Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Fitz-James Stuart and the second or maternal family name is de Silva.
Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart
Duchess of Alba (more...)
DuquesaAlba palacio dueñas.jpg
The Duchess in 2006.
Duchess of Alba
Tenure 18 February 1955 – 20 November 2014
Predecessor Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba
Successor Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 19th Duke of Alba
Spouse(s) Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artázcoz (m. 1947; dec. 1972)
Jesús Aguirre y Ortiz de Zárate (m. 1978; dec. 2001)
Alfonso Díez Carabantes
(m. 2011)

Issue

Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 19th Duke of Alba
Alfonso Martínez de Irujo, 15th Duke of Aliaga
Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 23rd Count of Siruela
Fernando Martínez de Irujo, 11th Marquis of San Vicente del Barco
Cayetano Martínez de Irujo, 13th Count of Salvatierra
Eugenia Martínez de Irujo, 12th Duchess of Montoro
Full name
María del Rosario Cayetana Paloma Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Fernanda Teresa Francisca de Paula Lourdes Antonia Josefa Fausta Rita Castor Dorotea Santa Esperanza Fitz-James Stuart, Silva, Falcó y Gurtubay
Noble family House of Alba
House of FitzJames
Father Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba
Mother María del Rosario de Silva, 9th Marchioness of San Vicente del Barco
Born (1926-03-28)28 March 1926
Liria Palace, Madrid
Baptised 18 April 1926
Royal Chapel, Royal Palace of Madrid
Died 20 November 2014(2014-11-20) (aged 88)
Palace of the Dukes of Alba, Seville, Spain

María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes and a Grandee of Spain (28 March 1926 – 20 November 2014), was head of the House of Alba and the third lady to hold the title in her own right.

Born at Liria Palace on 28 March 1926, she was the only child of the 17th Duke of Alba (a prominent Spanish politician and diplomat during the 1930s and 1940s) by his wife, María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay, 9th Marchioness of San Vicente del Barco. Her godmother was the Queen Consort of Spain, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, wife of Alfonso XIII de Borbón, King of Spain.

As head of the dynasty, she was styled by her most senior title of Duchess of Alba, whilst holding over 40 other hereditary titles.[1] According to Guinness World Records, she was the most titled aristocrat in the world.[2]

Via her descent from James FitzJames by primogeniture, she was also the heir general and senior claimant to the English dukedom of Berwick. The Duchess was King James II of England's senior direct descendant, through his illegitimate son James, whom he created 1st Duke of Berwick, and his mistress Arabella Churchill.

Life and family[edit]

On 12 October 1947, the Duchess married Don Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artázcoz (1919–1972), son of the Duke of Sotomayor.[3] The wedding in Spain, just after the Second World War, is considered to be one of the last great weddings of European nobility and attracted the attention of the international media. The New York Times called it "the most expensive wedding of the world."[4] It was reported that 20 million pesetas were spent at that time. Six children were born of this marriage, who were all conferred noble titles by their mother, in accordance with Spanish Royal protocol, including the rank of Grandee of Spain.

  • Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 14th Duke of Huéscar, 19th Duke of Alba (born 2 October 1948, Madrid). In 1988, he married Matilde Solís-Beaumont y Martínez-Campos, but they later divorced. Together they had two children:
    • Fernando Juan Fitz-James Stuart y Solís (born 14 September 1990 at Madrid)
    • Carlos Arturo José María Fitz-James Stuart y Solís (born 29 November 1991 at Madrid)
  • Alfonso Martínez de Irujo y Fitz-James Stuart, 16th Duke of Aliaga, 19th duke of Hijar (born 22 October 1950, Madrid). On 4 July 1977 he married Princess María de la Santísima Trinidad of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (born 8 April 1957), whom he later divorced. Together they have two children:
    • Luis Martínez de Irujo y Hohenlohe (born 29 May 1978).
    • Javier Martínez de Irujo y Hohenlohe (born 9 January 1981). He married sherry heiress Inés Domecq y Fernández-Govantes in 2008.[5] They have two children.
      • Sol Martínez de Irujo y Domecq (born 2011).[6]
      • Alfonso Martínez de Irujo y Domecq (born 2013).[7]
  • Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Martínez de Irujo, 23rd Count of Siruela (born 15 July 1954, Madrid). On 1 November 1980, he married María Eugenia Fernández de Castro y Fernández-Shaw (born 15 October 1954), but they later divorced. He remarried journalist, editor and writer Inka Martí Kiemann in April 2004. Jacobo and María Eugenia have two children:
    • Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Fernández de Castro (born 23 January 1981). He married Asela Pilar Pérez Becerril on 14 May 2011.[8] Co-owners of an art gallery. They had a daughter.
      • Asela Fitz-James Stuart y Pérez (born 2012).
    • Brianda Eugenia Fitz-James Stuart y Fernández de Castro (born 11 April 1984).
  • Fernando Martínez de Irujo, 11th Marquis of San Vicente del Barco (born 11 July 1959).
  • Cayetano Martínez de Irujo y Fitz-James Stuart, 4th duke of Arjona, 13th Count of Salvatierra (born 4 April 1963, Madrid). In October 2005, after a five year relationship, he married Genoveva Casanova y González from Mexico (daughter of Kenneth Larry Casanova and his first wife Mariana González y Reimann). They separated in 2007, but have twin children:
    • Luis Martínez de Irujo y Casanova (born 25 October 2001)
    • Amina Martínez de Irujo y Casanova (born 25 October 2001)

After becoming a widow, the Duchess remarried on 16 March 1978 to Jesús Aguirre y Ortiz de Zárate (1934–2001), a Doctor of Theology and a former Jesuit priest. The wedding caused shock; Aguirre was illegitimate, which was scandalous in 1970s Spain.[9] Eight years younger than the Duchess, he maintained a good relationship with her children. During their marriage he administered, with his stepson Carlos, the Alba estates.[10] Aguirre died in 2001.

Details emerged in 2008 regarding the Duchess’s intention to marry Alfonso Díez Carabantes, a civil servant who also runs a public relations business, 24 years her junior. It was reported that there were objections from her children and from King Juan Carlos, and the House of Alba that year issued a statement saying that the relationship "was based on a long friendship and there are no plans to marry".[9][11] The duchess decided to proceed with the marriage, overcoming her children’s opposition by giving them their inheritance in advance. The duchess’s fortune included ancient palaces throughout Spain, paintings by old and modern masters (from Fra Angelico, Titian and Goya to Renoir and Marc Chagall), a first-edition copy of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, letters written by Christopher Columbus, and huge tracts of land; her wealth was estimated at between €600 million and €3.5 billion.[1] Díez formally renounced any claim to her wealth.[9] They married on 5 October 2011 at the Palacio de las Dueñas in Seville.[12] The Duchess, whose passions included flamenco, performed a quick few steps of the dance in front of the crowds that had gathered outside the palace on the day of the wedding.[13]

As a socialite, the duchess met famous VIPs from Spain and abroad. Jackie Kennedy visited her Seville palace, as did Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco. In 1959 the duchess hosted one Dior show for charitable purposes in her Liria Palace in Madrid, together with designer Yves Saint Laurent. Movie stars such as Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren and Raf Vallone visited Liria Palace and even Audrey Hepburn took a breakfast in the dining room. In her youth the duchess posed for Richard Avedon and Cecil Beaton and she appeared on the cover of Time and Harper's Bazaar.

The Duchess’s titles included that of Duchess of Berwick and she was a direct descendant of King James II and a distant relative of Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales.[13] The mother of the first duke of Berwick was Arabella Churchill, sister of the first duke of Marlborough, John Churchill. In 1802 after the death of the 13th duchess, who was childless, the dukedom passed to her relative, the duke of Berwick, a Spanish nobleman.

Death[edit]

The Duchess died in the Palacio de las Dueñas on November 20, 2014, at the age of 88. She was survived by her last husband, her six children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.[14] She was succeeded by her son Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 14th Duke of Huéscar, who thus became the 19th Duke of Alba.

Funeral[edit]

After her death the Duchess' body was laid in repose at the Town Hall, where thousands of Sevillans paid their last respects. Pictures of the Duchess with her family were placed at her coffin. The King of Spain telephoned her son to pay his respects and sent two flower crowns to Seville. The Lord Mayor said that the flags of the city would be lowered in mourning. Msgrs. Juan José Asenjo and Curro Romero, and Mr. Rajoy also formally paid their respects.[15] Her funeral was held at Seville Cathedral by Msgr. Carlos Amigo Vallejo where the Royal Family were represented by the Infanta Elena.[16]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles[edit]

Coat of arms of Cayetana, 18th Duchess of Alba.
Dukedoms
Count-Dukedoms
Marquessates
  • 17th Marquise of the Carpio, Grandee of Spain
  • 10th Marquise of San Vicente del Barco, Grandee of Spain -Ceded to her son Don Fernando
  • 16th Marquise of La Algaba
  • 16th Marquise of Almenara -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[19]
  • 18th Marquise of Barcarrota
  • 10th Marquise of Castañeda
  • 23rd Marquise of Coria
  • 14th Marquise of Eliche
  • 16th Marquise of Mirallo
  • 20th Marquise of la Mota
  • 20th Marquise of Moya
  • 17th Marquise of Orani -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[20]
  • 12th Marquise of Osera
  • 14th Marquise of San Leonardo
  • 19th Marquise of Sarria
  • 12th Marquise of Tarazona
  • 15th Marquise of Valdunquillo
  • 18th Marquise of Villanueva del Fresno
  • 17th Marquise of Villanueva del Río
Countships
  • 27th Countess of Aranda, Grandee of Spain -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[21]
  • 22nd Countess of Lemos, Grandee of Spain
  • 20th Countess of Lerín, Grandee of Spain, Constabless of Navarre
  • 20th Countess of Miranda del Castañar, Grandee of Spain
  • 16th Countess of Monterrey, Grandee of Spain
  • 20th Countess of Osorno, Grandee of Spain
  • 18th Countess of Palma del Río, Grandee of Spain -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[22]
  • 12th Countess of Salvatierra, Grandee of Spain -Ceded to her son Don Cayetano
  • 22nd Countess of Siruela, Grandee of Spain -Ceded to her son Don Jacobo
  • 19th Countess of Andrade
  • 14th Countess of Ayala
  • 16th Countess of Casarrubios del Monte
  • 16th Countess of Fuentes de Valdepero
  • 11th Countess of Fuentidueña
  • 17th Countess of Galve
  • 18th Countess of Gelves
  • 16th Countess of Guimerá -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[23]
  • 21st Countess of Modica (Kingdom of Sicily)
  • 24th Countess of Ribadeo -Ceded to her son Don Alfonso[24]
  • 25th Countess of San Esteban de Gormaz
  • 12th Countess of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • 20th Countess of Villalba
Viscountcies
  • 12th Viscountess of la Calzada
Manorial lordships
  • 29th Lady of Moguer

Styles[edit]

  • 28 March 1926 – 11 January 1935: The Most Excellent Doña Mª del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva
  • 11 January 1935 – 28 January 1947: The Most Excellent The Duchess of Aliaga
  • 28 January 1947 – 18 February 1955: The Most Excellent The Duchess of Montoro
  • 18 February 1955 – 20 November 2014: The Most Excellent The Duchess of Alba de Tormes

Honours[edit]

Honorary appointments[edit]

  • Constable of Aragon
  • Dame of the Royal Cavalry Armory of Seville
  • Honorary Mayor of Liria (Madrid)
  • Honorary President of the Opera Philharmonic
  • Honorary President of the Spanish Red Cross
  • Marshal of Castilla
  • Member of the Hispanic Society of America, New York
  • Member of Merit of the Royal Hispanic-American Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Cádiz

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Daniel Woolls; Miguel Angel Morenatti (5 October 2011). "Rich Spanish duchess weds for third time at age 85". The Boston Globe. ISSN 0743-1791. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Burgen, Stephen (7 August 2011). "Spanish duchess gives away fortune in order to marry civil servant". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Death Duke of Sotomayor". Hemeroteca.abc.es. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  4. ^ Constenla, Tereixa (14 August 2011). "The duchess marries for love". El País. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Multimedia". Lavozdigital.es. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  6. ^ "First great-granddaughter". Eleconomista.es. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  7. ^ "Nace el tercer bisnieto de la Duquesa de Alba". Vanitatis.com. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Más detalles de la boda de Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Asela Pérez Becerril en el palacio de Liria". Hola.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  9. ^ a b c Stephen Burgen in Barcelona. "newspaper: Spanish duchess gives away fortune in order to marry civil servant, 8 August 2011". Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  10. ^ Algorri, Luis (21 May 2001). "Jesús Aguirre Ortiz de Zárate, Duque de Alba". Personajes Cántabros (in Spanish). Retrieved 2007-04-29.  (Spanish)
  11. ^ "The duchess with everything (except the right to marry)". The Independent (London). 29 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Galaz, Mábel (5 October 2011). "Cayetana ya es señora de Díez". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-10-05.  (Spanish)
  13. ^ a b Ashifa Kassam. "Spain’s eccentric Duchess of Alba dies aged 88". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Duchess of Alba dies". Mail Online. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.teinteresa.es/espana/DUQUESA-ALBA-INFANTA-REPRESENTARA-FUNERAL_0_1252076336.html
  17. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  18. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  19. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  20. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  21. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  22. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  23. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  24. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado– website BOE.es
  25. ^ Royal Decree 1432 of 14 December 2001 – website BOE.es
  26. ^ Decree 889 of 29 March 1974– website BOE.es
  27. ^ Decree 1079 of 1 April 1964 – website BOE.es
  28. ^ Decree 753 of 5 April 1962 – website BOE.es
  29. ^ a b "Ortiz de Pinedo". Ortiz de Pinedo. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 

External links[edit]

Spanish nobility
Preceded by
María del Rosario de Silva
Duchess of Aliaga
11 January 1935 – 23 April 1954
Succeeded by
Alfonso Martínez de Irujo
Marquise of San Vicente del Barco
11 January 1935 – 26 January 1994
Succeeded by
Fernando Martínez de Irujo
Preceded by
Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart
Duchess of Montoro
28 January 1947 – 24 November 1994
Succeeded by
Eugenia Martínez de Irujo
Duchess of Alba de Tormes
Duchess of Berwick

18 February 1955 – 20 November 2014
Succeeded by
Carlos Fitz-James Stuart
The Duke of Huéscar
Countess of Siruela
18 February 1955 – 9 June 1982
Succeeded by
Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart
Preceded by
Alfonso de Silva
Duchess of Híjar
31 December 1957 – 2 April 2013
Succeeded by
Alfonso Martínez de Irujo
Countess of Salvatierra
31 December 1957 – 26 January 1994
Succeeded by
Cayetano Martínez de Irujo
Italian nobility
Preceded by
Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart
Count of Modica
18 February 1955 – 20 November 2014
Succeeded by
Carlos Fitz-James Stuart