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Letizia's transformation from journalist to queen of Spain

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Queen Letizia celebrates her 42nd birthday on 15 September, marking her first since becoming queen of Spain in June. As Letizia celebrates the special occasion, HELLO! Online takes a look at how the journalist-turned-royal has evolved since her spectacular wedding to her handsome husband, the now King Felipe. Described by commentators as settling into her royal role in a "wonderful way", Letizia has blossomed at her husband's side into a polished and poised queen of the peninsular country.


Queen Letizia of Spain© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Letizia was working as a journalist when she met her future husband King Felipe

Ten years ago, the former CNN journalist captured the world's attention as she arrived on the steps of the Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena in Madrid, for her and Felipe's wedding. Felipe and Letizia's union drew interest from around the world, given that in the years leading up to the couple's engagement in November 2003, Letizia had become a household name in Spain as a reporter, covering historic events such as the 9/11 attacks in New York and the 2003 Iraq War. Letizia soon found herself making headlines of her own as a future queen. On her big day the royal bride dazzled in an ivory gown with a 15-foot-long train and a sparkling platinum and diamond tiara, which her mother-in-law Queen Sofia wore for her wedding almost exactly 42 years previously.

Queen Letizia of Spain© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Letizia stunned in an ivory gown with 15-foot-long train on her wedding day

Felipe and Letizia's nuptials, which was watched by 25 million viewers in Spain alone, came just two months after the country had been targeted by terrorist attacks that left 191 people dead and more than 1,800 wounded. As the country began to heal, the couple dedicated their union to the victims and shortly after the wedding ceremony they paid their respects at a church close to Atocha Station, which had been hit hard by the devastating attacks. Letizia's compassion and conduct during the difficult time won her many supporters. Described by the Spanish media as a "breath of fresh air" to the monarchy, Letizia soon won praise for her professional achievements and modern approach to being a member of the royal family, opting to do some of her own shopping at the supermarket and wearing high street fashion brands such as Zara and Mango. Ten years later, just a month after she and Felipe marked a decade since their wedding, Letizia became Spain's queen consort after her father-in-law King Juan Carlos I announced his abdication, paving the way for Felipe to become the king of Spain.

letiziachildren © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Letizia is proud mum to Princesses Leonor and Sofia

In June, Letizia stood proudly next to Felipe as he ascended the throne, watched by their two daughters, Princess Leonor, eight, and Princess Sofia, seven. Stepping into her new role as Spain's leading lady, Letizia has once again won admiration for her capacity to engage with the public. With a role more prominent than ever, the queen has still found the time to juggle royal duties with motherhood - taking her daughters to school, posing for selfies with excited fans and enjoying the occasional date night with Felipe. Letizia has continued her commitment to public service, and since Felipe succeeded to the throne the couple have worked to bring a new era of monarchy to Spain. The couple have already won support after inviting members of the LGBT community to a palace reception, and Letizia has continued giving her time and dedication to her patronages  - which include campaigns for health and human rights, encouraging reading and expanding education. As Letizia marks her first birthday as queen of Spain, royal fans are excited about what the future holds.

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