Queen Letizia Creates History By Deviating From Tradition Within The Royal Household

Queen Letizia Creates History By Deviating From Tradition Within The Royal Household

Significant changes are on the horizon within the Spanish royal household. Breaking tradition for the first time in history, a woman will lead the Queen’s Secretariat, as María Dolores Ocaña Madrid, a state lawyer, has been appointed as Queen Letizia’s right-hand woman.

María, aged 51, currently serves as the Chief State Attorney at the Ministry of Education and will succeed José Manuel Zuleta, Duke of Abrantes, who has held the position for the past decade.

Notably, María was previously seen with the queen at the Inauguration of the World Healthy Food Centre in Valencia in 2019, and her official appointment will commence on April 30.

Meanwhile, José, aged 63, is the son of José Manuel de Zuleta de Reales y Carvajal, 13th Duke of Abrantes, and Virginia Alejandro y García. He embarked on his career in the royal household in the mid-1990s, eventually joining then-Prince Felipe’s office in 2007 to assist then-Princess Letizia.

Following Felipe’s accession to the throne in 2014, José assumed the role of head of Queen Letizia’s Secretariat. He shares four daughters with his wife, Ana Pérez de Guzmán y Lizasoain.

This change follows Camilo Villarino’s appointment as head of the royal household in January, succeeding King Felipe’s longtime private secretary after 30 years of service.

As King Felipe and Queen Letizia prepare to commemorate their 20th wedding anniversary on May 22 and the tenth anniversary of Felipe’s ascension to the throne on June 19, it marks a milestone year for the royal couple.

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