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Letizia mourns in church where she will wed

March 24, 2004
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Letizia Ortiz, fiancée of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, was among the mourners from around the world who attended the state funeral for victims of the March 11 terrorist attacks this week.

A month ago the former TV reporter must have imagined her entrance into the Spanish capital's Almudena Cathedral very differently, however. The stately building in which the mass was celebrated is also the venue where she will wed her prince on May 22. And instead of being clad in sombre black, Oviedo-born Letizia had presumably been imagining a walk down the aisle in her wedding gown, followed by joyful celebrations.

The Asturian beauty joined Felipe, King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and other members of the Spanish royal family in comforting grieving family members after the funeral. It was then that she was also presented to representatives of royal families from around Europe - including Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco - many of whom she would have been scheduled to meet under happier circumstances at her nuptials.

Those festivities were originally to include a spectacular firework and multi-media display, a gift from the citizens of Madrid to the couple. But at the "express desire" of the Crown Prince the pyrotechnics have been cancelled, with the money set aside for the extravaganza to be used in the construction of a monument to the victims of the March 11 attacks.

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Photo: ©
Prince Felipe and his fiancee Letizia arrive at Madrid's Almudena cathedral to offer their condolences at the state funeral for victims of the March 11 terrorist attacks Photo: © AFPy
Photo: ©
The impressive cathedral, which is the venue for the couple's May nuptials, was the setting for a drastically different ceremony this week Photo: © AFP

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