As King Felipe and Queen Letizia made their tour of Spain to show support for the country as it emerged from lockdown, one colour dominated. Letizia made a favourite of going green as she visited different parts of Spain. And there might well be a very good reason for that. In a summer where the very future of the Spanish monarchy has been in the spotlight, could Letizia be making use of a long held royal PR move?
For in Spanish, green is ‘verde’ and for decades it’s been used as a subtle way of showing support for the monarchy. The letters of the word are taken to stand for ‘Viva El Rey de Espana’. And the origins of wearing green to show support for Spain’s royals go back to 1931 and the exile of a king.
In that year, Alfonso XIII and his family left the country. They settled in Italy and it was in Rome, in 1938, that King Juan Carlos I was born. At that time, royal supporters in Spain would write messages in green ink or use subtle green clothing to show their allegiances. In the weeks before Juan Carlos shocked Spain by announcing he would go into exile following continued allegations of financial misconduct, the colour became a staple in the always watched wardrobe of his daughter-in-law and was even used by King Felipe VI himself.
In the past month, as some politicians in Spain openly question the monarchy following allegations of financial misconduct by the former monarch King Juan Carlos, both Felipe and Letizia have spent a lot of time wearing green.
The King of Spain turned up in a bright green shirt to an engagement in Extremadura in July while his consort has taken to wearing green just about everywhere in recent times.
Queen Letizia chose an an emerald green dress in Navarre, muted moss green for a day in the Canary Islands, a floral print dominated by green as she headed to the Basque Country and a green print dress for a visit to Santiago where King Felipe made the national offering to Spain’s patron saint, James. One of the most high profile visits of the tour, to Palma de Mallorca, saw Queen Letizia in vibrant green.
Letizia has been known for her fashion sense since the moment she and Felipe announced their engagement in 2003 so she knows just how much attention her style picks get. In a difficult summer where Spain’s royals have found themselves, again, under pressure, it could well be that Letizia’s using the interest in her clothes to underline the image of her royal family.