Felipe and Letizia of Spain celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary

Felipe and Letizia of Spain celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary

She was a successful TV journalist, he was the Spanish Crown Prince: Felipe and Letizia of Spain married on May 22, 2004. The couple had to face many challenges from the beginning.

When it rained heavily at their wedding and the bride even had to drive up to Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral in a limousine, many observers speculated that this might be a bad omen for the marriage. But she held out despite all the doubters – and so King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia can celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on May 22, 2024.

Their love story officially began on November 6, 2003 – on that day, at 12 noon in the Zarzuela Palace, the then Crown Prince asked for the hand of the well-known television journalist Letizia Ortiz and shortly afterwards introduced his fiancée to the press. This was a complete surprise as the couple had previously kept their love secret for around a year. It is said that the two met at a mutual acquaintance’s dinner and that the prince was immediately hooked.

Felipe and Letizia had a difficult start

The woman at Felipe’s side immediately made a lot of headlines and a lot of concerns with her engagement, because at first glance she didn’t seem like the best choice for a future queen. Middle-class, divorced, too successful, too self-confident. Many found the fact that she came to the engagement photo in a white pants suit from Armani instead of a dress inappropriate or even saw it as an affront. She also reprimanded her royal fiancé in front of the assembled press – so observers wondered aloud whether Letizia could fit in with the strict Spanish court protocol.

Felipe is said to have previously encountered resistance from his family. People at court probably wanted a princess without a past and of noble descent. But, it is said, Felipe is said to have made it clear to his parents, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia, that he would only marry Letizia and no one else. And in Catholic Spain they probably didn’t want to risk an unmarried future king.

The Spanish royal family’s reputation has suffered

And the couple defied all prophecies of doom. The two survived nasty rumors about Letizia not feeling comfortable in her new role. She was insulted as an “ice princess” and was accused of having cosmetic surgery, anorexia and depression. To this day there are also wild rumors about the royal couple’s marriage. The couple also went through hard times after a personal stroke of fate: Letizia lost her younger sister Erika on February 7, 2007. At that time, the Crown Princess was pregnant with her second daughter.

Later, the family came under pressure because of King Juan Carlos I’s scandals. The reputation of the royal family was badly damaged. The monarch eventually abdicated. Felipe and Letizia came to the throne much earlier than they might have wished and planned. On June 19, 2014, they became the royal couple of Spain. Her daughters were only seven and eight years old at the time.

Balancing family and the royal job was certainly not always easy. But Felipe and Letizia have shown that together they are a good team for the crown. The Queen’s work is recognized by many people, and her commitment to equality, children and against hunger and poverty receives respect. Nevertheless, there are always critical voices. As a royal couple, the two have been under even more scrutiny for ten years now – every gesture, every step is followed and evaluated in Spain.

The future also brings challenges

With Crown Princess Leonor and Princess Sofía, the royal couple has fulfilled its important task of securing the future of the monarchy. On her 18th birthday in October 2023, Leonor took her oath to the constitution in front of Parliament in Madrid and thus officially became heir to the throne of her father Felipe VI. – of course under the eyes of the visibly proud parents.

But this day also showed that the royal family in Spain expects many more challenges. Because the monarchy is on shaky ground: no one from the regions striving for independence, such as Catalonia, took part. Five of the eleven parties represented in the House of Commons boycotted the event as they called for the abolition of the monarchy. In 2021, a survey commissioned by news portals showed that just under a third of Spaniards support the monarchy.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts