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The small northern city of Oviedo (population 225,000) is the capital of the principality of Asturias, a region dignified by its former royal namesake, Prince Felipe VI of Asturias.
But what is less well-known about this rainy little capital, with its quiet cobbled squares, peaceful public gardens and respectable suburbs, is that its also the hometown and birthplace of a beautiful, driven and somewhat tightly-wound girl from a staunchly republican family who would eventually become his Felipe’s bride and mother to his heirs.
Spotting one lone reporter standing on the sidelines she does something royals almost never do. When I mention the queen’s invitation he shrugs and says: “You can try.” Later he doesn’t bother to return my emails.
She comes over and introduces herself with a bright-eyed gaze and a bone-crushing handshake.“You must come to Madrid to meet my husband,” she says warmly. For the unpopular and scandal-plagued House of Bourbon, much depends upon Letizia, Queen of Spain.
There is no official announcement, no standing ovation and no anthem is played.
She just slips down the aisle with her head slightly bowed looking polished to a gleam in a silver silk blouse, grey pencil skirt and snake-skin stilettos, her dark blonde hair loose around her narrow shoulders.Political journalist Mark Halperin, who has worked as political director at ABC News, commentator at MSNBC, and written a best-selling book called “Game Change,” has been accused of sexual harassment by five women.“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” he said in a statement to CNN.She is impossibly thin – so thin it’s impossible not to remark on it, so thin she makes the Duchess of Cambridge look like Marilyn Monroe – and as perfectly made-up and daintily-boned as a mechanical doll constructed for the purposes of being The Most Glamorous Royal in Europe, the unofficial title she has held, alongside her official one, ever since marrying Prince Felipe of Asturias (now the reigning king) 10 years ago.Letizia, as she is called in these parts, is here at the Prince of Asturias International Music School in Oviedo, Spain representing her husband’s cause.Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.” He’s been put on leave at MSNBC, where he’s most recently worked, indefinitely.