Meet Felipe and Letizia, the new king and queen of Spain

King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain during his inauguration at the Parliament (Congreso de los Diputados) on June 19, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain during his inauguration at the Parliament (Congreso de los Diputados) on June 19, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
(Juan Naharro Gimenez / Getty Images)

Move over, Will and Kate: There are new monarchs in town, and they just took over in Spain.

King Felipe VI was crowned the sovereign of Spain in Madrid on Thursday and was joined by his wife, now Queen Letizia, and their daughters, Leonor and Sofia, princesses of Asturias.

Felipe, 46, ascended the throne after his father, King Juan Carlos, 72, abdicated June 2 after a 39-year reign.


Here are fast facts about the family:

Felipe’s new role as king is largely ceremonial. He was given the title Thursday without a formal coronation but during a special joint session of Spain’s parliament, according to World Now. His mother, the former Queen Sofia, attended, but his father did not. No foreign royals made the scene.

King Juan Carlos oversaw Spain’s transition to democracy in the 1970s, but his more recent years on the throne were tainted by various scandals. Many Spaniards still call for the abolition of the monarchy.

Queen Letizia, 41, formerly Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a commoner, started dating Felipe in 2002.

She was a journalist and TV presenter who earned the Madrid Press Assn.’s Larra Award for most accomplished journalist younger than 30.

Letizia was previously married for about a year, but she and her first husband divorced in 1999. She quit work in 2003, days before she and Felipe announced their engagement and just as she had been promoted to an anchor position.

The new queen wed Felipe on May 22, 2004, wearing a high-collared ivory gown featuring a 15-foot-long train and the diamond tiara that Queen Sofia donned on her wedding day 42 years prior, the Daily Mail reported.


Since then she’s become quite the fashion icon, All the Rage reported, and has been frequently compared to Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Before the coronation, she worked on social issues as Letizia, Princess of Asturias.

The new king and queen welcomed their first daughter, Leonor, Princess of Asturias, on Oct. 31, 2005. Her godparents are her grandparents, the former King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. She is now the first in line for the Spanish throne.

Princess Sofia, the couple’s second daughter, was born in Madrid on April 29, 2007. Her maternal grandmother, Paloma Rocasolano, and Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria were godparents. She is known as Infanta Sofia of Spain.

For the coronation, which was a no-frills occasion to keep with the austerity measures of the times, Felipe wore a military uniform and was crowned with an 18th-century Spanish crown and 17th-century scepter.

Letizia wore a crystal-embellished coat by her designer of choice, Felipe Varela.

Still waiting for my royal wedding invitation. Follow me @NardineSaad.