Latina Royals

Kate Middleton’s walk down the Westminster Abbey’s aisle on Friday got us wondering about Latinas that have done the same: married into a life of vast wealth, privilege, duty and the often stifling tradition of European royal houses. Check out our list of Latinas currently waiting to ascend the throne, already on the throne (and we’re not talking about Spain’s Queen Sofia) or generally milling about at charity ribbon cuttings. Some, like Prince William’s future wife, are non-royal and non-aristocratic (we refuse to use the term ‘commoner’) but some have a bit of their own blueblood. Enjoy.

 

1. Latina Royals: Letizia

Letizia, Princess of Asturias

A successful globe-hopping TV news anchor when she met Prince Felipe de Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was also a divorcee, a no-no for a Catholic Spanish prince. But, wait! Her first marriage involved only a civil ceremony, so in the eyes of the Church, the marriage was not valid. Her history duly whitewashed, the couple married in 2004 and have two daughters. Though accepted by the royal family, she sometimes ruffles royal feathers because she remains outspoken about political and social issues, something that the royals see themselves as being above.


2. Latina Royals: Maxima

Princess Maxima of the Netherlands

Maxima Zorreguieta is the daughter of a former farmer and Argentine cabinet member who claims Basque nobility ancestry. She and Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and heir to the Dutch throne, met rom-com style at a spring festival in Seville: He introduced himself as just ‘Alexander,’ hiding his royal identity. Their engagement caused major controversy in the Netherlands because the former investment banker’s father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini, was Minister of Agriculture during the Videla dictatorship’s Dirty War, in which thousands of civilians were tortured and killed (he claimed ignorance about the atrocities). After an investigation concluded that he had not been directly involved, the Dutch parliament green-lighted the marriage. We’re guessing maybe the Dutch looked into their own nasty past as a colonial power and decided to leave the whole thing alone. Still, the wedding took place in 2002 without Maxima’s parents present. The couple has three daughters. Rather than focus on charities, as many royals do, she has worked directly for the Dutch government, focusing on the integration of immigrants into Dutch society.


3. Latina Royals: Angela

Princess Angela of Liechtenstein
Talk about breaking barriers: Born Angela Gisela Brown in Panama, she and her son Prince Alfons are the hightest-ranking (and only?) black members of a European royal house. The Princess, former fashion director of Adrienne Vittadini who was raised in New York City, and husband Prince Maximillian, who is fifth in line to the tiny principality’s throne, seem to have a controversy-free, media-glare-free life. There was apparently no racial drama involved in their getting married and they live in Germany, where Maximilian works for a wealth management company.


4. Latina Royals: Silvia

Queen Silvia of Sweden

Wonder if she ever goes to Carnaval in Rio. Probably not, but Queen Silvia (born Silvia Sommerlath) is a half-Brazilian who was raised in part in Sao Paolo. Though she was partially descended from a Portuguese king and his concubine, the Swedes were nevertheless frosty toward Silvia at first because she wasn’t royalty.  She later became so popular—despite the fact that her father was outed as a Nazi sympathizer who ran a factory that made war machines for Hitler--that she was credited with helping keep the monarchy in place.


5. Latina Royals: Maria Teresa

Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Born in Cuba as María Teresa Mestre y Batista-Falla to a family that claims partial descent from minor Spanish nobility, she married Henri, Grand Duke of Lukembourg in 1980, after meeting him at the University of Geneva. They have five children. She’s the president of Luxembourg’s Red Cross and has received several humanitarian awards.


6. Latina Royals: Marie-Chantal

Marie-Chantal Claire, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark

Born in London to an Ecuadorian mom and an American dad, Marie-Chantal Warren married Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece in 1995. They have five kids. The Greek Royal family was deposed in 1973, so they all actually live in London, where Marie-Chantal designs luxury clothes for kids as well as writes and illustrates children’s books.


7. Latina Royals: Marie Marguerite

Marie Marguerite, Duchess of Anjou

If the staunchly anti-royal France were suddenly to revert to a monarchy, the Venezuelan born Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella might be its queen. That’s because her bluer-than-blueblooded Spanish husband of seven years, Louis Alphonse (who is descended from French royalty and is cousin to Spanish King Juan Carlos I), is one of two people claiming to be the rightful head of the French Royal house. Alas, as it is, the couple, who have three kids, live in Caracas, where he works at—wait for it—Banco Occidental de Descuento.


8. Latina Royals: Related Links