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Elsa M. 04-20-2005 04:40 PM

May Newsletter: Felipe and Letizia
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Everything began on November 1st, 2003. Suddenly, at 6 o’clock in the afternoon, the news became official: T.M. the King and Queen announced the engagement of their son, H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias, to the presenter of the main T.V. newscast in Spain, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano:

The first photo of the couple is taken two days later, at La Zarzuela, where we experienced an unforgettable declaration of love:

On November 6th, the engagement was solemnized, at El Pardo and before hundreds of journalists coming from all over the world.

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 05:06 AM

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The marriage took place on May 22nd, 2004, at the Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena. It was a wedding blessed by the rain that copiously fell from the skies of Madrid:

Just one week before, Copenhagen and the European Royalty had set their eyes on Felipe’s fiancée, as they attended the wedding of Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark to Mary Donaldson. Letizia’s better ally was then the designer in charge of both the outfits: Lorenzo Caprile.

It was an exhausting month, full of acts, which culminated in a pre-wedding dinner offered by T.M. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, at the Palace of El Pardo:

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 05:33 AM

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Right after the marriage, the newlyweds undertook a trip throughout the country, in order to present the new princess to Spain and the Spanish people. They visited then Cuenca, Zaragoza, Sos del Rey Católico, Olite, San Sebastián and Hernani (Guipúzcoa).

On May 27th, the Princes, along with Queen Sofia and Infanta Cristina, travelled to Jordan, to attend the wedding of Noor and Hamzah bin al Houssein. After the ceremony, they visited the ancient city of Petra, and afterwards, the couple embarked on an unknown and intimate journey that lasted almost a month:

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 08:53 AM

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On June 24th, the Princes returned to Spain, to attend the onomástica of King Juan Carlos. On their first appearance after the honeymoon, Doña Letizia expressed the feeling of the newlyweds: "We were eager to return and start working".

On June 27th, the Princes received the Olympic torch in Madrid and went to Asturias, for the wedding celebrations of Jesus Ortiz and Ana Togores.

Afterwards, Felipe and Letizia travelled to Rome, in order to receive the blessings from Pope John Paul II:

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 10:57 AM

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On July 1st, the Princes of Asturias (who also hold the titles of Princes of Navarre and Viana) went to the Monastery of Leire, for their first official act in Spain as husband and wife: the prize-giving ceremony of the awards that bear their name.

July was also the month when the Princess met the armies for the first time. Doña Letizia accompanied Don Felipe to the ceremonies of the dispatches given to the new officials from the academies of Zaragoza and Cadiz.

In an international level, and besides the visit to the Vatican, the Princes did another couple of trips abroad: Vienna, to attend the funeral of the Austrian ex-president Thomas Klestil, and Mexico, where they authentically took a bath of multitudes and were allowed to experience the warm reception hosted by locals and Spanish immigrants.

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 11:54 AM

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Sport is something deep-seated among the Spanish Royal Family. Whereas Letizia had already experienced ski, she preferred to watch from another boat the sailing competitions where Felipe was participating. Thus it happened during the Queen's Cup and the Copa del Rey Sailing Trophy, in Palma de Mallorca, where we could see the most tender images of the Princess with her nephews and niece.

During a brief visit to Athens, the Princes also rejoiced and suffered with the Spanish Olympic teams.

Finnaly, August was also the month of the swearing-in ceremonies of the new presidents of Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, and Panama, Martín Torrijos (this one already on September, 1st).

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 02:29 PM

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In the beginning of September, Princess Letizia had the opportunity to appreciate an unusual childhood photo album of her husband, as they visited the retrospective exhibition "Felipe, 30 años creciendo en Mallorca", held by Joan Llompart Torrelló,at the Mallorcan Museum.

From Palma, the Princes of Asturias travelled to Hungary, where they met different representatives of Hungarian culture and enterprise. The heir to the Spanish throne and his wife took also the opportunity to inaugurate the new headquarters of the Cervantes Institute in Budapest.

On the 18th of that same month, Letizia ventured once again in Caprile to attend the wedding of Laura Ponte and BelRran Gomez-Acebo:

Four days later, the Princes went to Santiago de Compostela, to embrace the Saint and, in the end of the month, the couple joined King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, to host a gala to the President of Check Republic, Vaclav Klaus, and his wife.

Elsa M. 04-21-2005 03:26 PM

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In the beginning of October, the Princes travelled to New Mexico and U.S.A., to evaluate the progress of the Spanish language and culture in America. Felipe took then the opportunity to revisit the University of Georgetown, where he got his Master degree, back in 1995. Finally, at the gala hosted in the legendary Metropolitan Hall, New York was surrendered to the elegance and simplicity of the royal couple.

Back to Madrid, the Princes joined the rest of the family to celebrate the National Day and receive the President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, in a dinner hosted at the Royal Palace.

The end of the month brought the most important moment for the Princes: the first Prizes Prince of Asturias they presided over as husband and wife.

Elsa M. 04-23-2005 12:47 PM

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In the beginning of November, Doña Letizia presided over her first solo act: the inauguration of the IX Congress of the Latin American Academies of History. It was initially announced that Don Felipe would accompany the Princess to the Royal Academy of History, but, in the last minute, he had to attend the funeral of the President of the United Arab Emirates.

In this same month, the Princes went to Barcelona, where they stayed a whole week visiting diverse institutions: the newspaper La Vanguardia, Ficosa International, the Occupational Centre Les Corts for psychic handicapped people, the Foundation of Drawing and the Chamber of Commerce of Manresa. The Princes also took the opportiunity to spend the weekend with Doña Cristina and her family.

Back in Madrid, the Princes of Asturias continued with their tight agenda of official acts, from which the following events stand out: the Symphonic Orchestra of Madrid centenary concert and the Journalism Antonio Asensio and Francisco Cerecedo Prizes.

Elsa M. 04-23-2005 12:57 PM

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Yet by the end of November, after visiting the Canary Islands (where they met diverse institutions and personalities, among them the President of China, who was then visiting La Gran Canaria), Felipe and Letizia joined the whole Royal Family, to attend the wedding of the youngest son of Infanta Pilar, Fernando Gómez-Acebo, to Mónica Luque:

Elsa M. 04-23-2005 04:03 PM

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Regarding their December 2004 activities, the Princes of Asturias traveled from Madrid (after the presentation of the popular edition of El Quijote, the CODESPA Awards Ceremony and the Patronage of a new Residence for Students meeting ), to Cáceres (for the Summit on Advanced Studies), to Valencia (for the inauguration of the newspaper office of Las Provincias Multimedia and the XVI edition of the Prizes King Jaime I), to Granada (for the International Prizes of Poetry Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca), and finally to Seville, where they rejoiced with the victory of the Spanish team, at the Davis Cup finals matches.

The Princes also did a short trip to Serbia Montenegro, to inaugurate the new headquarters of the Cervantes Institute in

The Christmas time was lived next to their families, with whom they shared a funny afternoon, attending the greatest show on earth.

Elsa M. 04-24-2005 05:30 PM

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In the beginning of the new year, Don Felipe and Doña Letizia spent a couple of days in Asturias, the homeland of the Princess, where they visited her paternal grandparents, as well as some of her childhood friends, with whom they had an intimate dinner, in a restaurant of Oviedo.

But January was also a month of official acts (as the celebrations of the Military Passover, the reception to the diplomatic corps accredited in Spain, or the departure of the ship Galicia on a humanitarian mission to help the victims of the tsunami), meetings (as the meeting about the Expo Zaragoza 2008: Water and Sustainable Development) and inaugurations (as the forum of Spanish famous labels, the pipe-line Huelva-Seville-Cordoba-Madrid, or the inauguration of the year of the book and reading).

Elsa M. 04-25-2005 04:12 PM

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On the last day of January, the Princes joined again King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, to repay the hospitality to President Madl of Hungary, offering him a dinner at the Royal Palace. Soon, the Princes accompanied the presidential couple to the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Vallbona, in order to pay tribute to Princess Violante of Hungary, wife of King Jaime I of Aragón. Yet in February, the Princes of Asturias would also repay the hospitality to the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and his family, hosting another lunch at La Zarzuela.

But February was a month of many other official acts, as the inauguration of a new extension in the Metropolitan of Madrid, the commemorations for the V centenary of the University of Seville and the inauguration of the Palace of Sports of Madrid.

At the end of the month, Don Felipe and Doña Letizia made another official trip abroad - Brazil and the States of Brasília, São Paulo and São Salvador da Baía -, where they met diverse organizations, with the aim of fostering the bilateral relations, in all political, economic, financial, cultural (with the new Cervantes Institute of São Paulo) and social levels(with the favela of Candeal or the Spanish Hospital of S. Salvador da Baía).

From Brazil, the Princes of Asturias finally flew to Uruguay, where they attended the swearing-in ceremony of another Latin American president: Tabaré Vazquez.

Elsa M. 04-25-2005 07:54 PM

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March is a month of painful memories for Spain. Day 11th is recorded as one of the darkest days in History, when one hundred and ninety-two people were brutally assassinated in the atrocious terrorist attacks perpetrated in Madrid. On the first anniversary of that fatefull day, the Princes inaugurated the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security that assembled in the Spanish capital more than 200 experts and 50 ex-Heads of State from various democratic countries. It was the first event in a series of moving tributes, such as the inauguration of the Forest of the Absentees and the funeral in memory of the victims.

For Princess Letizia, March will remain too as the month when her beloved grandfather, Jose Ortiz Velasco, passed away, after a long period suffering of a pulmonary ailment.

On the other hand, March was also another month full of acts, as the visit to the Superior Institute of Security Studies of Madrid, as well as many other activities of a more cultural character (as the inauguration of the exhibition Durero: Obras Maestras de la Albertina in the Prado Museum, or the attendance to the Valencian mascletá).

At last, the third month of 2005 welcomed the Easter celebrations, which the whole royal family attended, as usual, in Palma de Mallorca.

Elsa M. 04-26-2005 06:36 PM

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The mourning period of March lasted until the following month, due to the death of H. H. Pope John Paul II. With the whole royal family, the Princes of Asturias expressed their grief for the death of the Supreme Pontiff. Among the tributes then paid by Don Felipe and Doña Letizia stand out the visit to the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain and the attendance to the mass celebrated in the cathedral of La Almudena.

But the month of April was not all sadness. On the occasion of the XXV anniversary of the Prince of Asturias Foundation and its prizes, the British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking was invited to Oviedo, where the Princes attended his conference entitled The Nature of Reality.

At last, and in addition to a series of inaugurations (as the Contemporary Art Museum of Castile and Leon, the First Encounter with the Imagination Society, or the radio telescope of the Astronomical Centre of Yebes), as well as many other official acts (as the commemorative reception of the Cervantes Prize and the Castilla-La Mancha Bussines Awards), Don Felipe and Doña Letizia travelled to Stockholm, where they inaugurated, next to Princess Victoria of Sweeden, a new Cervantes Institute, whose library holds the name of Francisco Ayala, the Spanish bet for 2005 Nobel Prize of Literature.

Elsa M. 04-28-2005 11:42 AM

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And, with the arrival of May, finally comes the so awaited announcement:

«Their Royal Highnesses the Princes of Asturias are delighted to announce they are expecting the birth of their first child, next month of November. Their Majesties the King and Queen wish, for this reason, to express their great happiness at this joyful announcement».
Palace of La Zarzuela, May 8th, 2005

Elsa M. 11-07-2005 05:24 PM

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Their first child, Infanta Leonor, was born on October 31st 2005.
And at that rainy dawn, the Prince expressed then what could be presumed as the emotion of a couple that has turned into a family:

"It's the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone in life. We are radiantly happy".

God bless this beautiful family!

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