Royal feud: Spanish Queen Letizia’s tense bust-up with mother-in-law Queen Sofía


QUEEN LETIZIA of Spain – who has welcomed First Lady Jill Biden ahead of the Nato Summit this week – once had an astonishing royal bust-up with her mother-in-law, Queen Sofía, unearthed footage has revealed.

They were accompanied by the First Lady’s granddaughters — Maisy, 21, and Finnegan, 22.

The Queen gave warm hugs to Maisy and Finnegan and chatted with them during their family jaunt to Spain.

Letizia has two daughters of her own — 16-year-old Princess Leonor and 15-year-old Infanta Sofia — and astonishing footage shows the Queen’s awkward relationship with their grandmother, Queen Sofía. 

Queen Sofía and Queen Letizia

Queen Sofía (L) and Queen Letizia’s bust-up was caught on camera. (Image: Getty Images)

Spanish Royal Family

The Spanish Royal Family attended the Easter mass in 2018. (Image: Getty Images)

During the Spanish royals’ annual Easter break in Majorca in 2018, Queen Sofía, 83, put her arms around her two granddaughters as they posed for photographs at Palma Cathedral.

Queen Letizia, 49, then stepped in front of the three, a move interpreted as an attempt to block the picture.

Queen Sofía resisted her daughter-in-law’s challenge by shuffling back and forth and clutching onto Leonor and Infanta Sofia even tighter.

Letizia reached out to brush her eldest daughter’s hair from her face and, at the same time, appeared to push her mother-in-law’s arm away from Leonor.

Princess Sofia of Spain and Crown Princess Leonor of Spain

Leonor (L) and Sofía are the two daughters of Letizia and Felipe. (Image: Getty Images)

Seemingly, in an effort to calm things down, King Felipe VI, 54, stepped in and squeezed his wife’s shoulder.

Several Spanish papers branded the incident a fight, with the island daily Diario de Mallorca saying: “As is obvious from the footage, the situation was most uncomfortable for King Felipe VI, who tried to mediate as his father looked on with great surprise.”

Respected Spanish daily El Mundo said: “For the first time in four years, Juan Carlos joined the rest of the Spanish Royal Family for the celebration of the last day of Easter.The Spanish Royal Family

The Spanish Royal Family came together for the first time in four years. (Image: Getty Images)

“However, the perfect harmony they demonstrated at the doors of Palma Cathedral appears not to have been so, certainly at one particular moment.”

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, the wife of Queen Sofía’s nephew Crown Prince Pavlos, weighed in on Twitter: “No grandmother deserves that type of treatment!”

However, a spokesperson for the Royal Family later released a statement soon after the incident explaining why Queen Letizia was blocking the photographer from snapping photos.

The spokesperson said Letizia “is very committed to taking care of her daughters, with the protection of their image, she worries who takes photos of them, she worries where they come from, who approaches them. It’s a very motherly reaction,” adding: “It’s not a serious issue, nothing has happened.”

Queen Letizia with Leonor and Sofía

Letizia is ‘very committed to taking care of her daughters’. (Image: Getty Images)

El País newspaper said relations between Queen Letizia and Queen Sofía had started to deteriorate following the births of Leonor and Infanta Sofía.

In November 2003, when King Felipe’s engagement to Letizia Ortiz was announced, the then-reigning Queen Sofía took her future daughter-in-law under her wing.

However, that later changed when Queen Sofía felt that her visits to see her young granddaughters were no longer welcome.

At the same time, Letizia’s mother, Paloma Rocasolano, began spending more time at the Zarzuela Palace, where the royals live.

Princess Letizia, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Queen Sofia

Tensions between the two Queens reportedly arose following the births of Leonor and Sofía. (Image: Getty Images)

The change in the Crown in 2014, which saw former King Juan Carlos’ abdication and his son, King Felipe’s accession to the throne, established a significant change of power within the Royal Family.

In 2020, Juan Carlos left Spain for the Middle East after he was linked to an inquiry into alleged corruption. But three investigations against the 84-year-old were dropped in March, allowing him to return to his home country for the first time in two years.

Juan Carlos was planning to return again this month on June 10, but postponed for “private reasons.”

Meanwhile, Queen Sofía stayed in Spain at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid and continued her institutional activities.


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