by Susan Flantzer
Felipe, The Prince of Asturias (the future King Felipe VI of Spain) and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano were married on May 22, 2004 at the Santa María la Real de La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain.
King Felipe VI’s Early Life
King Felipe VI of Spain was born at the Nuestra Señora de Loreto Clinic in Madrid, Spain on January 30, 1968. He is the only son and the third of the three children of King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife, Queen Sofia, born Princess Sophia of Greece. Felipe has two older sisters: Infanta Elena (born 1963) and Infanta Cristina (born 1965). At the time of Felipe’s birth, Spain was ruled by the dictator General Francisco Franco and his father had no official title or position in Spain. However, Felipe was registered in the Civil Registry as Infante with the style of Royal Highness. In 1969, General Franco recognized Juan Carlos as his successor and bestowed upon him the title of Prince of Spain. Felipe then became second in the line of succession to the vacant throne. Juan Carlos became King of Spain in 1975 upon the death of General Franco. On January 22, 1977, Felipe was formally created Prince of Asturias, the title traditionally held by the heir to the Spanish throne.
Felipe attended Santa María de los Rosales School in Madrid, Spain until 1984, when he was 16. For his last year of secondary education, he attended Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. In 1985, Felipe started his military education at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza, Spain and studied there for three years. From 1988 – 1993, he attended the Autónoma University of Madrid, where he graduated with a degree in law. Felipe obtained a Master’s Degree in International Relations at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC where he studied from 1993 – 1995 and was a roommate of his first cousin Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.
In 1992, Felipe was a member of the Spanish Olympic Sailing Team at the Barcelona Summer Olympics. He was the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremonies and his Soling Class sailing team finished in sixth place.
Upon the abdication of his father King Juan Carlos I on June 19, 2014, Felipe became King Felipe VI of Spain.
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s Early Life
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was born on September 15, 1972 in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. She is the eldest of three daughters of Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez, a journalist, and his first wife, María de la Paloma Rocasolano Rodríguez, a registered nurse and hospital union representative. Regarding Spanish naming customs, using Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, the first surname or paternal family name is Ortiz and the second surname or maternal family name is Rocasolano. Letizia’s parents divorced in 1998 and her father married again to fellow journalist, Ana Togores. Letizia has two younger sisters, Telma (born 1973) and Érika (1975-2007). It was widely reported that Letizia’s sister Érika died from an intentional prescription drug overdose.
In her hometown of Oviedo, Letizia completed her primary education at the Colegio Público La Gesta de Oviedo and started her secondary education at the Instituto Alfonso II. Due to her father’s job as a journalist, the whole family moved to Madrid in 1987 where Letizia continued her secondary education at the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu. Letizia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Complutense University of Madrid and a Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Journalism from the Institute for Audiovisual Journalism Studies.
In 1998, Letizia civilly married Alonso Guerrero Pérez, a high-school literature teacher, and the couple divorced in 1999. Since this marriage was only a civil ceremony, the Roman Catholic Church did not need to issue an annulment in order for Letizia to have a religious wedding in the future.
While Letizia was pursuing her university degrees, she worked for La Nueva España, a daily newspaper published in her hometown of Oviedo, ABC, a Spanish national daily newspaper, and Agencia EFE, a Spanish international news agency. After Letizia completed her university, she took a position at Siglo XXI, a newspaper in Guadalajara, Mexico.
When she returned to Spain, Letizia worked for the Spanish version of the financial channel Bloomberg before moving to the CNN+, a Spanish 24-hour television news channel, where she spent two years broadcasting the news in the morning shift. In 2000, she received the Mariano José de Larra Award from the Press Association of Madrid as the most accomplished journalist under the age of 30.
In 2000, Letizia began working at Televisión Española, the national state-owned public television broadcaster in Spain where she worked for the news channel 24 Horas. By 2002, Letizia was anchoring the weekly news report program Informe Semanal and then the daily morning news program Telediario Matinal. In August 2003, Letizia started anchoring the daily evening news program Telediario 2, the most watched newscast in Spain. During most of this time period, Letizia was maintaining a secret relationship with Felipe, Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne.
It was in November 2002 while covering the Prestige oil tanker disaster, Spain’s largest environmental disaster, that Letizia’s life would change forever. Felipe, Prince of Asturias had flown to the area to offer his support to the communities worst affected by the oil spill. Although the couple had met the year before at a mutual friend’s dinner party, it was during this terrible disaster that they fell in love. Their relationship was kept a closely guarded secret until the engagement was announced on November 1, 2003, with the following announcement:
Their Majesties the King and Queen have the great pleasure to announce the engagement of their son, His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias Don Felipe, with Doña Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. The asking of the hand will take place next Thursday, November 6th, at Zarzuela Palace. The wedding will be celebrated at the beginning of the Summer of 2004 at the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena in Madrid.
Early in the morning of November 1, 2003, Letizia left her apartment in Madrid for Zarzuela Palace, then the residence of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, where she would live until the wedding.
The official engagement ceremony, in which Felipe officially asked for the hand of Letizia, took place on November 6, 2003 at El Pardo Palace, and not at Zarzuela Palace as indicated in the official announcement of November 1, 2003. Afterward, the official presentation and press conference took place in the garden of El Pardo Palace.
Felipe gave Letizia a ring from Suarez Jewelers with sixteen baguette diamonds and white gold bands on either side of the diamonds.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia hosted a dinner for 330 guests including heads of state, foreign representatives, and relatives on the evening before the wedding at El Pardo Palace. The King and Queen, the bride’s parents, the bride and groom, and the groom’s two sisters and their husbands welcomed the guests in the Central Courtyard of the El Pardo Palace. After the greeting, the guests proceeded to Habsburg Patio, where they were served appetizers. Dinner was then served in Bourbon Patio. After dinner, the guests returned to the Habsburg Patio, where a ball was held.
- Asparagus Tips from Tudela with Summer Truffle and Soup
- Monkfish with Baby Broad Beans in Mint, Iberian Tomato Ravioli, and Sherry Vinegar
- Duck Breast Marinated in Red Wine, Lemon Purée
- Chocolate, Coconut, Red Berries with Citrus Sorbet
- Clarión Viñas del Vero (Somontano Aragón)
- Milmanda Torres (Cuenca la Barberá) – White
- Chivite colección 125 (D.O. Navarra) – White
- Matarromera (Ribera del Duero) – Red
- M.R. Moscatel (D.O. Málaga)
More than 1,700 guests, including 30 heads of state, attended the wedding. Below is a partial guest list.
Family of the Groom
- King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, parents of the groom
- Infanta Elena of Spain, Duchess of Lugo, sister of the groom, and Don Jaime de Marichalar, Duke of Lugo
- Infanta Cristina of Spain, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, sister of the groom, and Don Iñaki Urdangarín, Duke of Palma de Mallorca
- Infanta Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz, paternal aunt of the groom
- Doña Simoneta Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom, and Don José Miguel Fernández Sastrón
- Don Juan Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón, Viscount de la Torre, paternal first cousin of the groom, and Doña Gabriela de la Rosa
- Don Bruno Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom, and Doña Bárbara Cano de la Plaza
- Don Beltrán Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom, and Doña Laura Ponte Martínez
- Don Fernando Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom, and Doña Mónica Fernán y Luque
- Infanta Margarita of Spain, Duchess of Soria, paternal aunt of the groom, and Don Carlos Zurita
- Doña María Zurita y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom
- Don Alfonso Zurita y de Borbón, paternal first cousin of the groom
- Don Luís Alfonso de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú, paternal second cousin of the groom
- Doña Emanuela Pratolongo, widow of Gonzalo, Duke of Aquitaine, who was a first cousin of King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Family of the Bride
- Don Jesús Ortiz Álvarez, father of the bride
- Doña Paloma Rocasolano, mother of the bride
- Doña Telma Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of the bride
- Doña Érika Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of the bride, and Don Antonio Vigo
- Doña Menchu Álvarez del Valle, paternal grandmother of the bride
- Don José Luis Ortiz Velasco, paternal grandfather of the bride
- Doña Henar Ortiz Álvarez, paternal aunt of the bride
- Don Francisco Rocasolano, maternal grandfather of the bride
- Doña Enriqueta Rodríguez, maternal grandmother of the bride
- Don Alfonso Rocasolano Lláser, maternal uncle of the bride
- Doña Valerie Chrastek
- Doña Abigail Rocasolano Lláser, maternal first cousin of the bride, and her fiancee Don Juan José Morueco Clemente
- Don Francisco Rocasolano Rodríquez, maternal uncle of the bride, and his wife Doña María Concepción Lláser Moyano
- Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi
- Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and Begum Inaara Aga Khan
- Duke and Duchess of Aosta
- Duke of Apulia
- Archduke Karl and Archduchess Francesca of Austria
- Archduke Georg and Archduchess Eilika of Austria
- Duke de Santangelo and Duchess de Santangelo
- Archduke Carl-Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria
- Archduchess Catharina of Austria and Massimiliano, Count Secco d’Aragona
- Archduke Philipp of Austria
- Archduchess Sophie of Austria and Prince Hugo zu Windisch-Graetz
- Archduke Maximilian of Austria
- Archduke Martin and Archduchess Katharina of Austria-Este
- Countess Immaculata von und zu Hoensbroech
- Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden
- Don Juan de Bagration y Ulloa and Doña Floriane del Río y Thorn
- Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Sheikha Halaa Bint Daij Al Khalifa of Bahrain
- Duke Franz of Bavaria
- Princess Tessa of Bavaria
- King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians
- Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duke and Duchess of Brabant
- Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduchess and Archduke of Austria-Este
- Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium
- Queen Fabiola of Belgium
- Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria and Princess Anne, Duchess of Calabria
- Princess Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Don Pedro López Quesada
- Duke of Noto and Doña Sofía Landaluce y Melgarejo
- Princess Inès of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Michele Carrelli Palombi
- Princess Victoria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Mr. Markos Nomikos
- Princess Maria Margherita of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
- Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
- Prince Casimiro and Princess Maria Christina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
- Duke and Duchess of Bragança
- Crown Prince Kardam and Crown Princess Miriam of Bulgaria
- Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria
- Prince Kubrat and Princess Carla of Bulgaria
- Prince Konstantin and Princess María of Bulgaria
- Princess Kalina of Bulgaria and Don Kitín Muñoz Valcárcel
- Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark
- King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
- Princess Alexia of Greece and Don Carlos Morales Quintana
- Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
- Prince Nikolaos of Greece
- Princess Theodora of Greece
- Princess Irene of Greece
- Prince Heinrich and Princess Thyra of Hanover
- Princess Alexandra of Hanover
- Landgrave Moritz of Hesse
- Hereditary Prince Donatus and Hereditary Princess Floria of Hesse
- Count Ferdinando Brachetti-Peretti
- Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait
- Shahbanou Farah of Iran
- Shah Reza and Princess Yasmine of Iran
- Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
- Queen Rania of Jordan
- Queen Noor of Jordan
- Princess Raiyah of Jordan
- Princess Muna Al Hussein of Jordan
- Prince Faisal bin Hussein and Princess Alia Al Faisal of Jordan
- Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan
- Prince Rashid Bin El Hassan of Jordan
- Prince Talal bin Mohammed and Princess Ghida Al Talal of Jordan
- Prince Hans-AdamI of Liechtenstein
- Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein
- Princess Nora of Liechtenstein
- Prince Alois-Konstantin and Princess Anastasia zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
- Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
- Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
- Prince Jean of Luxembourg
- Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg
- Donna Giovanna dei Conti Marone
- Don Luis Sánchez Merlo y Ruiz
- Donna Maria Teresa dei Conti Marone
- Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco
- Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Ernst August of Hannover
- Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco
- Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
- The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
- Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
- King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
- Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
- Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Mr. Ari Behn
- Sayyed Haytham bin Tariq Al Said of Oman
- Beatrice d’Orléans, Comtesse d’Evreux
- Princess Clotilde of Orléans and Mr. Édouard Crépy
- Princess Adelaïde of Orléans and Mr. Pierre Louis Dailly
- Prince François of Orléans
- Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans and Bragança
- Doña Maria da Glória of Orléans and Bragança
- Don Manuel of Orléans and Bragança
- Doña Teresa of Orléans and Bragança
- Mrs. Elisabeth Martorell y d’Orléans-Braganza
- Don Alvaro Jaime of Orleans-Borbón and Parodi Delfino
- Doña Giovanna San Martino d’Aglie di San Germano
- Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma
- Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma
- Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma
- Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia
- Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar
- King Michael of Romania
- Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania
- Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia
- Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia
- Prince Vittorio Emanuele and Prince Marina of Savoy
- Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice and Princess Clotilde of Savoy
- Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
- Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
- King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
- Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
- Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
- Princess Madeleine of Sweden
- Mr. Gustaf Magnuson
- Hereditary Count Ignaz and Hereditary Countess Robinia zu Toerring-Jettenbach
- Donna Sandra Torlonia, Countess Lequio di Assaba
- Don Marco Torlonia, Prince of Civitella-Cesi
- Donna Blazena Torlonia, Princess of Civitella-Cesi
- Donna Olimpia Weiller
- The Prince of Wales
- Duke Eberhard von Württemberg
- Doña Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, Duchess of Alba
- Don Alfonso Martínez de Irujo y Fitz-James Stuart, Duke of Aliaga, son of the Duchess de Alba
- Don José María Aznar López, former Prime Minister of Spain
- Doña Ana Botella, Councilor of the City of Madrid
- Frey Andrew W. N. Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta
- Mr. Enrique Bolaños Geyer, President of Nicaragua, and Mrs. Lila T. Abaunza de Bolaños
- Francisco Flores Pérez, President of El Salvador, and Mrs. Lourdes Rodríguez de Flores
- Mr. Lucio Edwin Gutiérrez Borbúa, President of Ecuador, and Mrs. Ximena Bohórquez Romero
- Doña Carmen Franco Polo, Duchess de Franco, daughter of the late dictator Francisco Franco
- Don Felipe González Márquez, former Prime Minister of Spain
- Doña Carmen Romero López, member of Spanish Parliament
- Mr. Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic, and Mrs. Dagmar Havel
- Mr. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, and his wife Mrs. Graça Machel
- Mrs. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, and Mr. Martin McAleese
- Mrs. Mireia Moscoso, President of Panama
- Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, and Mrs. Aliya Nazarbayeva
- Mr. Andrés Pastrana Arango, former president of Colombia, and Mrs. Nohra Puyana de Pastrana
- Don Manuel Pertegaz Ibáñez, Spanish fashion designer
- Mr. Johannes Rau, President of Germany, and Mrs. Christina Rau
- Doña Maria Concepción Sáenz de Tejada, Countess Dowager de Ripalda
- Don Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee
- Mr. Jorge Sampaio, President of Portugal, and Mrs. María José Ritta de Sampaio
- Don Juan María Urdangarín Berriotxoa and Doña Claire Liebaert Courtin
- Mr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, President of Colombia
- Don José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain
- Doña Sonsoles Espinosa, Spanish classical singer and wife of Don José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Pages and Flower Girls
- Felipe Juan de Marichalar y de Borbón, nephew of the groom
- Victoria Federica de Marichalar y de Borbón, niece of the groom
- Juan Valentin Urdangarín y de Borbón, nephew of the groom
- Pablo Nicolas Urdangarín y de Borbón, nephew of the groom
- Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón, nephew of the groom
- Victoria López Quesada Borbón Dos Sicilias, daughter of Princess Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies who is a daughter of Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria
- Carla Vigo Ortiz, niece of the bride
- Ana Codorniu Álvarez de Toledo, second cousin once removed of the groom, great great granddaughter of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg
- Claudia González Ortiz, first cousin of the bride
The dresses and suits of the pages, flower girls, and bridesmaids, designed by Spanish designer Lorenzo Caprile, were inspired by 18th-century Spanish paintings, particularly those of Francisco Goya. Each of the two youngest pages wore a shirt, trousers with a yellow silk sash tied at the waist. The older pages wore suits that reproduced 18th-century male dress: jacket, doublet, breeches, short tie and frill and buckle shoes.
The flower girls wore a bodice decorated with appliqués of lace and ribbons, with a round collar and French sleeves, and a basquiña, a skirt worn in Spain from the 16th to the 19th century, with a typical Spanish yellow sash tied at the waist.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were inspired by the dress of ladies-in-waiting of the 18th century. The two bridesmaids wore a bodice decorated with ribbons and pleats, and a basquiña. They also wore an embroidered shawl and apron, manoletina shoes (similar to ballet flats) and hairnets. The garland the children carried down the aisle before the bride is an ancient symbol of joy, abundance, and happiness.
Witnesses for the Wedding Ceremony
The bride and groom each had a group of family, friends, and people important to them serve as witnesses for the wedding ceremony. Before the end of the wedding ceremony, each witness signed the marriage certificate. When possible, the witnesses have been identified.
Witnesses for The Prince of Asturias
- Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, sister of groom
- Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, sister of groom
- Don Jaime de Marichalar, Duke of Lugo, brother-in-law of groom
- Don Iñaki Urdangarín, Duke of Palma de Mallorca, brother-in-law of groom
- Don Beltran Gomez-Acebo y de Borbon, paternal first cousin of groom
- Don Alfonso Zurita y de Borbon, paternal first cousin of groom
- Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, maternal first cousin of groom
- Prince Nikolaos of Greece, maternal first cousin of groom
- Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria, friend of the groom
- Don Fernando Leon Boissier, on groom’s sailing team in the 1992 Summer Olympics
- Don Alvaro Fuster Garaizabal, childhood friend of the groom
- Mr. Christopher Dennis, attended Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada with the groom
- Don Fernando Rocha y Castilla, had career in army, served in the Royal Guard
- Don Alfredo Hernandez Martinez, friend of the groom
- Don Esteban Bienert Barberon, friend of the groom
- Don Miguel Henkart Fernandez de Bobadilla, friend of the groom
- Don Alberto Pamos Gomez, friend of the groom
- Mr. Christophe von Reiche, friend of the groom
Witnesses of Doña Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
- Don Jesus Ortiz Alvarez, father of the bride
- Doña Paloma Rocasolano Rodriguez, mother of the bride
- Don Jose Luis Ortiz Velasco, paternal grandfather of the bride
- Don Francisco Rocasolano Camacho, maternal grandfather of the bride
- Doña Menchu Alvarez del Valle, paternal grandmother of the bride
- Doña Enriqueta Rodriguez Cigarredo, maternal grandmother of the bride
- Doña Telma Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of bride
- Doña Erika Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of bride
- Don Antonio Vigo Perez, professor at the university the bride attended
- Doña Cristina Palacios Rubio, journalist friend of the bride
- Doña Sonsoles Inega Salcedo, journalist friend of the bride
- Doña Sonia Martinez Munoz, journalist friend of the bride
- Don Jose Eduardo Medina Casado, journalist friend of the bride
- Don Jaime Arturo del Burgo Azpiroz, future husband of bride’s sister Telma
- Don Luis Bruzon Delgado, journalist friend of the bride
- Don Alex Grijelmo Garcia, journalist friend of the bride
- Don Mar Peiteado Mariscal, journalist friend of the bride
Felipe wore the full dress uniform of a Commander of the Spanish Army with braided epaulets, the light blue sash of the Order of Carlos III and the following medals: Insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Grand Cross Collar of the Order of Carlos III (Badge and Star) and the Grand Crosses for Military, Naval and Aeronautic Merit with distinction.
Letizia’s wedding gown was designed by 87-year-old Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz, considered Spain’s leading designer. Made from Valencia silk woven with threads of fine silver, the upper part, tapered with long sleeves, extends gracefully from the waist and flows into a train measuring 15 feet/4.5 meters embroidered with fleur-de-lis flowers, the heraldic fleur-de-lis, ears of wheat, clover, and strawberries. The stand-away collar is embroidered in silver and gold thread on both sides.
The veil was a gift from the groom and was cut to echo the shape of the train. 10 feet/3 meters long and 6.5 feet/2 meters wide, it was made from off-white silk tulle and hand-embroidered using techniques of the 19th century with scrolls and garlands of ears of wheat, and fleur-de-lis.
Letizia’s earrings were a gift from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. They are made from platinum with six 2.44-carats pear-cut diamonds, two brilliant-cut of 1.22-carats and two brilliant-cut diamonds of 4.54-carats.
Letizia wore the Prussian Diamond Tiara, made of platinum and brilliant-cut diamonds in the empire style. Originally the tiara was given by Wilhelm II, German Emperor to his only daughter Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia when she married Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick in 1913. Viktoria Luise gave the tiara to her daughter Princess Frederica of Hanover when she married Prince Paul of Greece (the future King Paul I of Greece) in 1938. Frederica then gave the tiara to her daughter Princess Sophia of Greece (the future Queen Sofia of Spain) when she married Prince Juan Carlos of Spain (the future King Juan Carlos I of Spain) in 1962. Queen Sofia loaned Letizia the Prussian Diamond Tiara for her wedding.
The cascade bouquet was composed of:
- Lilies, a symbol of the Bourbons
- Roses, the flower of May
- Orange blossoms, in memory of the groom’s late paternal grandmother The Countess of Barcelona and Queen Mercedes of Spain, Princess of Orléans, the first wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain
- Apple blossoms, a tribute to the Principality of Asturias, and a symbol of Our Lady of Atocha
- Ears of wheat, symbol of fruitfulness, hope and joy; a symbol of Our Lady of the Almudena and San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isadore the Laborer) who is the patron saint of Madrid
The wedding ceremony was held on May 22, 2004 at the Santa María la Real de La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain. This was the first royal wedding held in the cathedral and the first royal wedding held in Madrid since the wedding of Felipe’s great grandparents King Alfonso XIII and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. When all the guests were seated in the cathedral, the Spanish royal family entered the cathedral:
- Infante Carlos and Infanta Anne of Spain (Duke and Duchess of Calabria)
- Infanta Margarita of Spain Duchess of Soria and the Duke of Soria
- Infanta Cristina Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and the Duke of Palma de Mallorca
- Infanta Elena Duchess of Lugo and the Duke of Lugo
- King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Infanta Pilar Duchess of Badajoz
- Queen Sofia of Spain and the Prince of Asturias
The Spanish royal family was seated on the left side of the altar. On the right side of the altar, the bride’s family was seated as well as the witnesses for the bride and groom. The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, who would give the sermon, was in the Episcopal Throne on the right of the altar.
The Apostolic Nuncio of His Holiness The Pope (the Pope’s representative in Spain); Ricardo Maria Carles, Cardinal of Barcelona; Carlos Amigo, Cardinal of Seville; Carlos Oviedo, Archbishop of Oviedo; Chaplain General to the Armed Forces Archbishop Francisco Pérez González; Chaplain General Emeritus Monsignor José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, and the Auxiliary Bishops of Madrid all stood behind the altar in the center. The Abbot of Poblet, the Prior of El Escorial and the Abbot of Covadonga stood on the right of the altar.
As the bride left the Royal Palace with her father, it started to rain quite heavily. The pages and flower girls entered the cathedral carrying a garland symbolizing joy, abundance, and happiness. Letizia and her father then proceeded down the aisle, followed by the two bridesmaids. At the altar, Felipe received his bride from her father and the celebration of the Roman Catholic Nuptial Mass, which follows the traditional Roman Catholic Mass and includes the Sacrament of Matrimony, began.
After the Mass was over the Prince and Princess of Asturias left the cathedral to the glorious Hallelujah chorus by Georg Friedrich Handel. Before they returned to the Royal Palace, their car went on a tour of the streets of Madrid and then went to the Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha (Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha).
Our Lady of Atocha is the traditional patron of Spanish royalty. In tribute to Our Lady of Atocha, Felipe and Letizia had come to the basilica to lay the bridal bouquet before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Atocha. There is also a tradition in the Spanish royal family that infants are presented to Our Lady of Atocha at the basilica forty days after their birth. This rite was performed by Queen Regent María Cristina when she presented her son who was born king, the infant King Alfonso XIII, and by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia when they presented their children Elena, Cristina, and Felipe. Felipe and Letizia did the same with their daughters Leonor and Sofia.
Music Played During the Wedding Ceremony
Music was provided by:
- National Choir of Spain
- Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra
- Director: Jesus Lopez Cobos
- Organist: Roberto Fresco
During the arrival of the guests: Roberto Fresco, organist of the cathedral, played pieces of notable organists and composers of the reigns of Carlos V, Felipe II, and Felipe V (16th to 18th centuries): Antonio de Cabezón, Sebastián Aguilera de Heredia, Francisco Correa de Arauxo, Pablo Bruna, and Joan Bautista Cabanilles.
- Entrance of King Juan Carlos I: The National Anthem – Marcha Real (Royal March) by Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros
- Entrance of the bride: Allegro for Organ Opus 7 by Georg Friedrich Handel
- Gloria – Missa Pro Victoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria
- Alleluia – Hallelujah by Christopher Morales
- Presentation of the offerings – Sancta Maria KV 273 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Sanctus and Benedictus – Missa Pro Victoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria
- Agnus Dei – Missa Pro Victoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria
- During Communion – Tantum Ergo KV 197 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; The Salutatis by Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga; Divine Bread by Francisco Guerrero
- Rite of Farewell and Blessing – Regina Coeli by Tomás Luis de Victoria
- While the witnesses sign the marriage certificate – Cantata # 69 by Johann Sebastian Bach
- Exit of The Prince and Princess of Asturias – Hallelujah Chorus by Georg Friedrich Handel
- Exit of the Guests – Prelude for Organ, Chorale Meine Seele Erhebet den Herrn BWV 648, Chorale Ach Bleib Bei Uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 649, all by Johann Sebastian Bach
After leaving the Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha, Felipe and Letizia drove back to the Royal Palace. Upon their arrival, the Band of Bagpipe Players of the City of Oviedo and their youth group Vetusta (from Letizia’s hometown of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain) played the anthem of Asturias and the “March of May” which had been composed for the occasion. The bride and groom then appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace with their parents along with Felipe’s two sisters and their husbands and greeted the many people gathered in the Plaza de Oriente. The people were very disappointed that the newlyweds only hugged and did not kiss. Then there were three photo sessions, one with the bride and groom with their families, another with the heads of state who attended the wedding and the third with members of royal houses. After the photo sessions, the bride and groom joined their guests for lunch which was served in the Courtyard of the Prince and the attached galleries.
In his toast, King Juan Carlos expressed to Letizia the enormous happiness of the whole royal family with this marriage. He asked the newlyweds to always think of Spain and to dedicate to the Spanish people their best efforts with love and devotion. The king implored the newlyweds to share in the joys, feelings, and difficulties of the Spanish people and to passionately serve their great, diverse country, proud of its democracy and freedom.
Felipe gave a speech in which he expressed his great happiness and stated that he and Letizia will always think of Spain, that their whole life will be dedicated to the well-being of the Spanish people, and thanked them for their constant show of affection and generosity.
- Puff-Pastry Tartlet with Seafood on a Bed of Scallops
- Roast Capon with Thyme and Nuts
- Denominación de Origen Rias Baixas – White
- Denominación de Origen Rioja – Red 1994 Reserve
The composition of the main table was as follows:
- Dr. Martin McAleese
- Mrs. Lourdes Rodríguez de Flores
- Mr. Johannes Rau, President of Germany
- Queen Rania of Jordan
- Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein
- Mrs. María José Ritta de Sampaio
- King Albert II of the Belgians
- Queen Sonja of Norway
- King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
- Mr. Jesús Ortiz Álvarez
- Queen Sofa of Spain
- The Prince of Asturias
- The Princess of Asturias
- King Juan Carlos I of Spain
- Mrs. Paloma Rocasolano
- Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
- Queen Silvia of Sweden
- King Harald V of Norway
- Queen Paola of the Belgians
- Frey Andrew W. N. Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta
- Mrs. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland
- Mr. Jorge Sampaio, President of Portugal
- Mrs. Christina Rau
- Mrs. Mireia Moscoso, President of Panama
- Francisco Flores Pérez, President of El Salvador
Felipe and Letizia’s honeymoon itinerary was not published, but the media did piece together their whirlwind trip. The couple started off visiting several places in Spain: Cuenca, San Sebastian, Teruel, Zaragoza, Navarre and Basque Country. Next, they went to Jordan to attend the wedding of Prince Hamzah bin Hussein to his second cousin Princess Noor bint Asem bin Nayef on May 27, 2004. (The couple had one daughter and divorced in 2009.) While in Jordan, Felipe and Letizia visited Petra, a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan, famous for its rose-colored rock-cut architecture. The newlyweds were seen in Thailand on the island paradise of Koh Muk. It is suspected that they also visited India and China, because the pilot of a plane traveling from India to China, welcomed the prince and princess, who were traveling incognito, over the plane’s public address system. The Fiji Times reported that Felipe and Letizia stayed for a week in Fiji at the Wakaya Club, a luxurious, expensive resort. In their honeymoon’s final stretch, the couple privately cruised the Mediterranean aboard the ship of a Greek ship-owner, stopping at Greek islands and sailing through Italian ports.
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- “Página Oficial Del Enlace Matrimonial De Su Alteza Real El Príncipe De Asturias Con Doña Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano”. Casareal.es. N.p., 2017. Web. 6 May 2017.