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Queen Letizia’s year in pictures as she celebrates 49th birthday

Queen Letizia at FEDEPE meeting
Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia celebrates her 49th birthday today, so let’s take a look at her royal year, from last September to today, to chart what she’s achieved. Queen Letizia, along with her husband King Felipe, have worked tirelessly over the past year to support Spain as it continues through this global health crisis. It has also been a year that saw more visibility for her teenage daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía.


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On 18 September, King Felipe and Queen Letizia attended the official opening of the Royal Theatre season in Madrid. They watched a performance of the opera, Un Ballo in Maschera, by Giuseppe Verdi.


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On 16 October, Queen Letizia joined the rest of her family at the Princess of Asturias Awards, held at the Reconquista Hotel in Oviedo, Spain.


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On 25 November, Queen Letizia attend the Tourism Innovation Summit in Seville, where she gave a speech that read, in part: “Talking about tourism and how to reactivate this industry that is suffering so much happens first by thanking you for the enormous effort that has taken to adapt to the situation. And you have also shown it with your quick and supportive response to a society with which you go hand in hand. In these months, you have collaborated in the transport of medical supplies, food donations, accommodation, travel. Spanish society will never forget the commitment of an industry, tourism, which is essential in our country and which has made its professionalism and capacity for sacrifice even clearer.”


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On 14 and 15 December, Queen Letizia paid a humanitarian visit to Honduras following the devastating hurricanes Eta and Iota. She travelled on behalf of the Spanish people to show the country’s solidarity and provided humanitarian relief during her visit, which saw her visiting communities that had been impacted by flooding.


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On 6 January, Queen Letizia joined her husband for the Pascua Militar, a solemn military event on the Spanish Royal Family’s calendar and a ceremony that marks the start of a new year for the Spanish Armed Forces. In a speech to those in attendance, King Felipe said: “We are in a historic moment that, still immersed in the fight against this global health crisis, we must resolutely transform into a time of hope. I have no doubt that, with your enthusiastic contribution and the efforts of so many professionals, of the whole of Spanish society and of the European Union, we will be able to achieve this.

“At the beginning of this year 2021, I encourage you to continue developing your work with renewed enthusiasm, and with the initiative, the value that characterizes you and that moves you to give yourself, fully and integrally, at the service of Spanish society.”


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On 4 February, Queen Letizia chaired the Forum Against Cancer on World Cancer Day. The forum’s main subject was how the coronavirus pandemic had affected cancer patients and their treatment.


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On 10 March, Queen Letizia joined her husband for a memorial concert for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Madrid on 11 March 2004. However, it was held behind closed doors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


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On 15 April, Queen Letizia met with winners of the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards (social category) at Zarzuela Palace. The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, held in the name of Queen Letizia’s eldest daughter, Princess Leonor, are presented annually to those between the ages of 16-35 who work to advance society.


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On 28 May, Princess Leonor received her confirmation at the Asuncion de Nuestra Señora Church in Aravaca, Spain, alongside her classmates from the Santa Maria de Los Rosales.


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On 15 June, King Felipe and Queen Letizia received the President and First Lady of South Korea, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook for an official visit to Spain. The events are adapted for the pandemic, and in lieu of a glittering state banquet with tiaras and orders, there is a simple dinner held instead.


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On 16 July, King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed Spanish Olympians to the El Pardo Palace for a reception ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


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On 30 August, Queen Letizia said goodbye to her eldest daughter, Princess Leonor, at the airport in Madrid. Princess Leonor is attending UWC Atlantic College in Wales for the next two years to take its International Baccalaureate programme.


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On 7 September, King Felipe and Queen Letizia hosted a luncheon for the President of Chile during his official visit to Spain.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.