Alfonso, Prince of Asturias (1907–1938)

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Prince of Asturias; Count of Covadonga
Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg, Prince of Asturias.jpg
Formal photo portrait by Franzen, 1927
BornMay 10, 1907
Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
DiedSeptember 6, 1938(1938-09-06) (aged 31)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Full name
Alfonso Pío Cristino Eduardo Francisco Guillermo Carlos Enrique Eugenio Fernando Antonio Venancio
FatherAlfonso XIII of Spain
MotherVictoria Eugenie of Battenberg
ReligionRoman Catholic

Alfonso, Prince of Asturias (10 May 1907 – 6 September 1938), was heir apparent to the throne of Spain from birth until he renounced his rights in 1933. He was the eldest son of Alfonso XIII and his wife Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg.

Alfonso's renunciation of his rights as heir to the throne of Spain in order to marry Cuban commoner Edelmira Sampedro caused controversy at the time. A similar situation would take place 3 years later in Britain with his cousin Edward VIII, who would abdicate as King of the United Kingdom to wed American divorcee Wallis Simpson.[1]

He died at the age of 31 as a result of a car accident. Though appearing to have sustained minor injuries, his haemophilia, inherited by him from his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, led to fatal internal bleeding.

Early life[edit]

Alfonso aged 11 wearing the Scout uniform of the Explorers of Spain.

Alfonso was the eldest child of the then-reigning King Alfonso XIII and his wife, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. He inherited the genetic disorder haemophilia from his maternal line, as did a number of his matrilineal relatives. He and his youngest brother Gonzalo were kept in specially-tailored jackets to prevent injury from accidents.

Alfonso's father faced increasing political problems that led Spain to become a Republic in 1931 when the monarch was deposed. The family moved into exile.

Renunciation and marriages[edit]

Alfonso in 1922

There had been plans for young Alfonso's deposition from succession, but ultimately he himself renounced his rights to the then-defunct throne to marry a commoner, Edelmira Sampedro y Robato, in Ouchy on 21 June 1933, after which Alfonso took the courtesy title Count of Covadonga. This was required by the regulations for the succession set by the Pragmatic Sanction of Charles III. The couple divorced 8 May 1937, with Edelmira keeping the title Countess of Covadonga.

Alfonso married Marta Esther Rocafort-Altuzarra in Havana on 3 July 1937. They divorced on 8 January 1938. He had no children by either of his wives. However, Alfonso de Bourbon, a resident of California, later claimed to be an illegitimate son of Alfonso.


A car accident led to Alfonso's early death in 1938, at the age of 31. He crashed into a telephone booth and appeared to have minor injuries but his haemophilia led to fatal internal bleeding. He was entombed at Woodlawn Park Cemetery and Mausoleum (now Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum) in Miami, and was re-entombed in 1985 at the Pantheon of the Princes in El Escorial. His first wife, who had been allowed to retain the title Countess of Covadonga, was asked by the royal family to attend the re-entombment but she declined.

Alfonso was the 1,120th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain and Knight with Collar of the Order of Charles III both in 1907.[2]



  • Pedersen, Jørgen. Riddere af Elefantordenen 1559–2009, Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2009. ISBN 8776744345


  • Time, 12 June 1933
  • El Nuevo Herald, 23 May 2004
  • El Mundo, 2 July 1994

External links[edit]

Alfonso, Prince of Asturias (1907–1938)
Cadet branch of the (aged 31)
Born: 10 May 1907 Died: 6 September 1938
Spanish royalty
Title last held by
Prince of Asturias
Title next held by
Loss of title — TITULAR —
Prince of Asturias
Reason for succession failure:
Second Spanish Republic
Succeeded by