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Queen Letizia wears mother-in-law Queen Sofia's floral dress — four decades later

By Heather Cichowski

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Royals, especially Duchess Kate and Crown Princess Victoria, are famous for recycling looks from their wardrobes, but this week Queen Letizia pulled off a royal re-wear that was four decades in the making.

When the Spanish royal joined husband King Felipe to receive Chilean President Sebastián Piñera at the Royal Palace in Madrid on Sept. 7, Letizia stepped out in a floral-embroidered dress that her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia, wore on an official trip to Rome in 1981!

What an incredible re-wear! Photo: © Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Unfortunately, photos from Sofia in Italy only capture the Spanish royal from the waist up, so we can't see her full look from the time period. When Letizia stepped out to the palace in Madrid, she showcased the short-sleeved dress to full effect.

The frock features an ivory base with floral print. The flower accents in the top are beaded and the neckline, sleeves and hemline are trimmed in pink.

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There is some debate about whether Letizia updated the beading on the bodice to silver, and if the vintage style originally had pale pink embellishment when Sofia wore it. But it could read differently in the photos because of the varying lighting or how the garment has aged in the 41 years since Sofia was seen in it.

The Spanish royals received Chilean President Sebastián Piñera at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Photo: © Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Letizia played up the embellishment with a silver belt that cinched the waist of the below-the-knee style. Cream pumps and a golden ring on her index finger added playful touches. The mom of two also played up the leafy embroidery with feathered earrings, which are the Plume de Chanel Earrings in 18k white gold and diamonds. The whimsical style is also from Letizia's closet.

There are many memorable royal re-wears from over the years. Royals from around the world often recycle their looks, but seeing them step out in decades-old outfits from previous generations is rarer. It is something that is seen sometimes with royal jewels.

Princess Beatrice wore her grandmother the Queen's Norman Hartnell gown to wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July 2020. Her Majesty donned the gown during the 1966 State Opening of Parliament, as well as to the premiere of Lawrence of Arabia and on a royal engagement in Rome. Angela Kelly and Stewart Parvin, the Queen's go-to designers and dressers, remodelled and refitted the dress especially for Beatrice's wedding.

Another incredible re-wear was when Crown Princess Victoria stepped out in a colour-blocked Nina Ricci gown and the Connaught Tiara to the 2018 Nobel Prize Awards ceremony in Stockholm. Queen Silvia wore the exact look and diadem at the very same event in 1995!

In 2018, Victoria stepped out in the same dress and tiara her mother wore to the very same Nobel Prize Event — 23 years prior. Photo: © Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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