Despite being far less formal than the UK’s House of Windsor, the House of Bourbon which rules Spain has had its fair share of allegations of being ‘out of touch’. An aged King presiding over a virtually bankrupt state whilst going elephant hunting during the financial crisis went down badly.
Then there was the financial scandal in which his daughter, The Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, was forced to appear in court in February. Add to that his obvious health problems and King Juan Carlos I has decided to step aside and pass the monarchy to his 46 year old son Felipe.
Much like any monarchy it’s clearly time Spanish Royals had a bit of shake up. In Britain the Queen is becoming less visible, whereas William and his glamorous wife Kate are absolutely everywhere. They’re like Charles and Diana except they both charismatic, mentally stable, and they appear not to hate each other with a passion.
But perhaps the world’s fascination with our young Royal might be about to be rivalled by Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, the woman who is about to become Queen of Spain. She may not be a household name outside Spain but she does have star quality.
Soon to be Queen Letizia has a Master’s Degree in journalism, and has worked for a number of national newspapers in Spain. She then went on to become an anchor of the biggest news show in the country, Telediario 2. She covered the 2000 US Presidential election, broadcast from Ground Zero after 9/11 and filed reports from Iraq on the aftermath of the war.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a TV presenter that married a Prince, she is well dressed and incredibly beautiful. At a time when image seems to dominate everything, perhaps even Spain national prestige can be boosted by have a Queen that people want to hear about. Not least because she is from a fairly ordinary family, her dad was a local radio presenter and her granddad was a taxi driver.
Admittedly she has not got traction quite yet, but that can easily change. Europe is awash with Royals and for the most part the only ones people ever seem to talk about is the British. But perhaps that can change.
King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom presided over periods of change in their respective countries. They are safe, reliable and incredibly dull – but this is an information age, and Spain just brought a media star to the table.