Queen Letizia of Spain took a creative approach to tackling mental health at a World Mental Health Day rally on Oct. 11.
In her speech, the queen caused a sensation by reciting a lyric about self-care, directing media attention to this important cause.
Queen Letizia performs a rap
The Queen quoted lyrics from the song “No es no egoísmo” by renowned Spanish rapper El Chojin, surprisingly reciting lines about managing unrealistic expectations and self-judgment.
His recitation of “I do what I can, I achieve what I achieve and it’s not healthy for me to demand so much of myself” underscored struggles with perfectionism and self-pity.
By singing these lyrics, Queen Letizia innovatively conveyed how mental tensions manifest themselves internally.
Knowing that her rap would grab headlines, the wife of King Felipe VI meta-referenced the impact of her creative speech.
She predicted that “if this afternoon or tomorrow some media outlet headlines ‘the Queen raps for mental health,’ it will be good for us to try again to draw attention to something so important. And so serious.”
Her bold artistic choice served to raise awareness of the mental health issues plaguing society.
Beyond the rap, Queen Letizia advocated with conviction for mental health rights and care.
Citing stories from other speakers such as mountaineer Edurne Pasaban, Letizia stressed that “we all have limitations, fears, aversions, mistrust, insecurities.”
She called for more investment in mental health and prevention to ensure an “equitable future for all people.”
Queen Letizia’s speech on Mental Health Day
“Good morning and welcome to this World Mental Health Day. Please tell me what this sounds like to you: ‘I do what I can, I get to what I get to and it’s not healthy for me to demand so much of myself; it hurts to get angry and make bad faces when I fail at something, but it hurts more when they don’t appreciate that you tried and I’m trying, sorry if I don’t reach, but why did they think I would do it right all the time’. It wouldn’t occur to me to try to rap, out of respect, of course, to the artists of this musical genre. But it occurs to me that if this afternoon or tomorrow some media outlet headlines ‘the Queen raps for mental health’, it will be good that we again try to bring attention to something so important. And so serious.
What I have read to you are the words of the composer, writer and rapper El Chojin, guest of this day – Macarena will talk to him soon – and artist who, as he recognized not long ago in Ángel Martín’s podcast, has been on the path of self-knowledge for a long time and helps with his lyrics and his books many young people with doubts, anguish and problems. Edurne Pasaban will also talk to us about the mountain of her life and all the eight-thousanders she has had to climb… And you will meet Rosa and Javi, two people who have gone through very difficult processes and who, with a lot of effort, will and help, have managed to live, and even feel happy and calm, without the stigma of having had a mental health problem.
On this World Mental Health Day, we will learn more about how to continue working so that the rights of people with mental pathologies do not continue to be violated. Nel, the president of the Mental Health Spain Confederation, will tell us about it; Minister Quiñones will also present the situation of the national strategy.
It is a day to reflect on what the last 364 have been like. A day where people with mental health problems look us in the face and tell us what we need to improve: society, institutions, administrations. So it is worth listening to know where action should go. Because investment in mental health is the guarantee of a prosperous and equitable future for all people, because we all have limitations, fears, aversions, distrust, insecurities. And we all need tools to face life. This is also what prevention is all about. Let us listen then. Let us understand that when there is no mental health, any hope of living fully is extinguished”.