Queen Letizia wore Queen Sofia’s Cartier Diamond & Pearl Tiara to a state dinner

Queen Letizia and King Felipe with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Here are some photos of Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain, welcoming the president of Portugal to the Royal Palace in Madrid. Letizia has actually been stepping out regularly since the Easter Sunday tiff with her mother-in-law. Perhaps Letizia always keeps up a steady stream of public appearances, and the English-language gossip media hasn’t been paying attention until now, but good for her – she works a lot, and she’s seen out and about a lot.

For the gala dinner – I would assume this is a state dinner – Queen Letizia wore a rather unique navy gown with cutouts on the shoulders and pearls sewn onto the dress, to make it look polka-dotted from a distance. Letizia loves polka-dots, right? Right. What’s notable here is that Letizia wore the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara, which is one of her mother-in-law’s favorite tiaras, and one which Queen Sofia used to wear quite regularly.

The Daily Mail suggests that Queen Letizia borrowed it from her mother-in-law, suggesting that the two women have buried the hatchet and are still close enough where Letizia can borrow Sofia’s jewels. But… after reading about the history of this tiara, I sort of think this piece “belongs” to the monarch, much in the same way that most of Queen Elizabeth II’s jewels “belong” to whoever is king or queen. Meaning that I kind of think that it wasn’t a matter of Sofia lending Letizia this tiara. I think King Felipe “owns” all the crown jewels now, and Letizia was all “oh, I’m going to wear this tiara that your mom used to wear, because it belongs to me now.” Queen Letizia: Tiara Snatcher. You can read more about the history of the tiara here.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain attend gala dinner with the President of Portugal

Queen Letizia and King Felipe with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Queen Letizia and King Felipe with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.

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53 Responses to “Queen Letizia wore Queen Sofia’s Cartier Diamond & Pearl Tiara to a state dinner”

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  1. mamacita says:

    and that’s how you extend an olive branch when you’re royalty.

    • Charlie says:

      One last thing about the Easter tiff that I wish I’d heard earlier:

      According to Spanish language press, a part of that Easter service includes the King being the first to walk out in to the sun and God’s light (words to that effect). So when Sofia pushed past her son it was her stepping out of line that was ‘out of line’. Those photos with the girls would have been no big thing AFTER pics of the girls with their parents.

      Context is everything.

  2. Squirrels4eva says:

    You had me at “tiara snatcher”

  3. Bridget says:

    That is indeed the correct interpretation. It’s not Sofia’s personal property, it’s the Queen’s tiara. Letizia is the Queen and it’s hers to wear at her discretion (or to choose to lend out if she desired). A lot of tiaras are like that – the “big guns” are specifically reserved for the Queen’s use.

  4. Other Renee says:

    That thing looks annoyingly heavy. I wouldn’t want to spend hours wearing it. Not that anyone is offering me any tiaras to wear.

  5. Cate says:

    Really not feeling that dress. It looks like an ice skating costume trying to pass as evening wear.

    • Lacia Can says:

      Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable to sit in? Pearls poking your bum and thighs? Sounds painful. Of course, maybe these dinners are boring and the discomfort keeps her alert?

      • koko says:

        My first thought, Lacia, how does one sit in that??? Pearls poking everywhere.

      • imqrious2 says:

        Maybe the back has a layer of foam padding?? *snort*
        Or the pearls are “halved”, meaning the flat end is on the fabric?
        Who knows… 😊

      • Millennial says:

        My first thoughts, too!*snort* How does she sit on pearls??

    • Kelly says:

      It looks too loose and too long. Also, the cutouts are in the least attractive place most women have – between the armpit and start of breast.

      • Rumi says:

        Agree. I love the Navy but it’s not tailored properly and sitting on those pearls would be super uncomfortable. The slit, pearls, cutouts and tiara a bit much.

      • Chrissy says:

        The dress would have looked beautiful with the pearls only on the bodice and without the cut-outs and high slit. Love that blue and Letizia sure knows how to wear a tiara. Very regal!

      • Bec says:

        It’s not too loose. Kardashian-level skintight is not a fit that is to be aspired to in formalwear, or any wear honestly. We’ve just forgotten how clothing is supposed to fit. It skims her body perfectly. The sleeves may look a bit long standing at ease, but if they were shorter, when she sat down or raised her arms it would look funny.

    • notasugarhere says:

      This is one of her worst evening gowns in 12+ years, and she had some awful ones in the early years.

  6. ChrissyMS says:

    I am not into the Polka Dot Gown. The crown looks HEAVY AF. I am assuming that this is a message to the people of Spain that at least for appearance sake ” all is well “.

  7. JA says:

    Yea the hatchet is not buried it is being sharpened and on stand by! The tiara belongs to the Queen B and Letizia is it soooooo bow down! Haha I love royal drama…it’s like regular family drama but with diamonds and crowns 🙂

  8. Lainey says:

    Yup the tiara belongs to the monarch, so she has every right to wear it.
    And Letizia always works this much. Multiple engagements every week.

  9. hkk says:

    How are there two Queens at the same time in Spain? Can anyone tell me? 🙂

    • Eldy says:

      King Juan Carlos (Letizia’s father-in-law) abdicated in 2014 , making his son Felipe King.
      Their respective wives Sofia and Letizia both have the title of Queen, but Letizia now got the precedence because she’s married to the reigning monarch.

    • Ankhel says:

      King Juan Carlos, husband of Queen Sofia, was forced to step down. Too many scandals. Their son Felipe became King of Spain, and Felipe’s wife Letizia naturally became Queen. Still, Juan Carlos and Sofia continue to use those titles… 🙃

      You beat me to it, Eldy.

    • Em says:

      In most (not all) European countries once you are given the title Queen it’s your’s for life if you still choose to use it.

      Queen Elizabeth’s mother was known as Queen Mother, note Queen not Queen’s mother , meaning she was both a Queen and Mother of a Queen/Monarch, she did not use the title Queen Elizabeth because of the confusion with her daughter also being named Elizabeth. Also note that she had no numeral after her name which in royal speak means she was actually Queen Consort not monarch.

      Quite often the term Dowager Queen is used if her husband is deceased, Ex-Queen is used more correctly for someone from a country which no longer has a monarchy such as Greece. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands prefers to use the title Princess now that she has abdicated even though she was a Monarch and not just a Queen Consort.

      Fabiola of Belgium and Queen Eugenia of Spain were both known as Queen Dowager, but as Sophia’s husband is still alive that term does not really apply to her.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Jesus. Hats off to all the royal people but I couldn’t do it. A farm is more my speed. Royal protocols and life is so freaking intense.

  10. Tiffany says:

    That tiara is baller.

  11. Lady D says:

    Wouldn’t it be painful to sit on pearls all night?

  12. penelope says:

    Not even she can carry off that mistake of a dress.

  13. Seraphina says:

    I am not too crazy about this dress. Looks like way too much going on. And she usually nails it out of the ballpark.

    On the tiara, prettt sure it belongs to the reigning monarchy and Latizia wants some good PR, so let’s work this into a photo op with a story of extending the olive branch.

  14. Love the tiara! Makes me wonder if Meaghan will go the diamond and pearl route or twining gold or silver with stones or more more modern look with geometric design versus fairytale flavor/traditional worn on top of head or lower like a headband? I love royal watching…nope there not like us!

  15. Rainbow says:

    The only tiaras that Sofia owns are the Floral tiara given to her by Franco as a wedding gift and the Prussian Diamond tiara given to her by her mother. This tiara, and the one Letizia wore at the gala dinner in the UK last year, as well as the Cartier Loop tiara that she has yet to wear, are all reserved for the current Queen of Spain. They were not Sofia’s jewels.

    For that reason, it was a shock that this tiara was worn by Cristina to Victoria of Sweden’s wedding in 2010, since Cristina was neither the future Queen nor the Queen. She got to wear it before Letizia did which was a break in protocol as this tiara was never Sofia’s personal property and could not/should not be lent like she did to her daughter. It is not like the Dutch or Swedish tiaras and jewels that can be shared among the Queen and Princesses, and even then Queen Silvia of Sweden has tiaras that only she may wear, like the Braganza tiara.

    As it is, these jewels are all available to Letizia now and she has unlimited access except to the ones personally owned by Sofia or were gifted to her.

    And yes, she works this much. Actually, her workload this year has been less busy than it used to be. Not a lot of State Visits happening either.

    • Bridget says:

      This one only came back into the Spanish line with Sofia. But yeah, it was a snub.

      Letizia has been busting into the Spanish vault and I am here for it. I loved the Fleur de Lys she wore for the British visit.

      • Rainbow says:

        Bridget – it’s too bad there aren’t more events to wear tiaras in Spain nowadays. Most State Visits are very toned down in keeping with the economy and political issues.

      • Bridget says:

        Slowly, we’re seeing a little more from Letizia – she’s busting out the bigger pieces for the events that they do have. But they did miss out with that business casual coronation.

  16. Merritt says:

    Between the heavy tiara and pearls on the gown, she looks a bit uncomfortable.

    • Alexandria says:

      Merritt can you imagine if she planned this outfit while being tipsy angry with her MIL and didn’t care how uncomfortable she would be? I can imagine her going “You know what?! I’m going to wear her favourite tiara to sock it to the beesh! And not only that, I’m gonna add more pearls by wearing a dress with pearls all ovah me, how do you like me now, Mothah?” No? It’s just me? Ok then.

  17. JRenee says:

    She matched pearls in crown to pearls in dress..

  18. minx says:

    Letizia has beautiful posture, she knows how to stand.

  19. KiddV says:

    That’s a gorgeous tiara. I’m sure it’s just the photos but it looks like she’s having a hard time with the size and weight, like if she moves her head to quickly, or turn her head too far, it will slip off.

    And I love the dress, but wouldn’t want to sit in it for too long.

  20. Amelie says:

    I’m surprised no one has commented on the dress’s high slit. I think it’s fine but if Kate wore this it would be “So inappropriate to show so much leg at a state dinner!” The tiara is pretty and Letizia looks very smug wearing it haha, I love it.

    Also Letizia and Felipe were constantly making appearances, even before they became King and Queen. Juan Carlos and Sofia used to show up everywhere too before they abdicated. They have always been busy, this is nothing new.

    I believe the President of Portugal’s pants are too long?

  21. Anastasia says:

    In that top pic, the middle guy’s necklace thing is lined up exactly with the curtain tassels, and I thought it was a very loose noose. Yikes!

    • Other Renee says:

      Anastasia, you’re right! I just took a close look at that and it gave me the giggles just because of the optical illusion effect. Thanks for pointing that out.

  22. Tess says:

    What’s with the armpit cutouts???

  23. Em says:

    Depends……some Royal jewels belong to the crown and some belong to the individual, Queen Elizabeth for instance has an extensive private collection of jewels that belong to her alone which she may dispose of as she sees fit , such as her vast brooch collection, quite a few very important tiaras and some grand pieces left to her in her mothers will. The very large Boucheron honeycomb tiara and the breast plate of diamonds necklace that Camilla wears on grand occassions were given to Charles by his grandmother, so they are in his own personal collection. The same would apply to the Spanish jewels.

  24. Mshisha says:

    I guess I’ll be the sole vote for actually loving her whole look here! Gorgeous.

  25. Helena says:

    Letizia is actually pretty awesome, smart and badass and she does work A LOT. Like 10 times more than Duchess Keen. I am really glad that you have started to write about her here on GOMI.

  26. Prunella says:

    The dress looks like it has chicken pox.