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16 stunning photos from King Felipe and Queen Letizia's royal wedding

The bride wore a wedding dress designed by Manuel Pertegaz

felipe letizia wedding
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary on 22 May 2021, so at HELLO! HQ we thought we'd take a look back at their stunning wedding in 2004.

The marriage between the then Crown Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz came as a surprise to many, as the royal couple, who had met at a dinner party held by a mutual friend, had been secretly dating for a year before their surprise engagement announcement.

Letizia, who was well-known already thanks to her job as a news anchor for Spanish national TV, and the future King revealed their wedding plans to the world during a news conference in November 2003 at the Zarzuela Palace.

Six months later, on 22 May 2004, the prince wed his blushing bride in a beautiful wedding ceremony held in Madrid's Almudena Cathedral, making Letizia a princess – and then, a decade later, when Felipe ascended the throne, a queen.

Scroll through to take a look back at all the highlights of King Felipe and Queen Letizia's royal wedding.

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WATCH: Queen Letizia's style evolution through the years

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The famously steady international journalist looked moved by emotion as she gazed at the crowds who gathered in the streets of Madrid for the historic royal wedding day. The bride she rode with her father, Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez, to Almudena Cathedral to wed her Prince.

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The bride made an absolutely stunning entrance, accompanied down the aisle by her proud father Jesus. Following closely behind were Letizia's friends and bridesmaids Victoria Codorniu and Claudia González.

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The bride's elegant dress was designed by 87-year-old Spanish couturier Manuel Pertegaz. Perhaps the most striking feature of the off-white silk dress was a high-standing collar. The collar, like the edging of the rest of the dress, was picked out with heavy white embroidery depicting the fleur de lys and ears of wheat – details from the Prince of Asturias crest. 

MORE: Relive Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark's wedding with these stunning photos

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Behind the bride swept a four-and-a-half-meter circular train and on her head she wore a diamond tiara which Queen Sofia, her mother-in-law, had worn on her wedding day to King Juan Carlos in 1962.

MORE: 22 of the most iconic – and expensive – royal wedding dresses in history

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Throughout the ceremony the couple were spotted stealing romantic glances as Cardinal Rouco Varela, the archbishop of Madrid, conducted the lengthy Catholic Mass.

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A host of royal guests attended the royal wedding. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands looked lovely in a nude dress and peach coat, as she arrived at the nuptials on the arm of her husband King Willem-Alexander.

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In accordance with morning-wedding protocol, most of the ladies wore short dresses and a hat or fascinator. Crown Princess Mette-Marit looked lovely wearing a pink chiffon knee length dress, a feathered fascinator and a dusky pink jacket.

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Crown Princess Victoria wore an eye-catching orange Asian inspired dress to the nuptials. During the ceremony the Swedish royal was seated with Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco.

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Queen Rania of Jordan was one of the few women to wear a floor-length outfit; hers was by Givenchy couture. The royal's husband, King Abdullah II, was unable to attend the wedding, so the Queen was accompanied by her mother-in-law, Princess Muna.

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Emerging from the cathedral, the newlyweds were greeted with a military salute as well as cheers from the crowds who had been outside weathering the rain. 

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The bride, who had seemed nervous during the ceremony, looked much more relaxed as she gazed up at her groom following the religious vows. 

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Following the nuptials, the pair climbed into their Rolls-Royce to enjoy a procession through the streets of Madrid. The couple beamed with happiness as they waved to well-wishers. 

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Following the street procession the newlyweds arrived at the Royal Palace. After hours of rain, the sun finally broke through as Felipe and Letizia came out onto the balcony to greet thousands of cheering royal fans in Madrid’s Plaza Oriente below. Despite tradition the couple chose to forego a kiss in front of the the public.

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Smiles all round. The new husband and wife couldn't have been happier as they beamed broadly for their official wedding photos. The couple were joined by their family and guests for the pictures. In this photo they posed with Felipe's parents King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

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During the couple's lavish wedding banquet, Prince Felipe delivered a touching speech to his new wife. "I am a happy man because I have fulfilled my most precious dream. I have married the woman I love," he said, before gently planting a kiss on her forehead.

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