10 things about the future queen of Spain
Not your ordinary princess; Spain's future queen is far from cookie-cutter.
Published on Jun 18, 2014 4:20 PM
As 47-year-old Prince Felipe of Spain prepares to take over as head-of-state on Thursday, June 19, 2014, the spotlight is on his 41-year-old royal consort, Letizia Ortiz y Rocasolano. The future Queen Letizia is in many ways an unconventional princess.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the King of Spain's queen:
1. "Pauper" Princess
Princess Letizia is a somewhat controversial partner for the prince, coming from a professional middle-class family. She is the granddaughter of a taxi driver, the eldest daughter of a journalist and his first wife, a nurse and hospital union representative from a working-class background. Much like Kate Middleton, this princess had no aristocratic relations prior to marrying Prince Felipe.
2. First divorced queen of Spain
Princess Letizia's marriage to Prince Felipe wasn't her first. She was married to a high-school literature teacher who was also a writer in 1998. They had no children and were divorced in 1999. She met Prince Felipe in 2002. Letizia and Prince Felipe began their relationship in November 2002 when they encountered one another again while she was on assignment, covering a story about an oil spillage in northern Spain.
3. Not just a spoilt princess
Princess Letizia has a background in journalism. Before meeting Felipe, she was a relatively well-known television presenter in Spain, having worked for networks like CNN and the Spanish national television, TVE. She had also worked for various newspapers. In fact the princess had just won the prize for best Spanish journalist under 30 when she met the prince at a colleague's dinner party in 2002.
She gave up her career before marrying him 10 years ago.
4. Fashion forward
Princess Letizia has won acclaim for her wardrobe and styling. This stylish royal, with her preference for brands such as Hugo Boss, Max Mara and Felipe Varela, made the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List last year. In May, the Spanish edition of Elle magazine agreed, running a special issue on Letizia, lauding her as "the best ambassador of Spanish fashion".
5. First Spanish-born queen since 1904
The elegant 41-year-old will be the first Spanish-born queen since Maria de las Mercedes de Orleans y Bourbon, first wife of Felipe's great-grandfather Alfonso XIII, who died in 1904.
6. More rock than royalty
This princess is known to venture to the movies and concerts just like any other Spaniard. She is apparently a big fan of Las Vegas band The Killers, seeing them in Madrid in September 2012 and again at the huge FIB rock festival in the eastern beachside town of Benicassim in July last year.
She's even been seen in public in the decidedly non-regal get-up of jeans and a leather jacket. Just like any other Spanish woman, she shops at the supermarket and champions Spanish high-street fashion brands such as Zara and Mango, alongside her designer pieces.
She has also even been spotted on public trains.
7. This princess has got plastic
She is constantly in the media spotlight, and a topic of frequent gossip is her rhinoplasty operation in Aug, 2008. According to the palace, the nose job was "to correct a breathing problem". Regardless of the intent, most people agree that this tweak has pleasantly softened her features.
8. Queen bee
This royal wife is not about to sit back and let her husband rule her. Letizia is known to speak for herself. In fact, when Felipe interrupted Ortiz at their official engagement presentation as she explained how she would gradually leave her job at TVE, the future queen snapped at him: "Let me finish!"
9. She's independent and devoted to her role
The future queen has always been committed to her role as princess. In the decade since the wedding, she has attended 190 official events and has had 107 audiences without her husband.
10. No delegation of work when it comes to her little princesses
Letizia and Felipe have two daughters, eight-year-old Leonor and seven-year-old Sofía. The couple live a relatively modest life, and are often seen taking their children to school. Even special occasions like their 10th wedding anniversary is no exception to their commitment to parental duties as they were spotted ferrying their kids to school as usual.
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