its return. It views visits by British authorities to Gibraltar as an affront.

Spain's royals refused to attend late Princess Diana's 1981 wedding to Prince Charles for similar reasons.

In addition to being a fellow royal, Queen Sofia, born a Greek princess, is a first cousin of the British queen's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She also is a distant relation, through Queen Victoria, of Queen Elizabeth II.

The jubilee festivities for the world's royals will include a luncheon with the British monarch at Windsor Castle on Friday, according to the Telegraph, and a banquet that evening at London's Buckingham Palace hosted by Prince Charles.