Spain’s New Queen Could Be Your Next Fashion Icon

Princess Letizia of Spain may skip the typical princess gear, but that hasn’t cramped her style!

Perhaps that’s because she is much more than a fashion plate; Letizia enjoyed a successful career as a television journalist before marrying into the royal family (her husband is Crown Prince Felipe).

As a result, her wardrobe usually reflects a no-nonsense approach to modern monarchy along with the harsh economic reality in Spain: she leaves high-end fashion to her peers, instead favoring pantsuits and separates from mid-priced Spanish labels like Mango and Zara.

But Letizia, who is expected to become Spain’s new queen in June following the official abdication of her father-in-law, is one of the most fascinating royals to watch when the occasion exceeds office wear. Thanks in part to her refusal to dress like a cake topper in pearls, you just never know what you might get.

One thing we can predict, after watching her dress for a decade, is that when it’s time for black tie, Letizia never disappoints. Below are some of her most stylish moments.

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Nothing like a dramatic black dress with diamonds! Letizia wore her favorite Spanish designer, Felipe Varela, to a dinner hosted by the Dutch royal family on the eve of King Willem-Alexander’s investiture in April 2013. She would wear an equally gorgeous pearl gray Varela number for the ceremony the following day, but a tiara trumps a fascinator every time. The dress made a repeat appearance in June 2014 for a gala dinner in Madrid.

letizia dress

Madrid would ultimately lose a bid to host the 2020 Olympics, but Letizia medaled in our hearts — bronze, obviously, to match her glow — when she wore this cocktail dress to an IOC event in Argentina in September 2013. It was sparkly, but also sleek and modern.

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A side-cinched waist detail looks so good on Letizia. She has a similarly cut dress in gray that she loves rewearing. We slightly prefer this unembellished version, which she rocked at a business summit in 2013.

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Convenient for a soon-to-be queen of Spain, Princess Letizia looks ravishing in red — and exceeds in ballroom as much as boardroom. She’s worn this scarlet Lorenzo Caprile gown at least twice, including to a 2011 dinner to host the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, pictured above (you look good, too, Camilla!).

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letizia madrid

We’re here for these heels, in which Letizia welcomed guests at Zarzuela Palace in April. Just when you think you’ve seen every one of her business casual combinations imaginable, she’ll bust out something funky.

letizia asturias

Letizia’s small frame carried big volume when she wowed the crowed with this intricate, full-skirted Felipe Varela cocktail dress at the 2010 Prince of Asturias Awards. We aren’t crazy about the shoes, but who’s looking at them? She wore the dress again in 2011.

letizia militar

Spain’s annual New Year’s military parade is one of those events with such a strange dress code — it’s morning, but long and formal — we’re glad we never have to shop for it. It’s a risky proposition that can leave a girl swallowed in fabric, but Letizia found her footing in 2012 with this sleek, figure-flattering blue gown, which fits court dress requirements but still looks all business — just like Letizia herself.

letizia california

Speaking of business, no princess rocks a blazer like this former TV journalist, who we suspect might even sleep in a pantsuit. Letizia went for a comfy combo while visiting a Spanish-owned business in Los Angeles last year, jazzing up a suit jacket with a patterned sheath from Hugo Boss.

letizia obama

Even during an island vacation, duty calls. When the Spanish royal family welcomed Michelle and Sasha Obama to lunch at their summer home on Mallorca in 2010, Letizia went beach chic by pairing a simple, one-sleeved white dress with a statement necklace and a pair of Magrite sandals. She wore the dress again under a sheer jacket in 2014 to welcome the president of Mexico.

letizia wedding
letizia gown

This is how you do nude: with incredible braided tiara hair, gorgeous floral details, and your best accessory in uniform. Letizia went full-on romantic for the June 2010 wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling in Stockholm, then wore this stunning gown again while hosting Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito at a gala dinner in Madrid in 2013.

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Every woman loves a fairytale gown, and Letizia wore this dove gray dream to a pre-wedding dinner for Prince William and Kate Middleton in London in April 2011. We’ve established by now that Letizia really nails a wedding, right?

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When you can’t wear a bandage dress, you wear something even better. With a nod to Princess Anne, Letizia is the queen of royal recycling: she’s worn this horizontally layered cerise Varela dress at least five times. We’re guessing the added curves are as much a factor as Spain’s struggling economy, because both the color and the structure are fantastic on her petite frame — and it’s what she chose to wear while standing alongside former supermodel and then-first lady of France, Carla Bruni, in 2009.

letizia leather pants

We’re not saying it’s perfect, but that’s a princess in leather pants — we’re just thrilled it happened at all (in 2013, if you want details, at the Spanish Publishing Association Awards).

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letizia hat

Another wedding, another home run. While some folks decided Prince William’s nuptials was a time for costumes and festooned toilet bowls, Letizia chose ’30s glamour in the perfect shade of blush — with a hat that bore a little bit of everything, but was somehow just right.

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letizia wedding

Boom! A week before she wed Crown Prince Felipe, Letizia made jaws drop in her first international royal appearance: the 2004 wedding of Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederick and Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen. A stunning Letizia inadvertently upstaged even the bride when she arrived in resplendent red Lorenzo Caprile, looking like Spain itself. With smooth waves, a tasseled bag, and jewelry on loan from her mother-in-law, no one else stood a chance.

Republicans Who Trust Fox News Likely To Oppose Immigration Reform: Poll

WASHINGTON — Many people who oppose immigration reform have something else in common: They watch Fox News, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

The new survey from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found that, in the report’s words, trusting Fox News was “the most powerful independent predictor of opposition to a path to citizenship.”

“Where Americans get their news matters, and Fox News appears to play a powerful role in shaping the views of both Republicans and independents on immigration reform,” E. J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said in a press release. “Republicans and independents who most trust Fox News are nearly 20 percentage points less likely to support a path to citizenship than those who turn to other television sources.”

Slightly more than half of Republicans — 53 percent — said they trusted Fox News most among TV networks on politics and current events, according to the poll. The survey also found those Republicans were more conservative than GOP supporters who listed other TV networks as their top source of news.

On immigration, the divide was especially pronounced. While 60 percent of Republicans who said they trusted non-Fox News outlets most said they support allowing undocumented immigrants to eventually become citizens, only 42 percent of Republicans who prefer Fox News said the same. One-third of Fox News-favoring Republicans agreed with the statement that “immigrants strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents.” Among GOP supporters who trust other networks more, 56 percent agreed.

Hosts and guests on Fox News, the most-watched cable news channel, have a long history of criticizing immigration reform, from disparaging a bill that passed the Senate last year, to questioning President Barack Obama’s record on deportations. (Media Matters, which tracks Fox News and other outlets, has many posts on the network’s immigration coverage here.)

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., Fox News’ parent company, supports immigration reform and said in 2010 that his stance wasn’t incongruous with the prevailing sentiment on his network, which he said was “home to all views” and “not anti-immigrant.”

Fox News’ own polling found last year that a strong majority of voters supported the broad strokes of the Senate immigration reform bill.

Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found in a poll last year that 63 percent of Americans favored allowing undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship if they met certain requirements.

The new poll showed that proportion was virtually unchanged, with 62 percent saying undocumented immigrants should be able to become citizens, 17 percent saying they would support legal status for the undocumented but not citizenship, and 19 percent saying they should be identified and deported. Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to be in the latter camp, with 30 percent saying all undocumented immigrants should be deported.

The poll was conducted April 7 to April 27 in telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,538 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Schools Were Getting Much Safer Until 2010, Government Report Says

American public and private schools are generally much safer than they were 10 years ago, but school crime began a slight climb in 2010, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The rate of non-fatal incidents in which students felt victimized at school decreased to 35 per 1,000 students in 2010, from 181 per 1,000 students in 1992, according to the 2013 School Crime and Safety Report. The rate rose to 52 per 1,000 students in 2012, the report found. Any type of school crime, the report noted, increases the likelihood of dropouts, teacher turnover and student transfers.

“Over the long term, schools are getting safer,” said Thomas Snyder, the report’s project officer. “That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of room for improvement.”

The 208-page study is the 16th annual report by the U.S. Education Department and Bureau of Justice Statistics. It aggregates information from various surveys, tracking schools through 2012. Snyder said school crime data mirror overall crime trends.

“There’s good news and reason for concern,” said David Esquith, who directs the Education Department’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students. “Schools are safer than ever. At the same time, there are data points in there that point to some alarming behaviors — the data on forcible sex crimes on campuses, which are alarming and disturbing; the data on bullying indicates that we continue not to make a lot of progress in that area.”

The report showed that most fatal crimes against students happen outside school buildings. During the 2010-2011 school year, 11 of 1,336 homicides that killed kids ages 5 to 18 took place in school. In 2010, three of the 1,456 suicides in that age group were in schools.

But in 2012, more students experienced other types of crimes in schools than they did elsewhere. Schools continue to see a decrease in gang activities, drug dealing, “student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse” once a week. Almost 10 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being cyberbullied. Of those, 4 percent reported that another student had posted “hurtful information online.”

More Hispanic students than white students reported they were afraid of an attack at school.

“It was striking to me how much kids of color fear going to school,” said Lisa Thurau, whose Cambridge, Mass.-based Strategies for Youth trains police to work with children.

Since the December 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., headlines about school safety have pervaded the news. Congress failed to change lax federal gun laws, so schools continue facing questions from parents about safety.

So schools still seek to increase security by arming teachers, adding private security and increasing the number of “school resource officers” — police officers trained to work with students. The report found that 28 percent of all schools reported security staff routinely carried firearms in the 2009-2010 school year, and 43 percent of schools said they had one or more security staffers at least once a week.

The report doesn’t include data as recent as Newtown. But it does show schools increasing security in some ways, even before the massacre. Sixty-four percent of schools reported using security cameras to monitor potential threats, and 88 percent controlled access to their building by monitoring or locking doors during the school day. Forty-nine percent of schools had dress codes in the 2011-2012 school year, and 24 percent reported using “random dog sniffs” to check for drugs.

Poor schools had more metal detectors, ID requirements, dress codes, contraband sweeps and clear book bag rules than wealthier schools.

There’s still disagreement over best ways to keep students safe. Some advocates and the gun lobby want more law enforcement in schools, which means more guns on campus. Other advocates argue that increased policing leads to discrimination and propose behavioral interventions and teacher training.

The Obama administration holds schools legally responsible for all disciplinary actions under their roofs, including the actions of law enforcement officials, but defers to school districts on the question of whether they spend federal school security dollars on more armed cops or psychologists. “Whether having a school safety person on staff is ultimately more valuable than having an additional school counselor or reading specialist is something that will play out,” Esquith said.

In 2009-2010, 39 percent of the nation’s public schools “took at least one serious disciplinary action against a student for specific offenses,” the study found. Three-quarters of these actions were long-term suspensions and one-fifth of these students were transferred.

The presence of security staff in 43 percent of schools at least weekly in 2009-2010 was in line with previous surveys. Twenty-eight percent of public schools that year reported that a security officer routinely carried a firearm, compared with 34 percent in 2007-2008, and 31 percent in 2005-2006. Twelve percent of public primary schools, about half of middle schools and 63 percent of high schools had firearm-carrying security in 2009-2010.

Some experts said they expect more armed school personnel in a post-Newtown world.

“You’ll see an increase in school police presence, an increase in law enforcement taken there,” said Matthew Cregor, a staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. “The real danger is what the school does with that presence. If the schools make them disciplinarian, not only are we likely to see more arrests for nonviolent behavior and adolescent acts, but also other indicators suggest that students feel alienated and unsafe. Unfortunately that may mean victimization as well.”

Subpoenas To Agriculture Secretary Stand In Breitbart Suit

WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge has turned aside an administration effort to quash subpoenas to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, whose testimony is being sought in a lawsuit filed against the late blogger Andrew Breitbart.

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod sued Breitbart and his colleague Larry O’Connor after Breitbart posted an edited video of Sherrod, who is black, supposedly making racist remarks. Sherrod’s words were taken out of context. Sherrod and O’Connor subpoenaed Vilsack, who has said he requested Sherrod’s resignation. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Vilsack is the only one who can explain the relationship, if any, between a decision to request Sherrod’s resignation and the blog post. In seeking to quash the subpoenas, the Obama administration said the information being sought is already on the public record.