Disclaimer: This is a complicated article to write, because it deals with a whole slew of royals, ex-royals, some who call themselves royals but are not, including some who claim to represent a nation that deposed the royalty two generations ago. We have tried to be as descriptive as possible, using quotes, parentheses and further explanations, where possible.
The main story:
Several videos showing a tense moment between Queen Letizia of Spain and her (“Greek”) mother-in law during the royals’ annual Easter break in Majorca has caused quite a stir in Spain, throughout Europe and on social media.
The incident happened on Sunday following the Roman Catholic Easter Mass in the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca.
Our play by play follows, as do several videos.
As the Spanish Queen Mother Sofia (who considers herself Greek) puts her arms around her granddaughters Leonor, 12, and her namesake Sofia, 10 (apparently named in the Greek tradition of naming grandchildren after grandparents), ready to pose for pictures.
Her daughter-in-law Letizia, the reigning Queen of Spain, hovers awkwardly around the scene until she swoops in, seemingly attempting to block the view of the photographers and the doting grandmother with her granddaughters.
At one point, while Letizia is standing in front of her mother-in-law and daughters, she appears to try and take the arm of her eldest daughter, who then shoves both her mother and grandmother’s hands aside.
All of the sudden there is an awkward exchange between the former queen her daughter-in-law, the reigning Queen Letizia.
The Queen Mother (Sofia) is the sister of the deposed, former King of Greece, Constantine. She married King Juan Carlos in a lavish ceremony at Athens Metropolis Cathedral in 1962, becoming the Queen of Spain.
The face of the King Felipe and his father Juan Carlos suggests tension at that moment, as Felipe approaches his wife and mother.
Queen Sofia’s niece, Marie Chantal, who goes by the title “Marie Chantal of Greece,” who is married to “Crown Prince Pavlos” (King Felipe’s first cousin) weighed in on Twitter, commenting in a long thread that “no grandmother deserves this kind of treatment” and that Letizia has “shown her true colors.”
No grandmother deserves that type of treatment! Wow she’s shown her true colours
— Marie-Chantal (@MarieChantalUK) April 3, 2018
Pavlos is the son of the former King Constantine of Greece, who was deposed in 1974 when Greeks voted out the monarchy. Despite this fact, he is still referred to as the Crown Prince of Greece.
DID YOU KNOW:
Queen Sofia and her husband, King Juan Carlos I, ruled over Spain for 39 years. The royal couple married in Athens on May 14, 1962 in three different ceremonies: a Catholic one at the Cathedral of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, a Greek Orthodox one at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation, and a civil union at the Royal Palace in Athens.
She was then known as Princess Sophia Margarita Victoria Frederica of Greece, the oldest daughter of King Paul and Queen Frederica. She met Prince Juan Carlos on a cruise through the Greek Islands in 1954, and she reconnected with him at a wedding just a year before they married.
She and Juan Carlos are third cousins (they are both descendants of Queen Victoria of England).
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