Who Is Queen Letizia of Spain? We Have Answers

queen letizia
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

We already know that Queen Letizia is a style icon. (Have you seen her chic black coat?) However, there's more to the Spanish monarch than her impressive sartorial choices.

The queen, 51, made quite a few headlines during her royal visits this year, from her appearance at the Women's World Cup to her rapping debut in Madrid for World Mental Health Day. (In case you missed it, she rapped a verse from El Chojin's song, “No es Egoísmo,” meaning "it's not selfishness.")

In her speech, the royal said, “This is a day to reflect what the last 364 days have been like, a day where people with mental health problems look at us in the face and tell us what we should do to improve society, administrations, institutions. So, it is advisable to listen to know where the action should go, because investment in mental health is the guarantee of a more prosperous, fairer and more equitable future for all people.”

Although we've enjoyed keeping up with the queen's latest outings, we're still curious to learn more about her pre-royal life, her transition and her meet-cute with King Felipe. Here’s everything we know about Spain’s leading lady, Queen Letizia.

queen letizia of spain
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

1. Who Is Queen Letizia?

Queen Letizia, aka Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, is the wife of King Felipe VI of Spain. After marrying her husband (formerly Prince Felipe of Asturias) in May 2004, she received the title of Princess of Asturias. Then, on June 19, 2014, following her husband's accession to the throne, Letizia became the queen consort, making her the first Spanish queen born as a commoner.

Her Majesty the Queen has since received many Spanish and foreign honors, including the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown from the Netherlands and Grand Cross of the Order of National Merit from France.

queen letizia of spain reporter
Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images

2. What Was Her Pre-Royal Life Like?

The queen was raised in a middle-class family in Otezia, Northern Spain. Born to journalist Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez and María de la Paloma Rocasolano Rodríguez, she followed in her father's footsteps by studying journalism at the Complutense University of Madrid and the Institute for Studies in Audiovisual Journalism.

Prior to meeting and marrying King Felipe, she found major success in her field. The royal worked as a reporter for ABC and EFE, then became a news anchor at CNN+ and Televisión Español. She was also previously married to a writer named Alonso Guerrero Pérez, but they got divorced a year later.

letizia ortiz prince felipe 2003
TVE/AFP via Getty Images

3. How Did Queen Letizia Meet King Felipe?

We don't know exactly when they first crossed paths, but we do know that Letizia met the then-Prince of Asturias while she was working as a news anchor. King Felipe must have seen one of Letizia’s broadcasts, because he asked a mutual friend, Pedro Erquicia, to set them up. According to reports, Letizia gave the prince her number, but they didn't start dating until a few months later.

The pair secretly dated for a few years before the Royal Household made a surprise announcement about their engagement in November 2003. Two days later, the couple appeared at the prince's residence for a press conference, and the King said, "We are very much in love and we wanted to show our great joy for our commitment."

spanish royal family letizia felipe
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

4. Was Queen Letizia Welcomed by the Royal Family?

Letizia was previously married to Alonso Guerrero Pérez. Although the marriage only lasted a year, her status as a “divorcée” reportedly didn’t sit well with the royal family, which explains why the couple kept their relationship under wraps at first.

Fortunately, though, Letizia's previous marriage was a just civil ceremony, which allowed her and Prince Felipe to have a Catholic ceremony at the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena in Madrid.

queen letizia wedding
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

5. When Did Queen Letizia and King Felipe Get Married?

On May 22, 2004, Queen Letizia and King Felipe tied the knot at the Catedral de la Almudena in Madrid, making it the first royal wedding to occur in this cathedral. The bride’s dress was designed by Spanish couturier Manuel Pertegaz and featured heavy embroidery and a high-standing collar.

Meanwhile, the veil, which she received as a gift from Felipe, was made of silk tulle and her bridal shoes were made by Pura López.

queen letizia fashion 1
Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

6. How's Her Sense of Style?

Apart from her role in the royal family, Queen Letizia is known for her impeccable fashion choices. From eye-catching floral dresses and chic pantsuits to fuzzy jackets, the monarch has redefined what it means to dress like a queen.

For example, the queen turned heads in a pink Carolina Herrera suit dress at King Charles's coronation in 2023. And in 2022, she dazzled in a form-fitting Nina Ricci dress at the National Orchestra and Choir of Spain Concert.

queen letizia daughters
Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

7. Does She Have Any Children?

Queen Letizia shares two daughters with King Felipe: Leonor, Princess of Asturias (18) and Infanta Sofía (16). Princess Leonor is first in the line of succession to the Spanish throne, followed by her sister.

At just 13 years old, Princess Leonor gave her first public speech at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Spain’s Constitution, and in 2019, she presided over the Princess of Asturias Awards. In her speech, she said, “In my house, the words Spain and Asturias are always united with the same force with which history has united them. That’s how I feel it in my heart and that today is a very important day in my life that I have looked forward to.”

The princess also did her two-year International Baccalaureate program at UWC Atlantic College in Wales. Meanwhile, Infanta Sofía, who was named after her grandmother, started an International Baccalaureate at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales in 2023.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...