House of Alba

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House of Alba de Tormes
Escudo de la Casa de Alba.svg
Parent house
Founded15th century
FounderGutierre Álvarez de Toledo
Current headCarlos Fitz-James Stuart, 19th Duke of Alba

The House of Alba de Tormes (Spanish: Casa de Alba de Tormes), commonly known as the House of Alba, is a prominent Spanish aristocratic family that descended from 12th-century nobility of post-conquest Toledo. Their claim to Alba de Tormes dates from 1429, when Gutierre Álvarez de Toledo became Lord of Alba de Tormes while serving as Bishop of Palencia.


In 1472, García Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Count of Alba de Tormes, was elevated to the title of Duke of Alba de Tormes by King Henry IV of Castile. In 1492, the second Duke of Alba de Tormes signed the capitulation of the city of Granada.

During the 16th century, Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba, was given the title of governor general of the Spanish Netherlands. The third duke's first cousin was Doña Eleonor de Toledo, who married Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Through her granddaughter Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, she became the ancestor of many crowned heads and heirs apparent of Europe. Her descendants include Juan Carlos I of Spain, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.[citation needed]

In 1802, María Cayetana de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba, died without any issue and her titles were inherited by a relative, Carlos Miguel Fitz-James Stuart, 14th Duke of Alba. Thus, the dukedom of Alba passed to the senior branch of the House of FitzJames, which took over the patrimony of the House of Alba.[citation needed]

Until 20 November 2014, the head of the House of Alba was Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba. She held the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest number of noble titles, with 57 titles.[1]

The current head of the House of Alba is Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 19th Duke of Alba, who succeeded his mother on 20 November 2014. The family owns a significant collection of art, furniture and historic documents, mainly at the Liria Palace in Madrid.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Most titled person". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  2. ^ Treasures of the House of Alba Retrieved 2017-09-06.

External links[edit]