An awkward royal family moment between Spain's Queen Letizia and her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia, has been caught on camera

By Diana Pearl
April 04, 2018 11:00 AM
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An awkward royal family moment between Spain’s Queen Letizia and her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia, has been caught on camera.

In the now-viral video footage, Queen Letizia appears to block photographers from taking a photo of her daughters, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia, with their grandmother, Queen Sofia, after mass on Easter Sunday.

Queen Sofia is seen putting her arms around her two granddaughters, Princess Leonor, 12, and Princess Sofia, 10, and smiling for a photograph at Palma Cathedral in Mallorca, Spain. Letizia then walks in front of the trio, appearing to block the photographer’s view.

Leonor attempts to shrug off her grandmother’s arm as Letizia gets closer to her mother-in-law, and the two seem to share a heated exchange. At the end of the video, King Felipe, Letizia’s husband and Sofia’s son, approaches the two women in what seems to be an attempt to defuse the situation.

A second video from that same day shows Queen Sofia kissing Leonor on the head. Letizia then immediately wipes away the spot on Leonor’s head where she was kissed by her grandmother.

The tense videos have caused a stir on social media, with several remarking on how awkward the entire exchange appeared. Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, who is married to Queen Sofia’s nephew, Crown Prince Pavlos, even weighed in on the video, defending Sofia — before throwing a little shade at the situation. “No grandmother deserves that type of treatment!” she wrote on Twitter in response to the video. “Wow she’s shown her true colors.”

Inma Aguilar, a friend of Letizia’s, told the Spanish press that the Queen is “concerned and desolate” over the reaction to the video, according to The Times.

There have been reports of tension between Letizia and Sofia in the past, according to The Telegraph. The newspaper reports that their relationship soured after the release of a 2008 book about Sofia by author Pilar Urbano. Letizia was reportedly unhappy with some of the quotes that were attributed to her in the book, which the palace later said were presented “inexactly,” according to the New York Times. The Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reports that the mother and daughter-in-law pair had a good relationship in previous years.

The Spanish royal family
| Credit: Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

The entire family posed for photographs (smiling!) outside the church following the Easter service, including King Juan Carlos. When Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in 2014, King Felipe became the country’s monarch.