Preysler was born in Manila, Philippines, the third of six children to a wealthy family. She attended a private Roman Catholic school; Her father, Carlos Preysler y Pérez de Tagle, was the executive director of Philippine Airlines and on the Board of Directors for El Banco Español de Manila (Spanish Bank of Manila), while her mother, María Beatriz Arrastia y Reynares, was the owner of a real estate company in Manila.She is of Filipino, Spanish and Basque descent
The Perez de Tagle family produced copra and abaca, which was the main ingredient in ropes and other products prior to the invention of nylon.
The Arrastía family is from the province of Pampanga. Their old town was Lubao, site of the ancient San Nicolas Tolentino Cathedral. The Arrastías used to own one of the largest haciendas there, most of which were utilized to plant rice and sugarcane.
During her youth, Preysler was a model who participated in beauty pageants and charity events for the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Manila and went on to win titles in several events. At the age of 16, she migrated to Madrid in Spain to live with her uncle and aunt and to study at Mary Ward College, an Irish Catholic University in Spain, where she studied accounting.
Preysler began working as a journalist for Spanish magazine ¡Hola! in 1970, and her first interviewee was her future husband Julio Iglesias. In 1984, she hosted a Spanish lifestyle television programme, "Hoy en Casa", and has hosted and appeared in various programs since. In May 2001, she was Prince Charles' guest of honour for the opening of his Spanish Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in England. She was his guest of honor again in 2005 at a garden party during a holiday to Spain by the Royal Crown. In 2004, Preysler became Spain's welcoming host for David and Victoria Beckham when she hosted a welcoming party at her house for the celebrity couple. She became close friends with Victoria and was often photographed shopping with her during their stay in Madrid.
Preysler continues to be the national spokesmodel for Ferrero Rocher, Suárez jewelry, Manolo Blahnik shoes, Chrysler cars and Porcelanosatiles, for which American hollywood actor George Clooney recently worked with her in 2006 to represent the brand in an advertising campaign.
Readers at Hola magazine have voted Preysler as the most elegant and best-dressed woman in Spain for 1991, 2002 and 2006 In 2006, Preysler was also honored along with Hillary Clinton, Shakira and Yoko Ono among others with the Women Together Award, which honors women for their philanthropical contributions to the United Nations in New York, making her the first Filipino woman in history to win the award
In 2007, she and her daughters were invited by Prince Charles of England to be guests of honor at the Clarence house at their estate in theUnited Kingdom and was voted out of a total of more than 40,000 Hola magazine readers as the most elegant woman in Spain.
In 1970, Preysler was introduced to a football player named Julio Iglesias, who just signed a recording contract to become a singer. Iglesias invited her to watch a Juan Pardo concert.The couple was married seven months later on January 29, 1971. They were married for seven years and had three children, Chabeli Iglesias, Julio Iglesias Jr. and Enrique Iglesias. Their marriage was annulled in 1979.
Preysler married the Marques de Griñón, Carlos Falcó, on March 23, 1980. The short-lived marriage resulted in the birth of a second daughter, Tamara Falcó. She later married former Spanish finance minister Miguel Boyer, with whom she had another daughter, Ana Boyer. In 1987, her two sisters immigrated to Spain with their families to be closer to Isabel. She holds dual citizenship in both the Philippines and Spain.