Who’s that pretty princess?! King Juan Carlos announced Monday, June 2, that he is abdicating the throne to his son, Prince Felipe. Naturally, the attention went to Felipe’s stunning wife Princess Letizia, who is poised to soon become the Queen of Spain. Here are 5 things to know about the future monarch.
1. She’s a Career Woman
Letizia, 41, is a former television news anchor who comes from a line of Spanish commoners: Her father was also a journalist, her mom was a nurse, and her grandfather, a taxi driver. Letizia’s father Jesus Ortiz once described his eldest daughter as a “perfectionist,” who has “her head well screwed on.”
Though she eventually gave up her career to focus on royal duties, the princess once reported from some of the most hostile environments in the world, including Iraq. The beauty started her career in Mexico, where she worked at a newspaper, before jumping to broadcast TV. Letizia worked for Bloomberg TV’s Spanish division, CNN plus, and finally, Televisión Española (TVE), Spain’s highest-rated news network, where she was the weekday news anchor. In 2000, Letizia was named by her colleagues as Spain’s most accomplished journalist under 30.
2. Prince Felipe Is Her Second Husband
In her mid-20s, Letizia married her boyfriend of 10 years, Alonso Guerrero Pérez — only to split months later.
In November 2002, she met Prince Felipe, now 46, while covering an oil spill in northern Spain. He proposed the following year, and Letizia announced she would leave TVE during their official engagement presentation. The two wed in 2004, attracting more than 25 million viewers on TV. Letizia wore a classy silk gown by Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz, which featured a whopping 15-foot train.
3. She’s Just Like Us — Sort Of
Not only does Letizia have a mortgage on her own apartment in a Madrid suburb, but she also takes the subway, cheers for her respective sports teams, and is a hands-on mom. The future Queen takes her daughters, Infantas Leonor, 8, and Sofia, 7, to and from school. She’s also known — to the delight of royal subjects — for dressing her girls in pretty designer duds!
Letizia, a fashionista in her own right, is an avid supporter of Spanish retailers and designers, promoting brands like Mango and Zara. She’s also worn numerous gowns by Felipe Varela to public engagements to help call attention to local talent.
Unlike Us, the princess bears six official titles.They include Princess of Asturias, Princess of Viana, Princess of Girona, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera, and Lady of Balaguer.
4. She’s Had Plastic Surgery
But it’s not what you think! The princess underwent nose surgery in August 2008 due to a “breathing problem.” The palace said that the procedure straightened her nasal cartilage.
5. She’s Experienced Tragedy
Letizia, the oldest of three girls, lost one of her sisters in February 2007. At the age of 31, her sibling Erika committed suicide during the princess’ second pregnancy. The royal held on to her husband’s arm and broke down into tears after Erika’s memorial mass. “Thanks to all who have felt sadness over the death of my little sister,” she said to reporters during the emotional moment.
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