Spain's crown prince and his wife on Monday were presented with the keys to the city of Miami by Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Prince Felipe expressed his thanks for the honor and said that his and Princess Letizia's visit would serve to "continue tightening Spain's political, economic and cultural links with Miami."

That will occur due to the fact that the state that Juan Ponce de Leon named 500 years ago "invites optimism, because of the hospitality of its people, because of its climate and economic strength," the prince of Asturias said.

Regalado said that after the warm welcome extended Sunday to the royal couple at the Olympia Theater at the opening of the Miami Book Fair International, Felipe and Letizia can be sure that they did not need any keys to open the hearts of Miamians.

Nevertheless, and in the name of the "most diverse" city in the United States, Regalado said that he was presenting this symbolic key as a reminder of the "commitment" between Miami and the royal couple.

Prince Felipe described Miami Dade County as a "symbol of harmonious and fertile coexistence among communities of varied origins that share a common dream of a better future."

The presence of the crown prince and his wife in Miami, Regalado said, serves to "put (Miami) on the map" above and beyond tourism and other issues and ensures that it is taken "seriously" when it organizes events like the book fair.

The prince and princess were to visit the Miami studios of Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, before lunching with the mayor.

In addition, the prince will meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and afterwards he and Letizia will preside at a dinner hosted by the Spain-Florida 500 Year Foundation, organizer of the celebrations of the quincentennial of Ponce de Leon's landing in Florida. EFE