Who is Queen Letizia of Spain? Everything you need to know about the stylish royal

16-05-2019 Fad Queen Letizia during a meeting with the board of directors of the foundation of aid against drug addication in Madrid. (Photo by Thorton/PPE/Sipa USA)
Queen Letizia in Madrid [Photo: PA]

The King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are set to attend the Order of the Garter service on Monday 17 June.

The couple will join the Queen, members of the Royal Family and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at the annual ceremony, taking place at Windsor Castle.

King Felipe and King Willem-Alexander will be installed in St. George’s Chapel as Supernumerary, or ‘Stranger’, Knights of the Garter during the service.

The King and Queen of Spain were given a state visit in July 2017.

Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain pose for a formal photograph before a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, during the King's State Visit to the UK.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Letizia, the Queen and King Felipe at the state banquet in 2017. [Photo: PA]

Letizia wowed in a crimson off-shoulder gown by her go-designer Felipe Varela for the state banquet. She’s regularly lauded for her style and for championing homegrown talent.

Here’s everything you need to know about the stylish royal.

Who is Queen Letizia?

Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was born on 15 September 1972, to a middle class family with a journalist father and nurse mother. Her grandfather was a taxi driver.

Letizia has two younger sisters named Temla and Erike. Erike sadly died in 2007 due to an intentional prescription drug overdose.

What did she do?

Letizia followed in her father’s career footsteps, choosing to study journalism at university in Spain. After obtaining a degree, she went on to get a master’s in audiovisual journalism.

From that point on, she worked for some of Spain’s most well-known newspapers and channels from ABC and EFE to CNN+ and the Spanish version of Bloomberg. She also did a brief stint in Mexico, working for the newspaper Siglo 21.

In 2002, Letizia moved to being a news anchor, covering major stories including the Iraq war and 9/11. After working on news channel 24 Horas, she was eventually promoted to the anchor of the most watched news programme in Spain: TVE‘s daily evening news.

READ MORE: Queen Letizia wears stunning scarlet two-piece in Madrid

The couple secretly dated for a year before announcing their engagement [Photo: Getty]
The couple secretly dated for a year before announcing their engagement [Photo: Getty]

Has she been married before?

Yes, Letizia married writer and secondary school teacher Alonso Guerrero Perez in 1998 after ten years of dating. They divorced just a year later.

How did she meet King Felipe?

The story surrounding Felipe and Letizia’s relationship is a little fuzzy. The only confirmed detail we could dig up is that the couple met in 2002 at a colleague’s dinner party.

When the duo finally announced their engagement in November 2003, the country was in shock as no one had any idea that Felipe – who was the Prince of Asturias at the time – even had a girlfriend.

There was also some controversy over Letizia being a divorcee. Luckily, her first marriage was a civil ceremony so she did not require an annulment from the Catholic Church to marry Felipe.

According to reports, Letizia’s engagement ring was a 16-baguette diamond ring with a white gold trim.

READ MORE: Duchess of Cambridge stuns in a familiar off-the-shoulder dress for charity gala dinner

Felipe and Letizia married in a grand cathedral in Madrid in 2004 [Photo: Getty]
Felipe and Letizia married in a grand cathedral in Madrid in 2004 [Photo: Getty]

What was the couple’s wedding like?

Felipe and Letizia tied the knot on 22 May 2004. Their grand wedding was held in Madrid’s Cathedral Santa María la Real de la Almudena; the first time a royal wedding had ever been held in the cathedral.

Letizia wore a long-sleeved gown by Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz along with a sparkling tiara that resembles the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding day look.

The ceremony was broadcast to the nation and watched by millions. Celebrations went on for several days with over 1600 guests attending the actual ceremony and 350 special guests invited to a gala dinner the night before at the Prado Palace.

When did Letizia become Queen?

When Felipe’s father Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in June 2014, Letizia and Felipe rose to power, making her the first Spanish queen to have been born as a commoner.

Since then, she has travelled both with her husband and alone across Spain and Europe and to countries including Mexico, Jordan, the United States, Japan, China and Brazil.

Does she have children?

The royal couple’s first daughter, Leonor, was born on Oct. 31, 2005. Their second daughter, Sofia, arrived on April 29, 2007.

Their daughters are regularly seen with their parents on trips abroad.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle's first public appearance since Archie's birth at Trooping the Colour

Queen Letizia and King Felipe with Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia and Queen Sofia attend the mass to mark Eastern Sunday at Palma de Mallorca's cathedral, at Palma de Mallorca in Spain on Apr. 21, 2019. (Photo by PPE/Nieboer/Sipa USA)
Queen Letizia and King Felipe with Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia and Queen Sofia at Easter Mass in April 2019. [Photo: PA]

What causes does she support?

Just how the Duchess of Cambridge supports children’s charities and mental health organisations, Queen Letizia focuses on a number of social issues including children’s rights, culture and education.

In 2015, she was also named Special Ambassador for Nutrition for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Letizia is renowned for her modern sense of style [Photo: Getty]
Letizia is renowned for her modern sense of style [Photo: Getty]

What’s her wardrobe like?

Letizia has become known for her knack of modern tailoring, mixing bold vibrant colours with on-trend details including pussybow blouses and tweed.

She relies on a number of American brands that are known for their stylish workwear including Carolina Herrera, Altuzarra and Hugo Boss.

The royal is also a fan of high street stores, having been regularly spotted in thrifty buys from the likes of Mango and Zara.

Unlike most other royals, Letizia has shoes made especially for her by Spanish label Magrit. No designer stilettos for this woman.

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