Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde

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Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú
Marquis of Villaverde
Consort Duke of Franco
Spouse María del Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco
Issue María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú, Duchess of Anjou and Cádiz
María de la O Martínez-Bordiú
Francisco Franco, 11th Marquis of Villaverde
María del Mar Martínez-Bordiú
José Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú
María de Aránzazu Martínez-Bordiú
Jaime Felipe Martínez-Bordiú
Father José María Martínez y Ortega
Mother María de la O Esperanza Bordiú y Bascarán, 7th Countess of Argillo
Born (1922-08-01)1 August 1922
Mancha Real, Spain
Died 4 February 1998(1998-02-04) (aged 75)
Madrid, Spain
Burial Almudena Cathedral

Don Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú y Ortega, 10th Marquis of Villaverde (1 August 1922 Jaén, Mancha Real, Spain - 4 February 1998 Madrid, Spain) was a Spanish aristocrat and noted heart surgeon.


He was born Cristóbal Martínez y Bordiú, son of José María Martínez y Ortega (Jaén, Mancha Real, 24 October 1890 - Mancha Real, 10 November 1970) and wife (m. Sabiñán, 2 February 1918) María de la O Esperanza Bordiú y Bascarán (Madrid, 19 December 1896 - Mancha Real, 12 December 1980), 7th Countess of Argillo. He was one of the four children that the Counts of Argillo’s had. Even though they did not have as many titles as the Duchess of Alba, they had enough to give each of their sons a title. Andrés Martínez-Bordiú was made the 15th Count of Morata de Jalón, José María Martínez-Bordiú was made the Baron of Gotor, Tomás Martínez-Bordiú was made the Baron of Illueca and Cristóbal was made the 10th Marquess of Villaverde. When he was 23 he graduated from Medical School.

Marriage and children[edit]

He was married on 10 April 1950 in the Palacio Real de El Pardo with María del Carmen Franco y Polo, the future Duchess of Franco, the daughter of the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco (1939–1975). There were more than 800 attending the wedding. It was performed by the Bishop Leopoldo Eijo y Garay of the Diocese of Madrid (now Archdiocese of Madrid). This wedding made him acquire a great social relevance in the Spain of General Franco, he was nicknamed the Yernísimo (this is a clear reference to the title of Generalísimo of his father-in-law, as yerno in Spanish means son-in-law, although in Spanish the suffix -ísimo can only be added to certain adjectives to indicate "more than", but it can never be used with nouns). In 13 years, he and his wife had seven children:

  • María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. El Pardo, 26 February 1951), who married firstly to Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz, son of Infante Jaime of Spain, Duke of Segovia and grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain divorced in 1982 and had issue; married secondly in 1984 to Jean-Marie Rossi divorced in 1995 and had issue; married thirdly in 2006 to José Campos García, without issue.
  • María la O (Mariola) Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. El Pardo, 19 November 1952), married in El Pardo on 14 March 1974 Rafael Ardid y Villoslada (b. 1 February 1947), and had issue:
    • Francisco de Borja Ardid y Martínez-Bordiú (b. Madrid, 20 December 1975), married in Ciudad Real on 23 July 2005 María Ruiz y Vega
    • Jaime Rafael Ardid y Martínez-Bordiú (b. Madrid, 28 September 1976)
    • Francisco Javier Ardid y Martínez-Bordiú (b. Madrid, 7 April 1987)
  • Francisco Franco, 11th Marquis of Villaverde (b. 9 December 1954)
  • María del Mar (Merry) Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. 6 July 1956), married firstly at the Pazo de Meirás on 3 August 1977 and divorced in 1982 Joaquín José Giménez-Arnau y Puente (b. 14 September 1943), and had issue, and married secondly in New York City, New York, on 4 August 1986 and divorced in 1991 Gregor Tamler, without issue:
    • Leticia Giménez-Arnau y Martínez-Bordiú (b. 25 January 1979), married on 8 August 2008 Marcos Sagrera y Palomo
  • José Cristóbal (Cristóbal) Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. El Pardo, 10 February 1958), married civilly in New York City, New York, on 23 November 1984 and religiously in Madrid on 27 October 1990 Model Josefina Victoria Toledo y López (b. San José de Tirajana, Canary Islands, 1963), and had issue:
    • Daniel Martínez-Bordiú y Toledo (b. Madrid, 11 June 1990)
    • Diego Martínez-Bordiú y Toledo (b. Madrid, 4 May 1998)
  • María de Aránzazu (Arantxa) Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. 16 September 1962), married at the Pazo de Meirás on 27 July 1996 Claudio Quiroga y Ferro, without issue.
  • Jaime Felipe (Jaime) Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (b. 8 July 1964), married in Madrid on 24 November 1995 Nuria March y Almela (b. July 1966), and had issue:
    • Jaime Martínez-Bordiú y March (b. Madrid, 13 November 1999)

First Heart Transplant[edit]

Since he was a heart surgeon and great friend and admirer of Dr. Christiaan Barnard, he became the first Spaniard to perform a heart transplant in September 1968. The patient only survived 24 hours. (On a visit to Spain Dr. Barnard sat next to his friend and said jokingly “I am a surgeon who wants to be a playboy and he is a playboy that wishes to be a surgeon”)


He died in Madrid on 4 February 1998 and was succeeded as marquis by his eldest son, Francisco Franco, 11th Marquis of Villaverde.