Wednesday 12 December 2018

The secrets to Spain's Queen Letizia’s age defying style

Queen Letizia of Spain arrives at the Grand Palais to visit the Miro exhibition on October 05,2018 in Paris, France
Queen Letizia of Spain arrives at the Grand Palais to visit the Miro exhibition on October 05,2018 in Paris, France
Queen Letizia of Spain attends the Mental Health Day at Spanish Congress on October 9, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Spain's Queen Letizia poses in Almudaina Palace during the summer holidays in Palma de Mallorca, Spain July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain visit Mission San José on June 17, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. / AFP PHOTO / SUZANNE CORDEIROSUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images
Queen Letizia of Spain attends the reception offered by Portugal president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (C) at El Pardo Palace on April 17, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia arrive to visit the retrospective of works by Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro (1893-1983) at Paris's Grand Palais, in Paris, France, October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Queen Letizia of Spain attends the Easter mass on April 1, 2018 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
King Felipe VI of Spain (R) and Queen Letizia of Spain host a dinner gala for the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Royal Palace on April 16, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Borja Benito - Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain attends the National Sports Awards ceremony at El Pardo Palace on February 19, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain receives the spanish Winter Olympics Team at Zarzuela palace on March 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Eduardo Parra/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain attends the opening of ARCO (Contemporary Art Fair) at Ifema on February 22, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Spain's new King Felipe VI (L) kisses his wife Queen Letizia during the swearing-in ceremony at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid
Queen Letizia of Spain attends several audiences at the Zarzuela Palace on January 23, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain hosts a dinner gala for the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Royal Palace on April 16, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Borja Benito - Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia arrive to visit the retrospective of works by Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro (1893-1983) at Paris's Grand Palais, in Paris, France, October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain attend a dinner in honour of 'Mariano de Cavia', 'Mingote' and 'Luca de Tena' awards winners at ABC on December 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain (L) and Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan (R) visit the Molecular Biology Center "Severo Ochoa" at the Autonoma University on November 20, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain (R) receives Queen Abdullah of Jordan (L) at the Barajas Airport on November 19, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia (R), and the first lady of China, Peng Liyuan (L), during their tour of the Royal Theater of Madrid, on the first day of the State visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping in Madrid, Spain on November 28, 2018
Queen Letizia of Spain (R) and China's first lady Peng Liyuan (L) attend the Royal Gala Dinner in honour of Chinese president at the Royal Palace on November 28, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain (R) receives China's first lady Peng Liyuan (L) for an official dinner at the Zarzuela Palace on November 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz pose during an official engagement ceremony at the garden of El Pardo Palace November 6, 2003 at Palacio del Pardo in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
King Felipe VI of Spain (L) and Queen Letizia of Spain (C) attend the Premios Fundacion Princesa de Girona on June 28, 2018 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

Lorna Claire Weightman

2018 has been about Meghan.

The wedding, the Australian tour, the baby and yes of course, the vast selection of Givenchy she gets to choose from. We’ve been sucked into the Markle vacuum and it’s hard to escape given the constant coverage. But my royal style fascination extends back beyond the British Duchess. Marie Chantal of Greece, Queen Mary of Denmark, Queen Rania of Jordan; but one reigns supreme  - Queen Letizia of Spain.

She rivals Kate Middleton with her love of the high street (she recently wore a €100 dress from ASOS to meet the President of China) and her effortless style that, I believe is innate, not the product of a large royal budget. She’s the quintessential queen; poised and elegant but she has an independent and boundary-breaking style, which fools us into thinking she’s younger than her 46 years. 

Long before Meghan emerged in a Givenchy tuxedo, Letizia was re-defining what we expect from royal style. In May 2017, she attended Madrid’s National library in a black leather pencil skirt. The following month it was a one-shouldered crimson gown in the Netherlands. Next a Literary event in a bardot-style white top and boot cut trousers.

Queen Letizia (R), and the first lady of China, Peng Liyuan (L), during their tour of the Royal Theater of Madrid, on the first day of the State visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping in Madrid, Spain on November 28, 2018
Queen Letizia (R), and the first lady of China, Peng Liyuan (L), during their tour of the Royal Theater of Madrid, on the first day of the State visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping in Madrid, Spain on November 28, 2018

Her appeal is that she identifies no style rules that apply to her position as a monarch. Now I do need to mention her enviable figure - the woman can wear anything with a body like that. Take the Nina Ricci metallic stripe body con dress and slicked back hair in December 2016; form fitting and forward thinking. I don’t think we’ll see Meghan or Kate attending an official dinner in anything similar.

They play it safe because royal protocol says so. Letizia sets the style protocol in Spain leaving us running to Zara to find a replica, not to mention the coats from the Spanish retailer that she loves.  Her overriding style moment for me was a red ensemble while greeting Queen Rania of Jordan in 2015 and to the discerning eye, it's possible they even coordinated their outfits.

If you were to compare Letizia’s style of those days as a newly wed, to the moment of coronation and beyond, she almost looks younger now. Perhaps having settled into royal life she, over time, has built up a confidence in her personal style. We assume as queen, she can make the rules rather than abide by them.

Either way, Letizia has become the queen of her own catwalk with designers queuing up to dress her.

King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain attend a dinner in honour of 'Mariano de Cavia', 'Mingote' and 'Luca de Tena' awards winners at ABC on December 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain attend a dinner in honour of 'Mariano de Cavia', 'Mingote' and 'Luca de Tena' awards winners at ABC on December 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

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