Felipe leaves the hospital with his wife in the early hours of Tuesday morning. "We don't know whether the princess had actually gone into labour, but her doctors preferred to bring her condition under control," said a royal spokesman
Photo: Reuters
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18 OCTOBER 2005

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Spain's Crown Princess Letizia has been briefly hospitalised after experiencing early contractions. The 33-year-old royal, who is eight months pregnant, was rushed to a clinic in Madrid in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

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Three hours later she was discharged from the exclusive Ruber Clinic, where David and Victoria Beckham's son Cruz was born earlier in the year, after being given the all-clear by doctors. Her husband Crown Prince Felipe then drove her back to Zarzuela Palace where she remains under observation.

"We don't know whether the princess had actually gone into labour, but her doctors preferred to bring her condition under control," said a royal spokesman, "She has now returned to Zarzuela and she is perfectly well." Letizia's pregnancy scare comes just a few weeks after Crown Princess Mary of Denmark had a similar experience.

Upon leaving the hospital the future king showed his indefatigable sense of humour by apologising to the photographers and reporters who had assembled outside for getting them out of bed.

Ever since Letizia's pregnancy was announced in May, the people of Spain have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second-in-line. Should the infant be a girl, it seems almost certain she will be the first Spanish princess to have the same rights of accession as a boy. The country's ruling Socialist party is currently looking into a constitutional amendment doing away with the old system, which gives preference to male heirs.

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