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On May 22, 2004, Madrid experienced a historic event that would forever mark the country’s history: the wedding of Felipe de Borbón, then Prince of Asturias, with Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, who used to work as a journalist for Televisión Española. The Almudena Cathedral, near the Royal Palace, was the setting for the royal wedding, which brought together about 1,200 guests, including many royal figures from all over the world.

The wedding was marked by notable firsts. It was the first state wedding in Spain for almost a century, and it was also the first royal wedding to be held in the cathedral of Madrid, which was consecrated in 1993. Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía’s union took place in Greece while the weddings of the infantas Elena and Cristina, Don Felipe’s older sisters, were held in Seville and Barcelona, respectively.

On the day of the wedding, the people of Madrid welcomed Don Felipe with cheers and applause as he arrived arm in arm with his mother and godmother, Queen Sofía. They walked from the Royal Palace to the cathedral under the threat of rain. While waiting for the bride at the altar, it started to rain heavily, and Doña Letizia had to drive to the door instead of walking.

The ceremony had an unexpected soundtrack which included songs selected by Doña Sofía and played by the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, the Spanish National Choir, and the organist Pablo Cano, under the direction of Jesús López Cobos. The music was accompanied by the sound of thunder, which announced the storm’s determination to continue.

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Instead of the conventional “yes, I want,” Don Felipe and Doña Letizia pronounced their own longer vows during the liturgy, promising to be faithful to each other in all aspects of their lives.

The pages, including Felipe and Victoria de Marichalar, Juan, Pablo, and Miguel Urdangarin, Victoria López-Quesada, and Carla Vigo, acted as pages with costumes inspired by the 18th century and the imprint left by Francisco de Goya. Although they did not make the tour that was planned due to the rains, they attracted all eyes at the ceremony thanks to their friendly and spontaneous gestures. They refused to sit on the cushions that were available, choosing instead to sit on the floor, Felipe kicked his cousin Victoria, and Miguel left a shoe inside the temple.

Overall, the wedding of Don Felipe and Doña Letizia left a lasting mark on Spanish history, marked by its notable firsts and unexpected moments.

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