I’ve been wanting to start this series for a while now, and on the heels of Monday’s abdication announcement, I figured it’d be a perfect time to start. Let’s start with one of my personal favorites from commoner-to-royalty story, that of Letizia, Princess of Asturias, soon-to-be Queen (consort) of Spain.
Name: Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
Birth: September 15, 1972, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Spouse: Alonso Guerrero Pérez (m. 1998; div. 1999); Felipe, Prince of Asturias (m. 2004)
Children: Infanta Leonor (b. 2005); Infanta Sofía (b. 2007)
Official Title: Her Royal Highness Doña Letizia, Princess of Asturias, Princess of Viana, Princess of Girona, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer
Line of Succession: None, married to Felipe, Prince of Asturias, soon-to-be King of Spain, making her Queen Consort Letizia of Spain
Life before royalty
Letizia is the oldest of three sisters, one of whom passed away in 2007 after a battle with severe depression.
She followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps and pursued a career in journalism.
She completed her Bachelor’s Degree and a Licentiate’s Degree in Sciences of the Information, in the branch of Journalism, at the Complutense University of Madrid. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Journalism at the Institute for Studies in Audiovisual Journalism.
After her studies, she went to work in Guadalajara, Mexico at a newspaper, then returned to Spain and quickly moved up the ranks of professional journalists. She soon became one of the most popular news anchors in Spain. She reported live from Ground Zero, as well as Iraq and the US Elections of 2000.
One of the more “controversial” aspects of her life has been her previous marriage. In 1998, she married her boyfriend of nearly ten years, professor and author, Alonso Guerrero. They divorced in 1999, and, since having had only a civil service, their marriage was not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. This made it possible for her to marry Prince Felipe in a Catholic Church without an annulment.
In 2002, she first met Prince Felipe at a dinner party, however, it wasn’t until meeting a few months later during one of her news assignments that the Prince asked her on a date. It’s alleged she turned down his first four attempts, she was not wanting to start a relationship with such a high-profile person, especially since she had recently been promoted at her job.
It’s not said what exactly caused her change of heart, but after meeting with the Prince it seemed to be a relatively swift courtship.
Though facing much opposition from his father, Prince Felipe proposed to Letizia in 2004, a few days after she had quit her job.
She faced a lot of push back the first few years. Though many praised the Prince’s choice of an independent commoner to be their someday Queen, many found her to be a bit cold and snobby.
Her cousin recently penned a book which reveals many “secrets” of the Princess, including claims that she had an abortion, and has become “obsessively” concerned with people leaking stories to the press.
She is not afraid to rock some fierce styles, and manages to pull off every single one. (One of her most memorable looks came from one of her first international royal events, the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik to Mary in 2004. Pictured above.)
Letizia has attended 190 official events and has had 107 audiences without her husband (and the number continues to grow quickly).
Now a mother to two beautiful girls, she splits her time between royal engagements/patronages and being a mom. She and Prince Felipe often walk the girls to school together.
She is a hardworking, independent woman, who found success before royalty, and certainly has since.