Monday, March 2, 2009

The bio of the future Queen of Spain

Born to Jess Ortiz, a journalist and businessman, and Paloma Rocasolano, a nurse and union official, on September 15, 1972, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano grew up in the middle-class city of Oviedo, in the northern region of Asturias, Spain. She is the eldest of three daughters and was the one to show the most interest in her family's "business"; both her father and grandfather had enjoyed decades of success working in journalism.

Being a bright student, however, Letizia decided to try out several programs before picking a career. After finishing secondary school in her hometown, she moved to Madrid to study at the Centre Ramiro de Maetzu. Ortiz finally settled on a major soon after, earning a bachelor's in information sciences at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. An eager pupil, this beauty also received her master's degree in audiovisual journalism.

Instead of searching immediately for a job in Spain, Ortiz decided to travel before settling down. She flew to Mexico to pursue doctorate studies and work for a newspaper in Mexico City. It was there that she was photographed and befriended by an artist named Waldo Saveedra.

After serving as the influence for three of Saveedra's paintings (an action that would come back to haunt her) and serving her time as journalist, Ortiz returned to Spain.

With impressive credentials, she did not have trouble finding a job in her line of work. She began her real journalism career with La Nueva Espaa, an Asturian newspaper. Between this and her efforts at the editing desk of Agencia EFE, Spain's news agency, Ortiz met Alonso Guerrero. After a short relationship, they married, in a civil ceremony, in 1998. The nuptials lasted only one year.

Following the divorce, Ortiz concentrated once again on finding work at Spain's best news services. Her initial efforts were quite successful, as she had stints with both the Bloomberg Financial TV network and CNN Plus, Spain's version of the news channel.

In 2000, Letizia settled down with Televisin Espaola (TVE). She became a renowned reporter after traveling to New York to bring news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and visiting Iraq at the onset of President Bush's military campaign. The Spanish Press Association rewarded her with a Best Reporter Under 30 award.

At a dinner party in the fall of 2002, all of Ortiz's plans would change, however. There, she met His Royal Highness Prince Felipe of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne. Instead of being intimidated by this much-loved, and available, prince, Ortiz engaged him in conversation and soon, sparks flew. For one year, they dated in secret; Ortiz didn't even tell her parents about their involvement.

The Prince and Ortiz finally announced their relationship on November 1, 2003, at a much-publicized press conference. To the great surprise of everyone, however, they also announced their engagement.

A commoner had never been in line to rise to queen as Ortiz would be, but the idea was not met with hostility, nor was the fact that she was once divorced.

Though her middle-class upbringing and past relationships were accepted by the Prince's parents, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, they had a hard time swallowing the news that came in early 2004.

Waldo Saveedra announced to the Mexican press that he had painted the future princess nude and was going to reveal the piece of art in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 22, 2004, the day of the royal wedding.

I would like to hear your comments and opinions of this very controversial figure in the spanish monarchy.


Quinn said...

I think that the whole ordeal is quite unique. To begin with, Letizia sounds like a hardworking person that has made the best for herself. However, she is about the exact opposite of what a country would expect the background of a queen to be. I am quite surprised that there wasn't hostility about her past because she has so many knocks against her. On the other side of the arguement, one could say that she is a commoner that has reached an almost unimaginable social height. Either way, the whole situation is quite interesting.

Also, I am really suprised that Letizia and the Prince were able to keep their relationship a secret for so long, doesn't the Prince have tons of staff and security around him?

I am glad that they are a happy couple, but I feel that with Letizia being a commoner, it reduced even further the need for a monarch in Spain. In the past, monarchs were of 'royal blood', whatever that means, and this set them apart. Now, the Spanish Royal family is 'tanted' with commoner blood. So I see the monarch becomeing obsolete in the future partly because of this marrige.

I also feel bad for Letizia about having her nude paintings being displayed on her wedding day. That artist is just a jerk.

Lauren Renee Karsh said...

Wow! I think this is so interesting! To tell you the truth, I like her because it is evident that she is a well educated woman who is intelligent and has a lot of work ethic. I admire her for approaching the Prince without intimidation and the fact that they hit it off makes for a true love story. She is very beautiful and I think it is very romantic, especially because of the fact that she is a commoner which did not stop the Prince from pursuing her. So when I look at it this way, I see the true love and I think it's wonderful.

On the other hand, I realize this goes against all traditional values of the Royal Family. It is extremely shocking that the Prince would allow himself to fall in love with a commoner and to break the true line of royalty. I can understand why people would be upset about this. Then again, I do not have a valid opinion since I am not a citizen of Spain and I am just learning about politics and history. It is hard for me to see passed the love between the two.

Lauren Renee Karsh said...

Oh, and I feel awful about the artist revealing her nude portrait to the public. As if she already didn't have enough attention. And I agree with Quinn that it is very surprising that they could keep their relationship a secret for so long!

Erica said...

Everything is done for the media these days and I find it hard to believe that this wasn’t. True love or not this is causing a stir and it is making the public once again focus on the royal family. It is true that a monarch is no longer needed, but in a way it has become a novelty just has it has in Britain. I feel the pros and cons were laid out behind closed doors and the only reason this was allowed to surface was for the benefit of media. When you think about it this may even work to the benefit of the monarch for a “commoner” has now been accepted by royal blood. By making the royal family seem more obtainable or “more in touch with the people” it may have a better chance of staying around for awhile. Times have changed and since we are a media society everyone, including the royal family, needs to work with it. Plus I honestly would not consider her a commoner. So she has been divorced! The divorce rate is 51%! That does not make her a commoner, nor does her well educated background and opportunity to travel around the world in her late twenties. Trust me that Prince Felipe could have made a much bigger boo-boo.

Jessica Lamm said...

I don´t think that there should be any problem with this marriage. Like Erica said, times are changing and everyone, including the royal family, has to get use to it. If the prince´s parents, the king and queen of Spain, could be fine with the marriage so can everyone else. Furthermore, Letizia is not some bum on the street. She worked her way up to where she is. She seems motivated, hardworking, and determined. Even if she is a "gold digger" she still did her job well and deserves it. It is kind of funny that she didn´t believe in the monarch or the royal family and now she has changed all of her ways. Either it is love or the love of her status, either way it´s not that surprizing.
Also, I don´t think it is that far off as Jaime said in class about Lauren´s comment about them having "true love." It very well could be. What evidence is there that it is not? I think it is good either way. If it is true love, thats amazing that it can happen like that for a Prince and a commoner. If she married him for other reasons, good for her. She is changing the way society views the royal family and has made herself a symbol of the changing times.

Ben said...

I also do not see any problem with this marriage. It's about time the royal families of Europe disregard the notion of intermarrying within the nobility and instead choose to marry whoever they happen to fall in love with. Letizia seems like a very worthy women. She's bright, motivated, and downright sexy! The idea of marriage based on status seems outdated and ridiculous to me. As far as the nude paintings, oh well. If she wasn't comfortable with the idea of the paintings being publicized then she should not have posed for them. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing those . . . (-: