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Alexandria 12-07-2003 07:39 PM

Books on the Royal Family of Spain and Spanish Royal History
Tú serás mi reina

Manuel at the Franco-Iberian Royals Message board has posted a very lengthy and interesting summary of a book about Letizia that was published this week in Spain, I think. The book is called Tú serás mi reina (You Will Be My Queen): Letizia Ortiz, una periodista camino del trono (Letizia Ortiz, A Journalist On the Way to the Throne).

One of the interesting points according to Manuel in the book are that Letizia and her husband at the time were seen together in early June, although Felipe had asked her out at the beginning of May.

But here is the interesting part: In September, Letizia was invited to Zarzuela Palace to be introduced to the King and Queen, who were both "horrified" at the idea of Felipe marrying a divorced woman. Manuel's summary says that Sofia felt that Letizia had "a lot of influence on her boy," and that she and the King found Letizia unacceptable.

On 5 October, Felipe was schedule to leave for New York for some events. Before he left, Felipe had a chat with the King in which he "threatened to leave everything" if the King and Queen didn't approve of his relationship with Letizia.

[Quoting Manuel:] He said the famous sentence, cited by Urbano: "Esto es lo que hay; o esto, o lo dejo todo" (This is what it is; it is this, or I will leave everything).

Although the King was "horrified" by Felipe's pronouncement, and the Queen, too, they both held firm on their position against Letizia.

In New York, Felipe was joined by Letizia. During this time, I guess Felipe missed the Spanish National Day festivities, which he was scheduled to attend as he was supposed to have wrapped up his duties in New York and had enough time to return to Spain. According to Manuel, the book says that Felipe's refusal to return home and to miss the festivities was a firm signal to his father that he was serious about Letizia and his intentions to leave everything if Letizia did not get his parents' approval. The King was apparently impressed by Felipe's attitude and actions and felt that he would have to accept Letizia. The night of the National Day festivities there was a dinner at Zarzuela Palace which the whole family attended. Infanta Cristina was apparently the only one who defended her brother over the Letizia relationship, with the King and Queen, Elena and Jaime firmly against Felipe and Letizia. (No word on where Inaki stood on this.)

Now that the King and Queen had no choice but to accept Letizia as part of Felipe's life, the Royal House moved quickly, especially since rumours of the relationship had started. An engagement between the couple was supposed to be announced around Christmas time, but a combination of fearing backlash by the Spanish public (because of Letizia's divorce, etc.) and Felipe's fears that if given time the press would "destroy" Letizia the way he felt they had destroyed Eva.

On 1 November, the press knew about the relationship but because the King was off hunting, nothing could be done. They had to call him and it was he who gave the go ahead for the official announcement. And apparently, the directors of the most important newspapers in the country and television networks were "informed" of how to treat the news, which began the "propaganda" campaign for Felipe and Letizia.

Some other revelations from Manuel and the book include the fact that in August, Felipe felt that Letizia needed to be promoted at the television station where she worked, probably to give her a higher profile. So, allegedly, someone from the Royal House phoned the director of TVE and Letizia was quickly installed at the anchorwoman of the TVE evening news, which has the highest audience in Spain. Not surprisingly, Letizia's colleagues at TVE were suspect about this sudden promotion of a new and young journalist to such a top position.

[Quote from Manuel]: She had a nickname in TVE, "Ficticia", while her colleagues in CNN+ called her "Morticia".

(Note: The promotion of Letizia to anchorwoman took place in August, before she met the King and Queen and the important New York standoff.)

A most interesting story if it is true, and it does seem to explain why the relationship happened so quickly.

Dennism 12-08-2003 12:01 AM

I knew it. They rolled over because this was his choice. He stood his ground. That's why it's been so quick. Bravo to Felipe for standing up to his mother. I have to disagree with the promotion idea. I mean TVE is the national broacaster after all. It's not like she was an anchor on some local station in Kansas or something(Sorry, people from Kansas.).Or the Canaries for the Spanish example. But yes, maybe I will start to like this couple for what they are. But I still think he should had waited longer. Love conquers all and he should not have worried what the press would have said!

"Manuel's summary says that Sofia felt that Letizia had "a lot of influence on her boy," and that she and the King found Letizia unacceptable"

What is it with these princes and their mothers? And no, I love my mother. However, she will have to accept whoever I choose to marry! And the same thing with the rest of my family. Everybody will have to accept everyone else!

Letizia looked just lovely in these photos. However, I'm not a fan of that color on anybody. And I've seen dresses like those and I'm not keen on them either.

"but a combination of fearing backlash by the Spanish public (because of Letizia's divorce, etc.) "

A lot of hypocrites in Spain I guess then. I mean they criticized his previous girlfriends and finally, he finds one who he seems to really like and they would criticize her as well. Tsk tsk tsk.

"I wish I could go to a tropical beach somewhere and just have me, Letizia and the sea. Leave all of this behind." I bet this goes through his mind quite often.

" Letizia has been married before, she dresses too flamboyantly, she doesn't know how to behave properly and, even worse, is guilty of being a journo (only estate agents and lawyers are held in less esteem) let alone of humble birth."

Too flamboyantly? You've got to be kidding me. That behaviour thing takes time. As a member of the 4th estate myself, I object to this. I laud good ones and I criticize bad ones. I thought they had higher approval ratings in other countries. O, well. If anything, they could have said because she worked for television :P Was the mainstream press critical as well? I mean the tabloids are one thing but if the mainstream press was to then boo on them as well.

Real Estate Agents? They aren't too bad. Maybe they are in Spain but not here. The humble birth thing no longer applies. Men and women with sincere emotion, good senses of humor and most importantly of all, love for the royal can come from any background!

Omnia vincit amor!

"Infanta Cristina"

Brava. Everybody give her a round of applause for supporting her brother in his bumpy road to love.

"About Letizia being divorced, only 9,2% said that is a problem, 88,6% said that isn't a problem and 2,3% answered don't know/don't answered. Between younger people, 94% (men and women between 18 and 29) think that isn't a problem. In people older than 65 years, 15% said that is a problem:"

So they must be all lying then if it weighed on the mind of Felipe. Surely, he would not have given it a second thought if he thought there would be no problem. Well, Felipe had his parents to deal with. But he did feel that the press and the proverbial man in the street would have trouble with Letizia because of her divorce.

TaShBaBe86 12-08-2003 12:42 AM

I also agree with Dennism I believe that Letizia is a very educated and well dressed woman (although I don't like the last color either). In the 21st century it shouldn't matter what background you come from or whether your divorced or not. All that really matters is love because that lasts a lifetime.

:heart: :flower:

Dennism 12-08-2003 02:18 AM

After all of this, I am reminded of that classic song by Kirsty MacColl, "They Don't Know" which was a big hit for Tracey Ullman. Yes, that Tracey Ullman. She was a fine singer.

George 12-08-2003 02:58 AM

who is the publisher and what is the isbn # and the first and last name of the
Manuel ? author, so I can write to find out if there will be a English version

Dennism 12-08-2003 03:04 AM

Espejo de Tinta is the publisher. Paloma García-Pelayo and Angela Portero are the authors. ISBN # are harder to get.

ISBN: 84-962280-01-2
There is a webpge:

I wasted a long time on this. Should have just looked at the board!

Here's the link to Manual's description just in case you can't find it:

I have a question and I'm sure it's been answered before but if they first met in October of 2002 and "connected" why didn't Felipe contact her again until the following May? Maybe he's a gentleman and knew she was seeing someone else. Just random thoughts here. Okay. He's busy but she's gorgeous. You don't forget her.

Alexandria 12-08-2003 10:33 AM

I think the concern with Felipe and Spain is that it is a relatively new monarchy, so the future Queen would have to be next to God (or Queen Sofia) in order to be considered right for the role. That being said, nobody in this day and age is going to be perfect or saintly enough to qualify. Everybody's done something that could be misconstrued to be offensive or inappropriate.

I don't have a problem with the fact that Letizia has been married and divorced, even if the marriage didn't take place in a church and was a civil marriage. But from the King and Queen, and monarchists perspective, having a future Queen who has been divorced in the Catholic-dominated Spain, that is a very tricky thing to get around.

And I agree with Dennism, I think that if they really loved each other, they should've waited a bit longer before announcing the engagement. Felipe is obviously determined enough about this relationship as evident by the standoff in New York, so continue to hold that stance for a few more months and let the King and Queen and the rest of the family and the public get to know Letizia more and the couple more.

And very nice and good of Cristina to support her brother. Felipe and Cristina always did seem closer than Felipe and Elena. But what a bold step that was on her part; to stand behind her brother when everybody else was obviously against it.

Dennism 12-08-2003 12:58 PM

I apologize to all fans of Sofia. I'm sorry.

xicamaluca 12-15-2003 04:43 PM

The prestigious radio Cadena SER made a poll about the royal wedding and the monarchy. More than 80% of the spaniards are happy with the royal wedding (13% said that they wanted a Princess or lady with royal blood). 70% said that Letizia has the qualities to be Queen of Spain. Only 2 people in 10 said that she being divorced is a problem. When asked to give a grade to the mornarchy (between 1 and 10), the average was 7,5 and more than 90% approves King Juan Carlos I. 70% said that mornachy should continous and 22% said that Spain should be a republic.

The article in spanish

royal_sophietje 12-16-2003 10:28 AM

Well, that being said, let's go on!!! LOL

George 12-17-2003 12:53 AM

thank you dennism for taking the time to look it up for me and others-
thank you sincerely.

ally_cooper 02-03-2004 10:21 AM

Emmanuela Dampierre's Memories
What do you think about the polemic book "Emmanuela de Dampierre: Memorias, esposa y madre de los Borbones que pudieron reinar en España" (In english: "Emmanuela of Dampierre: Memories, Wife and mother of the Bourbon that could reign in Spain") ?

CathyEarnshaw 02-03-2004 12:12 PM

The book is available only in Spanish, and has been described as the comments of a rather bitter and sad woman.

FRANCOIS 02-06-2004 12:03 PM

I perfectly agree with you when you say that she is a bitter and sad woman like her son the Duke of Cadix.

electrivicki 02-17-2004 09:27 PM

La Señora Dampierre is a wonderful woman.Everybody knows she hates the spanish royals.

I admire her,she's very brave.

xicamaluca 06-05-2004 02:50 PM

Juan Carlos: A People's King - Paul Preston
The Guardian

From a pawn to a king

Paul Preston's biography of King Juan Carlos of Spain, A People's King, tells us much about the history of Spain and the public career of a man determined to be monarch. But the private man remains elusive, says Piers Brendon

Saturday June 5, 2004
The Guardian

Juan Carlos: A People's King
by Paul Preston
614pp, HarperCollins, £25

Paul Preston starts by saying that there are two central mysteries in the life of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Why did he accept, with apparent equanimity, his exiled father's decision to send him home to be educated at the behest of General Franco? And why, having been brought up to continue the fascist dictatorship in the guise of a restored monarchy, did Juan Carlos lead the way in returning Spain to democracy? The answer to these questions, Preston states, is to be found in his self-sacrificing dedication to the profession of kingship.

Perhaps that is true. But it is hard to tell from this book, which is not so much a biography of Juan Carlos as a history of Spain since his birth in 1938 from the royal point of view. No one is better equipped to recount this saga than Preston, the grand panjandrum of modern Hispanic studies. But he focuses so intently on the public career of Juan Carlos that he fails to bring the private man to life. Thus, for example, it comes as a surprise (after 512 pages) to learn that a senior official in the royal household fell out with Juan Carlos in 1990 because he was so "shocked by the behaviour of the circle in which the King moved".

To be sure, Preston does hint that Juan Carlos, though a model of propriety compared to his louche great-grandfather Alfonso XIII, has always been something of a playboy. He likes parties and practical jokes - in fact horseplay apparently led to the major tragedy of his life, Juan Carlos's accidental killing of his younger brother with a .22 pistol in 1958. He enjoys skiing, yachting and hunting. He adores fast cars and fast women. When his future wife, Princess Sofía of Greece, first met Juan Carlos, she thought him a scatterbrained hooligan. Today his image is tarnished by rumours of financial scandal.

It would be helpful to have more personal detail about the Spanish king, such as Ben Pimlott used to enliven his portrait of our own dear queen. Maybe the evidence is lacking. Or maybe Preston, who is as respectful towards the king as he is disdainful towards the press, scorns royal gossip. Yet only through a minute appraisal of Juan Carlos's personality can we really understand what motivated him during his long pilgrimage towards constitutional monarchy.

Although Preston writes English as though he were translating from Spanish, he guides readers through the twists and turns of the story with magisterial authority. What emerges is that Juan Carlos was a pawn until he became a king. His father, Don Juan, treated him with scant con-sideration, advancing the 10-year-old child into fascist Spain as a ploy to regain the throne after the civil war. Franco accepted Juan Carlos in order to conciliate Spanish monarchists and to instil in him authoritarian beliefs.

The dictator was determined to retain power as long as he lived, and he evidently regarded Juan Carlos as a hostage for the good behaviour of his father. Franco distrusted Don Juan for having said that he wanted to be a moderate, liberal king of all Spaniards - not just of the Nationalist victors. So the Caudillo and the Pretender tugged the boy this way and that. His schooling suffered. His father bound him as tightly, a Franco spy reported, as "the feet of young Chinese girls in iron shoes". His Spanish mentors made him pray for the conversion of Russia and for a Conservative election victory in Britain.

The fascist influence prevailed, especially after Juan Carlos had received tough training at several military academies (where he was deemed to be of average intelligence). He genuflected to the icons of autocracy and swore fealty to its principles. He hailed the dictator as a second father. He complimented the Caudillo on his Galician guile and said that he had learned much from him. Certainly Juan Carlos needed all the guile he could get, for Franco was a vicious and capricious master. He kept his protégé under constant surveillance and occasionally subjected him to public humiliation.

As Franco neared his end, however, he made Juan Carlos his political heir. This caused ructions with Don Juan, but at least in 1975 his dynasty would reign in Madrid once more. Many Republicans were also dissatisfied, naming the new king "Juan Carlos the Brief" and saying that he enabled Franco to rule from the grave. This was just what Juan Carlos's first prime minister, Carlos Arias Navarro, had in mind. He confessed to visiting the basilica in the Valley of the Fallen in order to commune with the Caudillo, to receive instructions and sometimes to request his immediate return to sort things out.

Like his father, Juan Carlos had long realised (and secretly acknowledged) that the monarchy could only survive if it became identified with the entire nation as represented by some form of democratic government. Employing considerable skill, tact and charm, therefore, he moved to modernise the political system. He dismissed Arias and appointed a reformer, Adolfo Suárez, who legalised political parties, held elections and introduced a constitution that gave real power to parliament.

This was anything but a simple process, being hampered by Basque terrorism and military obscurantism. One general denounced ETA as "a series of murdering dwarves, sewer rats who attack us from behind". Franco loyalists in the army feared that the state was disintegrating and in 1981 they staged a coup. Its leader was General Alfonso Armada, one of the king's closest confidants, who claimed to be acting in his name. But Juan Carlos knew that another fascist regime was unacceptable and he did much to ensure that the rebellion was crushed.

As a result Spain progressed and the king's political parsnips were buttered for life. Even the socialist leader Felipe González, though he caused perturbation in the palace by trying to avoid using the term "his majesty", seemed to think that Juan Carlos had established himself as the "people's king". Perhaps he had done so in pursuit of his royal duty. But there is another possible explanation, which also resolves Preston's twin royal mysteries. This is that he always had his eye on the main chance and that, while serving the institution of monarchy, he was also serving himself. He was prepared to do anything, whether condoning dictatorship or embracing democracy, in order to win and wear the crown.

the book cover

Alisa 06-05-2004 04:13 PM

Thanks for posting that article. I have been seriously considering purchasing the book. :flower:

hrhcp 06-05-2004 04:23 PM


xicamaluca  Posted: Jun 5th, 2004 - 1:50 pm

.... Today his image is tarnished by rumours of financial scandal.

What's this all about ?

xicamaluca 06-05-2004 05:31 PM

I belive that is something to do with a friend of the King that is/was involved in a financial scandal in Spain.

And i already have the book, but i didn't had time to start to read it :( i'm entering in my exames season :wacko:

Alisa 06-05-2004 05:36 PM


i'm entering in my exames season
Good luck to you! :flower:

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