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Having a royal ball! Spain’s Queen Letizia laughs ahead of the Women’s Basketball World Cup final

The Queen of Spain watched her country play in the Women’s Basketball World Cup final after going down and giving her team a pep talk.

Queen Letizia gave high fives all round at the Sports Pavilion on Tenerife, meeting the players and coach before Spain’s world cup final against Belgium.

Spain, the tournament hosts this year, lost the final to Belgium, taking third place and the last podium step.

Queen of Spain Letizia, right, met with the Spanish women’s basketball team, centre, on the Sports Pavilion of Tenerife yesterday. She watched her country play in the Women’s Basketball World Cup final

Queen Letizia, right, gave high fives all round, meeting the players and coach before Spain's world cup final against Belgium. Spain, the tournament hosts this year, lost the final to Belgium

Queen Letizia, right, gave high fives all round, meeting the players and coach before Spain’s world cup final against Belgium. Spain, the tournament hosts this year, lost the final to Belgium

Belgium won 67-60, with a tight and narrow win with just two points separating the teams with two minutes to play. 

Spanish forward Laura Nicholls drilled two jump shots in quick succession, but it was not enough.  

Hours before the final, Spanish Basketball Federation President Jorge Garbajosa held a press conference at Santiago Martin Arena.

The sporting body wanted to give its assessment of the basketball’s biggest women’s competition this year, accompanied by FIBA President Horacio Muratore. 

The Queen, above, watches her country play in the Women's Basketball World Cup Final, held in Tenerife, which Spain hosted

The Queen, above, watches her country play in the Women’s Basketball World Cup Final, held in Tenerife, which Spain hosted

Letizia jokes with the Spanish team, with smiles and high fives all round to boost morale for the Spanish semi-final, before Spain lost and took third place

Letizia jokes with the Spanish team, with smiles and high fives all round to boost morale for the Spanish semi-final, before Spain lost and took third place

The tournament is basketball’s biggest competition for women. Queen Letizia, above, visited the team on Sunday. Next year the tournament will introduce a Women’s National Team Competition System, with 54 national teams from around the world playing regular official games

Mr Muratore said: ‘It’s been an extraordinary competition. I’m very happy. 

‘We have looked forward at how we can make the development of women’s basketball greater. We knew this tournament here in Spain was a good solution for that. 

‘Spain is one of the countries that has grown the most in women’s sports and which develops the program ‘Universo Mujer’ (Women’s Universe), which many companies have made use of. 

‘This Women’s World Cup has been incredible, with a huge following on TV and across social media networks. We knew the organizational capacity of the Spanish Committee, and personally I feel at home, as always in Spain.’ 

Letizia, right, is pictured with head coach Lucas Mondelo, left, after the bronze medal match between Spain and Belgium

Letizia, right, is pictured with head coach Lucas Mondelo, left, after the bronze medal match between Spain and Belgium

Smiling, Letizia watches the tight match carefully between the two countries. Basketball Association President Muratore said Spain is one of the countries that has grown the most in women's sports

Smiling, Letizia watches the tight match carefully between the two countries. Basketball Association President Muratore said Spain is one of the countries that has grown the most in women’s sports

The tournament will introduce a Women’s National Team Competition System, with 54 national teams from around the world playing regular official games.

Mr Garbajosa said: ‘We are both proud and satisfied. We have seen the pavilions full but above all we have had the feeling of living the games passionately and not only those of Spain. 

This represents a definitive push for women’s basketball in the world. We will be honored to receive the visit of Spain’s Queen Letizia for the Final.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk