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Media whirl over engagement

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his new fiancee Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his new fiancee Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

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MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- Spain's heir-to-the-throne Prince Felipe appeared for the first time in public with his new television presenter fiancee amid a media frenzy and widespread approval of future queen Letizia Ortiz.

The Royal Palace announced the engagement on Saturday, surprising nearly everyone in Spain and plunging the media into a royal wedding whirl.

Even financial dailies carried the photogenic Ortiz on their covers.

"I am very happy to be able to show how happy our engagement has made me and how in love I am with Letizia," the 35-year-old prince told reporters.

"We present ourselves here in love, committed, with conviction and full of hope and, of course, devoted to serving Spain."

The elegant blond Ortiz became a household face in Spain by presenting the evening news. Despite being a divorcee, the 31-year-old appears to have won the hearts of Spaniards.

Felipe had previously been linked with Norwegian model Eva Sannum but she was considered inappropriate for having worked as an underwear model. The prince will propose formally on Thursday.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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