Royalty and statesmen




Supported by her husband Prince Felipe, a visibly emotional Letizia paused briefly outside the funeral home to thank wellwishers for their sympathy
Photo: © AFP
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King Juan Carlos helps his daughter-in-law to her feet after she followed protocol by curtseying to him after the prayer service
Photo: © AFP



Following the sudden death of her youngest sister Erika Ortiz on Wednesday, an emotional Princess Letizia has bid farewell to her 31-year-old sibling at a funeral ceremony in the Spanish capital.

Accompanied by her husband, Prince Felipe, her father-in-law King Juan Carlos and other family members, a tearful Letizia paused for a moment following the prayer service at a Madrid funeral home on Thursday to acknowledge the support shown by members of the public.

"Thank you to everyone who has shown sympathy following the death of my little sister," she said. The visibly distressed princess, who is six months pregnant with the couple's second child, was supported throughout by husband Felipe.

Letizia's other sister, Telma, left the Philippines - where she works for a humanitarian organisation - as soon as the sad news reached her. But the 33-year-old, who is based in Manila, was unable to make it back to Spain in time for the funeral. Also absent was Queen Sofia, who is currently on an official visit to Indonesia.

Fine arts graduate Erika, who worked as an interior designer for a TV production company, had recently separated from her sculptor partner, Antonio Vigo. The couple have a six-year-old daughter, Carla.

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