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Former journalist expected to be known as Queen Letizia of Spain

Former evening news presenter Letizia Ortiz will now become Queen of Spain.
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Princess Letizia Ortiz, 41, will become Queen of Spain after King Juan Carlos announced his abdication on June 2, 2014.

Juan Carlos has ruled Spain for 39 years and will be succeeded by his son, Prince Felipe de Borbon, 46, at some point later in the year.

In retrospect, Letizia will be the first Spanish-born queen since Maria de las Mercedes de Orleans y Bourbon of 1879. Letizia was born on Sept. 15, 1972, in the city of Oviedo.

Letizia is the eldest daughter of Jesus Ortiz, a prominent journalist, and Paloma Rocasolano, a nurse at a Madrid hospital. Letizia, the granddaughter of a taxi driver, is from a modest background.

She studied communications at Madrid's Complutense University and continued a masters in broadcast journalism. Later, she went on to become a well-known TV presenter and reporter.

Letizia held a position as evening news presenter for Spanish national television TVE. In fact, Letizia notably received an award for journalists under the age of 30 from the Madrid Press Association in 2000.

Letizia married Prince Felipe on May 22, 2004. The Princess and Prince Felipe share two daughters Sofia and Leonor.