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Family matters: How Elizabeth II and Felipe VI are related to each other
Monday, September 12, 2022 @ 6:52 PM

A HEARTFELT message addressed to 'Dearest Aunt Lilibet' offering sympathy on the loss of 'dear Uncle Philip', a beautiful and profoundly moving letter with a personal touch, showed Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia's deep fondness for the British Queen last April – and it has since transpired that this is exactly how they referred to HRHs Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, both in conversation about them and to their faces, in their company.

Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI on their State visit to the UK in summer 2017, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip  - aka ‘Aunt LIlibet’ and ‘Uncle Philip’ (photo by the Royal Household on Twitter - @CasaReal)

Written communications at other times would have been addressed to Her Majesty and His Royal Highness, but through tragedy and trauma, and when meeting or talking on the phone, the Spanish monarchs used the family's pet name for Queen Elizabeth, and they were always 'auntie' and 'uncle'.

Only a year and five months would pass after the BBC singled out HRHs Felipe and Letizia's letter to the newly-widowed British Queen as 'particularly poignant' before they were having to write another painful missive – this time to her son, sharing the new King Charles III's grief at the passing of his beloved mother.

‘Aunt Lilibet’ with King Felipe VI, son of her third cousins King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía, and his wife Queen Letizia, on a Royal visit to the UK in 2017 (photo by the Royal Household on Twitter - @CasaReal)

To the Spanish Royals, it does not just feel like the loss of a cherished family member – it actually is the loss of a cherished family member, because the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are King Felipe VI's blood relatives.


It's all relative

Royal dynasties across Europe and throughout time have all been attached to branches of the same family tree, some close to the trunk and others distant leaves, sprouting up from the same acorn, their roots intertwined, drinking from the same soil. This in itself is no revelation, given that even a very significant minority of civilians share DNA with Royals if they rewind back enough generations, but in the case of 'Aunt Lilibet', 'Uncle Philip' and Felipe VI, the acorn is a grandparent in common.

Queen Victoria of Great Britain was known as ‘The Grandmother of Europe’ - and her ‘grandchildren’ include Spain's and Britain's reigning monarchs, and both parents of each country's king (photo: Fenton and Cameron Royal Collection/J J E Mayall)

If the average human life expectancy was in the region of 250 years, Queen Victoria of Great Britain would, single-handedly, be keeping the greetings card industry in business... 



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