King Felipe and Queen Letizia are vacationing in Mallorca this week with their daughters and other members of the King’s family. In May this year, they celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary; as they and most other royals are on vacation this week, we’re going to take advantage of this lull in royal engagements to take a look back at the many hats worn at their grand wedding, ten years ago.
Journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s wardrobe was filled with business suits when she and the Prince of Asturias shocked the world with the announcement of their engagement. As such, Letizia followed the the recommendation of Queen Sofia and asked 87-year old Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz (longtime designer of Spanish royal gowns) to create her dress. Pertegaz designed an elegantly simple gown with high collar, v-neck, bell sleeves, slim bodice, and A-line skirt that flowed into an unusual circular train. Made of silk from Valencia, the creamy-hued dress was embroidered with intricate patterns of clover, strawberry tree berries, wheat, flowers and the Asturias fleur de lys in luminescent gold and silver thread.
Amazingly the dress was cut from single, continuous panels from shoulder to the end of the fifteen-foot train. While the circular design of the train flowed beautifully out from the dress and looked absolutely stunning when Letizia was stationary, it dragged in heavy, folded layers behind her when she walked up and down the aisle of Almudena Cathedral.
It appears that a slinkier lace dress was worn underneath the main gown.
Letizia topped her dress with an ivory silk tulle veil cut in the same circular shape as the train of her dress. It was also hand embroidered with motifs of ears of wheat, flowers, and the the Asturias fleur de lys. A gift from Prince Felipe, the veil was a lovely match for Letizia’s gown.
The veil was anchored by the Prussian Diamond Tiara, on loan from Queen Sofia (the history of this tiara is detailed here and here). I think The Greek key and laurel leaf design of this tiara coordinated well with the embroidery on Letizia’s dress; the scale of the tiara was also perfect for this very petite bride. Letizia’s only other jewelry were a pair of delicate diamond drop earrings, a gift from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
I love this dress but wonder if it would be better suited to a taller bride. I think the cut overwhelmed Letizia and the incredible visual effect of the circular rain was lost when Letizia moved. In many photos, she appears to be drowning in fabric- not a good look for a royal bride. On a more positive note, the intricate embroidery gave a personal touch to the dress and coordinated so beautifully with the veil and tiara. Looking back at it now, I am afraid that this bridal ensemble looked best from a closeup view. I am curious, dear readers, what do you think?
Photos from Odd Andersen, Pascal Le Segretain, AFP, Pedro Armestre, and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; Boris Roessler, Dusko Despotovic and Gustavo Cuevas via Corbis; AFP, Pool, Javier Soriano, Pedro Armestre, Pool, Pool, AFP and AFP via Getty