Gigi Howard, King Felipe’s ex-girlfriend is glad she didn’t become Queen of Spain

The young woman who was once photographed on vacation with Prince Felipe, is now living a discreet life full of professional projects

Although he is now happily married to Queen Letizia, in his youth, King Philip VI's heart belonged to Giselle Howard, an American girl he met while studying at Georgetown University. Her relationship with the son of Juan Carlos of Spain did not thrive after photographs of both vacationing in the Caribbean came to light. But far from the sentimental wound of the moment, Gigi is glad she didn’t become Queen Consort because she does not consider herself a woman capable of dealing with photographers and the press.

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"My grandmother said that a good person can only appear once in the press ... in the obituary section," Gigi jokes in an interview she gave to Vanity Fair, 20 years after she met the Prince. Unfortunately for her, she could not fulfill her grandmother's advice when at Easter 1995, her vacation with the then Prince, accompanied by the Prince of Greece and his now-wife Marie Chantal, became known internationally. The situation reached the courts where they accused the photographer Carlos Hugo Arriazu of having intervened the telephone line of the monarch and led to Gigi to testify before the judge.

That small detail was enough to realize that the media attention was not for her. "You have to be a very special person to be able to deal with the intensity and invasion of the press, and I was not that person.I'm very discreet and that was not for me.If you do not believe it, I'm still afraid of the press. I am surprised that it can continue to arouse interest, but it also terrifies me," she adds.

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Instead of having everyone's attention to every step she takes, Gigi opted to have discretion in her life. Today, the businesswoman is in charge of her SiO project, specialized in beauty products. In the privacy of her life, at 42 she decided to become a single mother: "I was not married, I did not have a boyfriend and I wanted to be a mother. So I looked for an anonymous donor and I had a child."

Her routine is entirely dedicated to her three year old son, Richard Southworth Howard, and her company. About Spain, Gigi has very beautiful memories because she has visited the country on several occasions. "I’ve had friends in Madrid for 20 years and I visit them," she says happily of the course she chose when she refused to continue in the life of the Spanish Royal Family.

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