There’s a rising contender for the title of Europe’s most glamorous royal brunette (admittedly a small field): Letizia, Princess of Asturias—or, as of today, Queen Letizia of Spain.
Earlier this month King Juan Carlos (Letizia’s father-in-law) surprised the world by electing to abdicate the Spanish throne. His son, now King Felipe VI, ascended to the throne in a coronation ceremony today, alongside newly crowned Queen Letizia, 41.
Like Kate Middleton, Letizia was a something of a departure from the usual royal bride due to her middle-class (as opposed to aristocratic) background. Before marrying Felipe in 2004, she had been a reporter and anchor for Spanish television, and covered stories like the 2000 U.S. election and the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. She also won the Madrid Press Association’s award for the best journalist under 30 (her father and grandmother were both journalists).
Now with two young daughters—Leonor, 8, and Sofia, 7—she’s often seen in unfussy pantsuits or shifts by Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Armani, and, especially, Spanish designer Felipe Varela. In fact, she chose a white Varela coat embellished with crystals at the neckline (above) for her first official function as Queen. Like Kate, she favors nude or beige pumps and is not afraid of incorporating items by more affordable lines (like Spain’s Mango and Zara) into her wardrobe. And she has mastered the art of re-wearing favorite pieces—as far as recycling prowess goes, her expertise rivals that of Duchess Kate.
Want more of the Spanish queen’s polished outfits? Take a look at Queen Letizia’s most captivating style moments in our gallery.