María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco

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María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
prev. Duchess of Anjou and Cádiz
Born (1951-02-26) 26 February 1951 (age 66)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz (m. 1972; div. 1982)
Jean-Marie Rossi
(m. 1984; div. 1995)

José Campos García
(m. 2006)
Issue Francisco de Asís, Duke of Bourbon
Luis Alfonso, Duke of Anjou
María Cynthia Rossi
Full name
María del Carmen Esperanza Alejandra de la Santísima Trinidad
Father Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde
Mother María del Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco

María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco (born 26 February 1951 in Madrid, Spain) is a Spanish aristocrat and social figure. Under Spanish law, since 2006 she precedes her younger brother as heir to her mother's dukedom, and is eligible to be succeeded by and/or to cede that grandeza to her descendants.[1]

Birth and youth[edit]

She was born in the Palacio Real de El Pardo in Madrid and is the daughter of Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde, and Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco Grandee of Spain. Her maternal grandparents were Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, the Spanish Head of State and Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás Grandee of Spain. Her paternal grandparents were José María Martínez y Ortega (1890–1970) and María de la O Bordiú y Bascarán, 7th Countess of Argillo (1896–1980). When Carmen was born in the Palacio del Pardo, the ancient palace of the Spanish Royal Family, she was the first grandchild of General Franco. The palace was their family residence from 1940 when the Spanish Civil War ended and Gen. Franco became the Spanish Head of State. She has six siblings: María de la O (Mariola), Francisco (Francis), María del Mar (Merry), José Cristóbal (Cristóbal), María de Aránzazu (Arantxa), and Jaime Felipe (Jaime).[citation needed]

First marriage[edit]

Carmen was married on 8 March 1972 in the Chapel of the Palace of El Pardo in Madrid when she was 21 years old with Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz, son of Infante Jaime of Spain, Duke of Segovia and grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. General Franco named Alfonso Duke of Cadiz and made him a Royal Highness, making Carmen a princess.

Alfonso and Carmen had two sons:

Gen. Franco died on 20 November 1975 and the family lost their political power. Alfonso and Carmen separated in 1979, received a civil divorce 1982 and an annulment in 1986. Alfonso was given custody of their sons.

Second marriage and family tragedies[edit]

After separating from Alfonso, Carmen lived with a Frenchman of Italian descent, Jean-Marie Rossi (b. Paris, 18 November 1930, 20 years her senior), divorced from Barbara Hottinguer, by whom he had twin daughters Mathilda and Marella in 1971, and a son Frederick, and in Rueil-Malmaison on 11 December 1984 she married him civilly. That year was terrible for the pair. In February, Carmen's son, Francisco de Asís, died in car accident, and a little later Rossi's daughter, Mathilda, died in a boating accident. Carmen then had her last child, María Cynthia Francisca Matilda Rossi, in Paris on 28 April 1985.[2]

In January 1989, her first husband died in a skiing accident in Colorado and Carmen became involved in another losing child custody fight over her son, Luis Alfonso, this time with her former mother-in-law. She and second husband Rossi separated in 1994 and divorced in 1995. She then lived with an Italian gentleman, Roberto Federici, but the relationship ended in 2004. Rossi married a third time to Marie Grimaux, without issue.

Third marriage and first grandchildren[edit]

On 18 June 2006 in Cazalla de la Sierra, Seville, she married a third time to a Spaniard, José Campos García (born in Santander, 13 years her junior). She became a grandmother on 6 March 2007 with the birth of granddaughter Eugenia. In 2006, she was a contestant on "Mira quién baila!" the Spanish version of "Strictly Come Dancing". On 28 May 2010, Carmen had twin grandsons, Luis and Alfonso.

Coat of arms as Duchess of Cádiz 
Current coat of arms 

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Oficial Boletin del Estado, num. 260, 31 October 2006, I. Disposiciones generales: 18869 Ley 33/2006, Articulo 1, Articulo 2, Disposición transitoria unica §3
  2. ^ María Cynthia Francisca Matilda Rossi (in Spanish)
  • Hola magazine website article (in Spanish)
  • 20 Minutos article (in Spanish)
  • José Apezarena, Luis Alfonso de Borbón: Un príncipe a la espera, Plaza & Janés, 2007. (in Spanish)
  • Barrientos, Paloma (2006). Carmen Martínez-Bordiú : a mi manera (in Spanish). Madrid: Ediciones B. pp. 285, [14] p. : il. ; 23 cm. ISBN 978-84-666-2982-9. OCLC 85893891. 
  • Barrientos, Paloma (1994). Carmen Rossi : "la nieta" : biografía. Primer plano. (in Spanish). Barcelona: Ediciones B. pp. 204 p. 24 cm. ISBN 84-406-4746-8. OCLC 434241356. 
  • Marc Dem, Le duc d'Anjou m'a dit - La vie de l'aîné des Bourbons, Perrin, Paris, 1989. ISBN 2-262-00725-X (in French)
  • Zavala, José M. (José María) (2008). El Borbón non grato : la vida silenciada y la muerte violenta del duque de Cadiz (in Spanish). Barcelona: Altera. pp. 438 p., [32] p. of plates : col. ill., facsims. ; 25 cm. ISBN 978-84-96840-38-6. 
  • Peñafiel, Jaime. La nieta y el General : tres bodas y un funeral (in Spanish). Madrid: EdicionesTemas de Hoy. pp. 255 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. ISBN 978-84-8460-609-3. 
María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
Born: 26 February 1951
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Emmanuelle de Dampierre
Legitimist Queen Consort of France and of Navarre
20 March 1975 – 1986
(ended with annulment following divorce)
Title next held by
María Margarita Vargas y Santaella