Queen Letizia ‘the common journalist’

As a commoner and a journalist, Queen Letizia was seen as a threat to the future of the Spanish monarchy by Juan Carlos, her future father-in-law.
Juan Carlos, 77, who abdicated last year in favour of his son King Felipe, 47, was hostile towards his future daughter-in-law, according to a new book about the family.
The Court of Felipe VI, published this week, claims that Juan Carlos was uneasy with a journalist inside the royal family, an institution that had always been closed to a largely servile media.
Letizia, now 43, a divorced former television journalist, came from a working family; one of her grandfathers was a taxi driver and her mother was a union activist.
“The master never liked the arrival of a journalist in a place that had traditionally been an opaque haven from the fourth estate,” Daniel Forcada and Alberto Lardiés wrote.
The two authors are journalists who work for online newspapers — Forcada for El Confidencial and Lardiés for El Español. Their book claims that Juan Carlos would joke among his friends that the arrival of Letizia was the “worst thing that happened to [the royal household] in many years”. His aristocratic friends referred to Letizia as “la chacha” — the maid.
Juan Carlos told friends that Felipe was “about to destroy the monarchy” when he learnt in 2003 of his son’s determination to marry Letizia. In fact it was Juan Carlos who came closest to to achieving that with a series of scandals before his abdication.
King Felipe has introduced reforms to make the monarchy more accountable and less open to corruption. Polls have shown that his “common touch” has increased the popularity of the crown.
The book claims that Letizia has “multiple faults” including a wish to control what is published about her, a lack of diplomacy with employees and a “lack of respect for some aspects of the crown”.
However, the writers also say that she has helped Spaniards to identify with the monarchy. “The fact that Letizia has persuaded Felipe to go out for dinner in Madrid in places he never knew before makes him more normal for most people,” Forcada said.
“Perhaps for any son it is painful to think that his best virtue should be not to be like his father.”
The royal household declined to comment.

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