King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are currently on a US tour. They kicked it off with a visit to Capital Hill.
Bienvenido to America!
Washington, D.C., is getting the royal treatment this week as the city plays host to Queen Letiziaand King Felipe of Spain.
The glamorous couple – who rose to the throne after Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated in 2014 – are on a four-day tour of the U.S., starting in the nation’s capital.
For their first official visit to the U.S. as king and queen, the Spanish royals took care to start off with spots that held a significance for their homeland. They requested that their first visit be to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, “to highlight the long-standing historic relations between our two countries,” said Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the United States. (People magazine.)
You can see more photos from their time in Washington, D.C. here.
Last night upon seeing Kate’s latest look from her latest event, I tweeted without thinking. I tweeted it from my personal account, which I use for a lot of “thinking out loud,” as Twitter is seemingly designed for. More than anything, I wanted to highlight how fierce Queen Letizia is, and to bring my followers’/friends’ attention to it.
Then Regal Media was kind enough to retweet it. Which was pretty cool. And a few people agreed.
Well, apparently I really ruffled some feathers… Some people responded that I was just “jealous,” which, HELLO, OF COURSE I AM. And someone else replied that Kate shouldn’t follow the fashion advice of a royal of a “failing royal house…”
For what it’s worth, I do love Queen Letizia and show favor to her as of late opposed to Kate… She’s a fellow journalist and you can’t deny her sassiness. But is this a personal attack on Kate, in the words of aforementioned tweets, “nah.”
Since King Felipe and Queen Letizia met with Pope Francis today–their first overseas engagement as King and Queen–I thought it was an appropriate time to discuss the protocol of Popes and Royals.
Le Privilège du blanc
“Privilege of the White” describes the tradition of allowing Catholic queens, princesses, and archduchesses to wear white in the presence of the Pope. You can view a complete list of who’s eligible to wear white, as well as “controversial beneficiaries” here.
Others should wear black gowns, arms covered, hemlines beneath knees, and black tuxedos or suits. However, royals and many women dignitaries have begun wearing different colors than the traditional black. Most notably, Queen Elizabeth wore blue during her last meeting with His Holiness, back in January.
As the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, and Vatican City, it is appropriate for Catholic royals to genuflect, and, should he extend his hand, to kiss his ring. For non-Catholics, it is a sign of respect to curtsy or bow, however, not mandated.
The Pope, in turn, is often seen bowing politely to royalty, even those of different faiths.
Royals, as well as non-royals, should address him as Your Holiness or Holy Father.