updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Spoken like royalty—but she hasn't lost her perspective. Silvia still frequents department-store sales, and her country folk aren't surprised when they see her, in sportswear and ponytail, out cycling with her son and two daughters. Radiant as ever at 51, the queen tends to brush ".off compliments. "It's nice when people say I'm beautiful," she has said, "but one I doesn't see oneself that way."
In that she stands alone. "If you called central casting looking for a queen, you wouldn't find anyone better," says Nelson Shanks, who painted her portrait. "Silvia is so beautiful your knees buckle."