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Queen Letizia steps out with new right-hand woman for the first time

María Dolores Ocaña Madrid has made history for the Spanish royal family

King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain attend the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the National Police at the Royal Palac
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
May 9, 2024
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Queen Letizia was joined by her new right-hand woman for the first time as she stepped out on Wednesday.

María Dolores Ocaña Madrid, 51, has been hired as the head of the Queen's Secretariat, making history as the first woman in the role.

The former state lawyer, wearing a dark blue dress and camel coat, was spotted alongside Queen Letizia as the Spanish royal attended the Bicentennial of the National Police at the Royal Palace in Madrid. 

And on Tuesday, she was seated behind the queen at the  'El Barco de Vapor' and 'Gran Angular' youth Literature Awards. She was also seated few rows behind Queen Letizia at the "EmociónArte" concert by the Princess of Girona Foundation at the Royal Theater on Monday.  

María, who started in her role on 30 April, was previously Chief State Attorney at the Ministry of Education and first met the queen at the Inauguration of the World Healthy Food Centre, Valencia in 2019.

María Dolores Ocaña at the Bicentennial of the National Police with Queen Letizia© Shutterstock
New head of the Queen's Secretariat, María Dolores Ocaña Madrid

She has replaced Letizia's long-time right-hand man, José Manuel Zuleta, Duke of Abrantes, who worked with the queen for over 17 years, from when she was Princess of Asturias.   

It comes after Camilo Villarino became head of the royal household in January, following the departure of King Felipe's long-time private secretary after 30 years.

Maria seated behind Queen Letizia at the "El Barco De Vapor" and "Gran Angular" Youth Literature Awards on Tuesday© Shutterstock
Maria seated behind Queen Letizia at the "El Barco De Vapor" and "Gran Angular" Youth Literature Awards on Tuesday

King Felipe and Queen Letizia will mark two milestones in the coming months – their 20th wedding anniversary on 22 May and the tenth anniversary of Felipe's accession to the throne on 19 June.

Queen Letizia's foot injury

In a rare move, Queen Letizia, 51, was seen sporting trainers with her monochrome ensemble instead of her usual high heels as she joined King Felipe at the commemoration for the National Police.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia © Getty
King Felipe and Queen Letizia at the Bicentennial of the National Police at the Royal Palace

Spanish outlet El Mundo previously reported that the royal has chronic metatarsalgia - pain in the ball of the foot - in both of her feet, as well as Morton's neuroma in her right foot, which involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to the toes.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands with King Felipe, Queen Letizia of Spain, Frenkie de Jong and Mikky Kiemeney at the state banquet at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam© Alamy
Queen Letizia sat down to greet guests at the Dutch state banquet

During her state visit to the Netherlands last month, Queen Letizia was forced to greet guests while sitting down as she attended a glittering banquet with the Dutch royal family. 

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