Happy Birthday to Queen Letizia of Spain! Spain’s queen consort celebrates her 49th birthday today, and we’re continuing our week-long Sparkling Spotlight on her royal jewels with an excellent emerald appearance from back in 2006.
The Spaniards welcomed the Russians to Madrid for a state visit in February 2006, and the program included a grand state banquet at the Royal Palace. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were accompanied by Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia, Infanta Cristina, and Inaki Urdangarin for the event. It was one of Letizia’s first formal events after the birth of her first child, Infanta Leonor, in October 2005.
For the dinner, Letizia wore a much more complicated evening gown than she usually wears. The dress, made by Lorenzo Caprile, featured a dramatic embroidered off-the-shoulder jacket and an emerald green ballgown skirt with a drop waist. The sash of the Order of Carlos III was tucked into her jacket, and the star was pinned near her neckline. It was certainly a departure from Letizia’s more established sleek style, but the colors were especially nice on her, though the skirt dominated her small frame a bit. Later, she had the ensemble remade slightly. The jacket was altered to have a v-shaped neckline.
With the gown, Letizia wore diamonds and emeralds borrowed from her mother-in-law. Her tiara, the Spanish Floral Tiara, was Sofia’s wedding gift from Franco back in 1962, but it has a much longer Spanish royal heritage. Made by the English jewelry firm J.P. Collins in 1879 on a commission from King Alfonso XII of Spain. It was a wedding gift for Alfonso’s new wife, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, who became Queen Maria Cristina of Spain.
Letizia paired the diamond floral tiara with a modern suite of diamond and emerald jewels. The necklace and earrings also belong to her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia. In fact, two years earlier, Sofia wore both pieces (plus an emerald bracelet and ring) at Felipe and Letizia’s royal wedding in Madrid.
Letizia wore a gold bracelet with charms on her right wrist, plus gold rings. (I think one of them is her gold wedding band.)
She wore her diamond engagement ring on her left hand. She also carried a fan, as well as an elaborate beaded evening bag. (Unfortunately, the combination of the green with the golden tassel reads a little “Scarlett O’Hara’s curtains” to me.)