After months in isolation, British and European royal families have bravely emerged from their guarded estates to lift the spirits of their beleaguered countrymen one photo op at a time. In England, Kate Middleton has dyed her hair again; her honey-rooted strands and measured princess waves signal that she’s back to business.
Queen Letizia of Spain, too, has embarked on a tour with her family, meant to “boost morale” and perhaps distract from continuing news reports about her husband’s father’s allegedly shady finances.
Letizia’s husband, King Felipe VI, has already renounced his inheritance in the wake of the mushrooming scandal, with the most recent allegations that his father, former monarch Juan Carlos I, received $100 million from Saudi Arabia’s king back in 2008.
Letizia has maybe turned to diplomatic dressing as a means of distraction and escape.
How Wearing a Face Mask, or Not, Became the Dumbest Culture War
The Spanish royals—Felipe, Letizia, and their young daughters Princesses Leonor and Sofia—are ostensibly touring their country to quell COVID fears, encourage a social and economic reopening, and project some semblance of pre-pandemic “normalcy.” So naturally, Letizia will wear her go-to floral Zara tops, long, buoyant skirts, and espadrilles.
As the pandemic relegated European Fashion Weeks to digital-only affairs, Letizia’s cross-country trip has become a runway show featuring her usual glamour, toned biceps, and a new accessory: the humble blue medical mask.
The former journalist is known to be a bit of a style renegade. She’s worn knee-high boots, miniskirts, and even tried her hand at leather pants. In short, she likes getting dressed—so why would she opt for a sterile, disposable mask over a more fashion-y, reusable choice?
The answer does not matter. There is joy is in the absurdity of seeing a 58-cent medical mask paired with a strapless red cocktail dress. It’s high-low fashion in a time of crisis.
Royals floating from one European city to the other during a pandemic might not be what the world needs to heal (give us a vaccine), but damn if the queen does not wear the heck out of her masks.
Take for example, the royal blue Adolfo Dominguez sun dress she wore in Seville that matched both her mask and Felipe’s crisp linen shirt. Or the floral Maje asymmetric frock she wore in Mallorca, another winning attempt at color coordination.
Masks look so normal on Letizia. The accessory neither adds or detracts from her looks. It is not a political statement or exercise in vanity. Her ensembles are put together with aplomb, and the mask is an after-thought. The coronavirus will not get in the way of her wardrobe.
Is it relatable? Not exactly. Even in the best of times, nothing about Letizia is ordinary. The queen’s impeccable posturing inhibits any pretense of her being just like us. Of course she would look this good in face masks. She looks good in most things.
With much of humanity wearing the same shirt as yesterday, forgetting if we brushed our hair today or actually the day before, the thought of getting trussed up for no good reason seems unfathomable. So we have Letizia.
Interpret her killer wardrobe as you will—either the family is attempting to lighten the mood in Spain, or just rebrand their image. Either way, Letizia has become queen of the mask—and we can appreciate it very much in our PJ’s.
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