QUEEN Sofia of Spain visited Oxford yesterday to see the work of scholars studying the Spanish language in the city.

She visited the Taylorian Institute in St Giles and Exeter College to see Oxford University’s sub-faculty of Spanish.

It was part of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the founding of Exeter College.

Her Majesty, who has been an honorary fellow of Exeter since 1989, attended a seminar on the teaching of Spanish and a concert in the Turl Street college’s chapel.

She said: “I am truly happy to join you for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of Exeter College, an august institution which, throughout its history has contributed to the development of society through its remarkable educational vocation and its excellent academic achievement.

“Spain shares in the joy of this commemoration, not only because the Chair of Spanish Studies which, since 1927, has borne the name of King Alfonso XIII, but also because your university is one of the leading centres for teaching and studying Spanish, one of the world’s great languages, together with English.”

Queen Sofia, who married the heir to the Spanish throne Juan Carlos in 1962, was given a tour of the college by rector Frances Cairncross.Ms Cairncross said: “The college has a long and distinguished history of studying and teaching Spanish language and literature, and it is an honour to be able to share some of it with our royal visitor.”