Spain’s Queen Letizia visits Los Angeles to promote language

Dec 12, 2022, 10:41 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2022, 4:49 pm

              Spain's Queen Letizia attends the inauguration and plaque unveiling of The Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia attends the inauguration and plaque unveiling of The Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute, left, Queen Letizia, Santiago Cabanas, Spanish Ambassador to the United States. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia attends the inauguration and plaque unveiling of The Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia attends the inauguration and plaque unveiling of The Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute, left, Queen Letizia, Santiago Cabanas, Spanish Ambassador to the United States. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia is welcomed my members of the Instituto Cervantes, at the opening of the Los Angeles Instituto Cervantes, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia greets film producer Ignacio Darnuade, a member of the Hollywood and Spanish film academies, at the opening of the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute, middle, and Luisgé Martín, director of the Cervantes Institute Los Angeles, far right, also attend. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia chairs a working meeting with Juan Fernández Trigo, Secretary of State for Ibero-America and the Caribbean and for Spanish around the World, at the opening of the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia chairs a working meeting at the opening of the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. From left are: Santiago Cabanas, Spanish Ambassador to the United States, Spain's Queen Letizia, Juan Fernández Trigo, Secretary of State for Ibero-America and the Caribbean and for Spanish around the World, and Juan Luis Gimeno Chocarro, the Trade Commissioner of Spain in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia talks to Luis García Montero, Director of the Instituto Cervantes, before a working meeting at the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia is welcomed at the opening of the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. At right is Director of the Instituto Cervantes Luis García Montero. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Spain's Queen Letizia chairs a working meeting at the opening of the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. At left is Santiago Cabanas, Spanish Ambassador to the United States, left, and at right is Juan Fernández Trigo, Secretary of State for Ibero-America and the Caribbean and for Spanish around the World. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Spain's Queen Letizia attends the inauguration and plaque unveiling of The Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spain’s Queen Letizia was in Los Angeles on Tuesday where she celebrated the opening of a center that promotes the Spanish language and culture throughout the world.

Letizia Ortíz opened the West Coast’s first branch of the Cervantes Institute, which was founded by the Spanish government in 1991 to further the language and Hispanic culture internationally. The Los Angeles branch is now the seventh location of the institute in the United States.

Spanish is the second-most common language spoken in the U.S., after English, and is widely spoken in Los Angeles, where nearly 50% of the population is Hispanic or Latino. Letizia participated in a work meeting for the institute on Monday and presided over its inauguration Tuesday, according to a news release.

Letizia, a seasoned national television journalist, became princess upon marrying then-Prince Felipe — now King Felipe VI — in 2004. When King Juan Carlos abdicated 10 years later, she became the first woman without aristocratic blood to reach the throne of Spain. She turned 50 in September, prompting a look back at her position in a monarchy still reeling from scandals involving Juan Carlos.

Although Letizia is better known as a progressive feminist rather than a fervent monarchist, she is credited with playing a major role in Felipe’s decision to forge a new path and break ties with the palace’s corruption-linked past.

Spain’s king has a mostly ceremonial role. Executive power lies with the elected parliamentary government.

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Spain’s Queen Letizia visits Los Angeles to promote language