Royal Style

Spain's New 'Kate Middleton'

Spain’s King may have abdicated his throne this week, but all eyes are on the soon-to-be new queen, Letizia Ortiz, whose style rivals that of her European neighbor, Duchess Kate.

Cristina García Rodero/Royal Press Department, via Getty

Cristina García Rodero/Royal Press Department, via Getty

On Monday, 76-year-old King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated his throne amid scandal, passing the crown on to his son, Prince Felipe. While Felipe will assume the throne in only a few short weeks, all eyes have been on his wife of 10 years, Letizia Ortiz—a controversial figure (she was not only born a commoner, but is also a divorcee) and major royal style icon. Compared to the likes of Kate Middleton and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Letizia has become recognized for her elaborate fascinators, love of leather jackets, and perfectly balanced on- (and off-) duty style. Plus, she has a penchant for supporting local Spanish designers, particularly couturiers Felipe Varela and Lorenzo Caprile, as well as accessible retailers, including Zara and Mango. To celebrate Letizia's soon-to-be transformation from princess to queen, we look back at some of the royal's best sartorial picks.

Juan Naharro Gimenez/Europa Press, via Getty

To receive the World Championships Artistic Roller Skating committee on April 9 in Madrid, Letizia donned a white button-down, cream Hugo Boss pencil skirt, and brown wedges.

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Princess Letizia sported a nautical look at the Zarzuela Palace on May 8, which included a navy-and-white striped skirt, an oxford top, and simple nude heels. 

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On February 20, Princess Letizia attended the ARCO Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid wearing a tan satin trench coat with a jeweled collar by Felipe Varela and custom brown suede Magrit heels.

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HRH Princess Letizia was on fire while visiting Argentina on September 7, 2013 in a slim-fitting red number and coordinating pumps.

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For the Marine Navy Academy's graduation ceremony on July 16, 2013 in Pontevedra, Spain, Letizia sported a pair of pinkish-purple trousers with a simple cream blouse.

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Princess Letizia and Prince Felipe arrive at Queluz Palace for a state dinner on May 31, 2012. The queen-to-be sported an off-the-shoulder black lace dress over a nude slip by Spanish designer Felipe Varela.

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Letizia visited Madrid's Zarzuela Palace on July 18, 2012 in a multi-colored printed Zara frock and light-pink slingback heels.

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On July 11, 2011, Princess Letizia wore grey slacks with a sliky nude blouse while at Zarzuela Palace.

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Princess Letizia and Prince Felipe attended a pre-wedding dinner for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on April 28, 2011 in London. Letizia opted for a grey, heavily-embellished couture gown by one of her favorite designers, Felipe Varela.

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For the Prince of Asturias Awards Ceremony on October 24, 2008, Letizia looked sophisticated in a long-sleeved, light-grey lace dress and matching patent pumps with a floral applique.