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Montevideo, March 20th 2019 - 17:37 UTC

Queen's Abandoned 1968 Argentina Visit “Inconvenient” say Newly Released Documents

Thursday, June 1st 2000 - 19:00 UTC
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Foreign Office documents just released in Britain reveal that a planned visit to Argentina by the Queen in 1968 was abandoned by Harold Wilson's Labour Government because it was feared she would become involved in the Falklands Islands sovereignty dispute. But the British Government did not give the real reason. They made an excuse that the travel arrangements were “inconvenient”, according to the documents now made available by the Public Record Office.

The Queen did make a successful visit that year to Brazil and Chile which both gave her an enthusiastic welcome, but the visit the Government hoped she could make to Argentina never took place.

The controversy over sovereignty had been revived a few years earlier by the 1965 United Nations Resolution 2065 calling for negotiations to find a solution to the dispute, followed by Anglo-Argentine talks during 1966 and 1967. Only a year before the Queen's proposed visit, the dispute was exacerbated by the actions of the Argentine nationalist Condor Organisation who landed a hi-jacked Dakota aircraft on Stanley racecourse in pursuit of Argentina's sovereignty claim.

Several other members of the Royal family have visited Argentina, notably the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Prince Andrew, as well as his former wife, the Duchess of York, whose mother lived there.

The Queen has visited most of the countries of the Commonwealth but she has never visited the Falklands Islands, where she would be assured of a rapturous welcome from the patriotic Islanders.

Harold Briley, London

Categories: International.

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