Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba

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Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart
Duke of Alba (more)
Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba.jpg
The Duke of Alba on the day of his marriage, wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III and other decorations.
Spouse(s) María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay, 9th Marquise of San Vicente del Barco
Noble family House of FitzJames, House of Alba
Father Carlos María Fitz-James Stuart, 16th Duke of Alba
Mother María del Rosario Falcó, 21st Countess of Siruela
Born 17 October 1878
Madrid, Spain
Died September 24, 1953(1953-09-24) (aged 74)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Buried Monastery of Inmaculada Concepción (Loeches)

Don Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Falcó, 17th Duke of Alba de Tormes, Grandee of Spain (Madrid, Spain, 17 October 1878 - Lausanne, Switzerland, 24 September 1953) was a Spanish noble, diplomat, politician and art collector. He was one of the most important aristocrats of his time, and held, among other titles, the Dukedoms of Alba de Tormes and Berwick, the Countship of Lemos, Lerín and Montijo and the Marquessate of Carpio. He was also a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece of Spain in 1926.[1]

Marriage and family[edit]

The Duke was son of Carlos María Fitz-James Stuart, 16th Duke of Alba and María del Rosario Falcó, 21st Countess of Siruela. He married in London on 7 October 1920, María del Rosario de Silva, 9th Marquise of San Vicente del Barco (Madrid, 4 April 1900 - Madrid, 11 January 1934) and had a single daughter, Cayetana, who inherited all the family's titles and fortune.

Diplomatic career[edit]

He served as Lord of the Bedchamber to the young King Alfonso XIII, who had acceded on his birth. In May 1902 royal visitors came to Madrid for the festivities to mark the King´s birthday and enthronement. The duke received the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) from the Duke of Connaught who was present for the festivities.[2][3]

Between 2 February 1930 and 18 February 1931 Alba was Foreign Minister in Spain. During the Spanish Civil War, the Communists occupied his residence, the Palace of Liria (which his daughter later restored), and murdered his younger brother Hernando Carlos Maria Theresa FitzJames Stuart y Falco (1882-1936). Alba became General Franco's official representative in London. He was still the Ambassador there in 1939, when Neville Chamberlain's cabinet formally gave Franco's Nationalists diplomatic recognition.

Following World War II, Alba's relations with Franco markedly cooled, the result of Alba supporting a prompt monarchist restoration much more than Franco did. He was a leading guest at the 1947 wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[4]

Olympic career[edit]

He won a silver medal in the 1920 Olympic Games polo event.[5]


Titles and styles[edit]




  • 16th Marquis of the Carpio, Grandee of Spain
  • 22nd Marquis of Coria
  • 19th Marquis of Moya
  • 17th Marquis of Barcarrota
  • 18th Marquis of Sarria
  • 19th Marquis of Ardales -Ceded to his sister Doña Sol
  • 17th Marquis of Villanueva del Fresno
  • 16th Marquis of Villanueva del Río
  • 19th Marquis of la Mota
  • 13th Marquis of Eliche
  • 11th Marquis of Osera
  • 11th Marquis of Tarazona
  • 13th Marquis of San Leonardo
  • 15th Marquis of la Albaga


  • 19th Count of Lerín, Grandee of Spain, Constable of Navarre
  • 21st Count of Lemos, Grandee of Spain
  • 19th Count of Osorno, Grandee of Spain
  • 21st Count of Siruela, Grandee of Spain
  • 15th Count of Monterrey, Grandee of Spain
  • 24th Count of San Esteban de Gormaz
  • 20th Count of Miranda del Castañar
  • 19th Count of Villalba
  • 17th Count of Gelves
  • 18th Count of Andrade
  • 15th Count of Fuentes de Valdepero
  • 16th Count of Galve
  • 15th Count of Casarrubios del Monte
  • 10th Count of Fuentidueña
  • 13th Count of Ayala
  • 11th Count of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • 10th Earl of Tinmouth


  • 11th Viscount of la Calzada



  • The Most Excellent The Duke of Huéscar (1878–1901).
  • The Most Excellent The Duke of Alba de Tormes (1901–1953).
  • His Grace The Duke of Berwick (1901-1953).


Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Carlos María Fitz-James Stuart
Duke of Alba
Succeeded by
Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart
Preceded by
Empress Eugénie
Marquis of Ardales
Succeeded by
Jaime de Mitjans
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Carlos María Fitz-James Stuart
Duke of Berwick
Succeeded by
Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart