Queen Letizia of Spain
Queen Letizia in 2015
|Queen consort of Spain|
|Tenure||19 June 2014 – present|
15 September 1972 |
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
|Spouse||Alonso Guerrero Pérez
(m. 1998; div. 1999)
Felipe VI of Spain
|Issue||Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Infanta Sofía of Spain
|Father||Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez|
|Mother||María Paloma Rocasolano Rodríguez|
|Spanish Royal Family|
HM The King
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (Spanish pronunciation: [leˈtiθja]; born 15 September 1972) is the Queen of Spain as the wife of King Felipe VI, who ascended on 19 June 2014 on the abdication of his father Juan Carlos I. Before her marriage to Felipe, Letizia was a journalist and news anchor. Letizia and Felipe have two daughters, Leonor, Princess of Asturias, who is now the heir presumptive; and Infanta Sofía.
Letizia was born in Oviedo, Asturias, to a middle-class family. She is the eldest daughter of Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez, a journalist, and his first wife, María de la Paloma Rocasolano Rodríguez, a registered nurse and hospital union representative. She has two younger sisters, Telma (b. 1973) and Érika (1975–2007), whose death was widely reported by press as due to an intentional prescription drug overdose.
Letizia's paternal grandparents were José Luis Ortiz Velasco (ca. 1923–2005), a commercial employee at Olivetti; and María del Carmen "Menchu" Álvarez del Valle (born in ca. 1928), a radio broadcaster in Asturias for over 40 years. Her maternal grandfather was Francisco Julio Rocasolano Camacho (1918–2015), a mechanic and cab driver in Madrid for over 20 years who was of French and Occitan origin. Letizia's maternal grandmother, Enriqueta Rodriguez Figueredo (d.2008) was born in the Philippines to Spanish parents.
English genealogists have provided evidence that through her mother's Rocasolano lineage, Letizia is the 10x great granddaughter of Astorg Roquesoulane (died c.1564) and her coat-of-arms incorporates the arms of the Rocasolano family. Reports have suggested - and remain unproven - that on her paternal grandfather's side, Letizia is a descendant of an untitled family descended from mediaeval nobility who served as Constables of Castile.
Education and career
Letizia attended La Gesta School in Oviedo, before her family moved to Madrid, where she attended high school at the Ramiro de Maeztu High School. She completed a bachelor's degree and a licentiate's degree in journalism, at the Complutense University of Madrid, as well as a master's degree in audiovisual journalism at the Institute for Studies in Audiovisual Journalism.
During her studies, Letizia worked for the Asturian daily newspaper La Nueva España and later for the newspaper ABC and the news agency EFE. After completing her studies, she spent some time in Guadalajara, Mexico, working at the newspaper Siglo 21. After returning to Spain, she worked for the Spanish version of the economic channel Bloomberg before moving to the news network CNN+.
In 2000, she moved to TVE, where she started working for the news channel 24 Horas. In 2002, she anchored the weekly news report programme Informe Semanal and later the daily morning news programme Telediario Matinal on TVE 1. In August 2003, a few months before her engagement to Felipe, Letizia was promoted to anchor of the TVE daily evening news programme Telediario 2, the most viewed newscast in Spain.
In 2000, Letizia reported from Washington, D.C., on the presidential elections. In September 2001, she broadcast live from Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks in New York and in 2003, she filed reports from Iraq following the war. In 2002 she sent several reports from Galicia in northern Spain following the ecological disaster when the oil tanker Prestige sank.
Letizia married Alonso Guerrero Pérez (born in 1962), a writer and a high-school literature teacher, on 7 August 1998, in a simple civil ceremony at Almendralejo, in Badajoz, after a 10-year courtship. The marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1999.
Second marriage and children
On 1 November 2003, to the surprise of many, the Royal Household announced Letizia's engagement to the Prince of Asturias. Afterwards, she moved to live in a wing of Zarzuela Palace until the day of her wedding. The Prince of Asturias had proposed to her with a 16-baguette diamond engagement ring with a white gold trim. She marked the occasion by giving him white gold and sapphire cufflinks and a classic book.
The wedding took place on 22 May 2004 in the Cathedral Santa María la Real de la Almudena in Madrid. It was the first royal wedding in this cathedral, which was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It had been nearly a century since the capital celebrated a royal wedding, as the prince's parents married in Athens, and his sisters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina, married in Sevilla and Barcelona respectively.
Letizia's bridal gown was designed by Spanish fashion designer Manuel Pertegaz, her bridal shoes by Pura López; and the veil, a gift from Felipe to his bride, was made of off-white silk tulle and hand-embroidered with beautiful details.
As Letizia's previous marriage involved only a civil ceremony, the Catholic Church does not consider it canonically valid and therefore did not require an annulment to proceed with a Catholic marriage to the Prince of Asturias.
Princess of Asturias
The Princess immediately joined in the duties of her husband and traveled extensively through Spain representing her father-in-law. They also represented Spain in other countries: the Princess has traveled along with the Prince to Jordan, Mexico, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the United States of America, Serbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, China, and Portugal. She also greeted international dignitaries, along with other members of the royal family. Letizia also attended gatherings of foreign royalty in Luxembourg, for the silver wedding anniversary of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and in the Netherlands for the 40th birthday of the Prince of Orange.
Her solo agenda was announced in 2006, shortly after the announcement of her second pregnancy. Letizia has performed a couple of audiences and her work will focus on social issues such as children rights, culture, and education. In late 2007, her solo agenda started to grow in the quantity of events she performed by herself and Felipe's and Letizia's agendas became more distinct and separate.
On 19 June 2014, Letizia became Queen of Spain; as such, she holds the style of Majesty. She is the first Spanish-born queen consort since Mercedes of Orléans, the first wife of Alfonso XII. She is also the first Spanish queen to have been born as a commoner. Letizia undertook her first solo engagement as queen on 23 June 2014 at the inauguration of the El Greco and modern painting exhibition at the National Prado museum in Madrid.
In their first overseas trip as monarchs, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia met Pope Francis on 30 June 2014, in the Apostolic Palace. They later met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Mgsr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States. The visit followed one by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia on 28 April.
In March 2016 leaked texted messages between Letizia and businessman Javier Lopez Madrid, created a furore. Together with other executives and board members of the Caja Madrid and Bankia financial group, Madrid had been accused of corruption. In October 2014 Letizia pledged her support for him, texting "We know who you are and you know who we are. We know each other, like each other, respect each other. To hell with the rest. Kisses yoga mate (miss you!!!)". Felipe also joined in, texting "We do indeed!" Publication of the texts by the newspaper El Diario threatened to undo the line Felipe had drawn between himself and the scandal of Infanta Cristina and her husband, as well as questions over the origins of ex-King Juan Carlos's private fortune. A palace official subsequently stated that the King and Queen were no longer friends with Madrid due to his legal issues.
Titles, honours, and arms
At the time of her marriage to Prince Felipe, Letizia was appointed to the Grand Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Order of Charles III as dame on 21 May 2004. Since then, Letizia has received different appointments and decorations by foreign states and other Spanish honours.
From 2004 to 2014 The coat of arms used as princess was the whole differenced with a label of three points Azure (used as difference of the Spanish heir-apparent) and the crown as Spanish heir-apparent, it had four half-arches (with Crown's arches differenced as consort).
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Her parents divorced in 1999 and her father remarried ... in Madrid on 18 March 2004 to fellow journalist Ana Togores N, born ca. 1955.
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Her maternal grandparents are Francisco Julio Rocasolano Camacho (Madrid, 21 July 1918 –), a mechanic and a cab driver in Madrid for over 20 years, and half-Filipino wife (m. 1950) Enriqueta Rodríguez Figueredo (Oviedo, 2 March 1919 – Madrid, 22 June 2008); by her maternal grandfather she (Letizia) is of French and Occitan origin.
- "A Filipino in the palace?". manilastandardtoday.com. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
Through her maternal grandmother, Enriqueta Rodriguez Figueredo, is half Filipino......But she doesn’t really have Filipino blood coursing through her veins. Letizia’s Filipino connection is merely geographical. To understand this, we must remember that during colonial times, there was a caste system. Native Filipinos (those of pure Austronesian ancestry) were called indio. The label “Filipino” was reserved for the insulares, or people of pure Spanish descent born in the Philippines....By her maternal grandfather, Francisco Julio Rocasolano Camacho, she is of French and Occitan origin
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- Kenny, Mary. "How the younger breed of Royals is moving centre stage". Belfast Telegraph 9 August 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
... on her paternal grandfather's side she is a descendant of an untitled family descended from mediaeval nobility who served as Constables of Castile...
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- Silva, Daniel (3 June 2014). "The Granddaughter Of A Taxi Driver Will Become Spain's Next Queen". businessinsider.com. AFP. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
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- "Comunicato della Sala Stampa: Udienza alle Loro Maestà il Re Felipe VI e la Regina Letizia di Spagna, 30.06.2014" (in Italian). Vatican City. 30 June 2014.
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- Agence France-Press Spain’s monarchy drawn into banking scandal, The Guardian, 9 March 2016; http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/09/spains-monarchy-banking-scandal-queen-letizia
- Sykes, Tom Texting Scandal Rocks Spain’s King and Queen, Daily Beast, 19 March 2016; http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/19/texting-scandal-rocks-spain-s-king-and-queen.html
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- (Spanish) Royal Cadency of Spain-Standards. Blog de Heráldica – 1 November 2010. (Retrieved 10 October 2012)
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19 June 2014 – present