Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
|Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
|Born||28 May 1924|
|Died||21 December 2003 (aged 79)|
|Spouse||Princess Ira von Fürstenberg (m. 1955–1960)|
Jocelyn Lane (m. 1973–1985)
Marilys Healing (1991–2000)
|Issue||Prince Christoph of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Princess Arriana of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Désirée zu Hohenlohe
|Father||Prince Maximilian Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
|Mother||María de la Piedad de Yturbe y von Scholtz-Hermensdorff, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas|
Prince Alfonso Maximiliano Victorio Eugenio Alejandro María Pablo de la Santísima Trinidad y Todos los Santos zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (28 May 1924 – 21 December 2003) was a Spanish businessman known for his promotion of the Spanish resorts of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. He also founded the Marbella Club Hotel.
He was born in Madrid, the eldest son of Prince Maximilian Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1897–1968) and his wife María de la Piedad de Yturbe y von Scholtz-Hermensdorff, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas (known as Piedita) (1892–1990) daughter of Manuel Adrián de Yturbe y del Villar, Mexican ambassador to St. Petersburg, Vienna, Paris and Madrid, and María de la Trinidad von Scholtz-Hermensdorff y Caravaca, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas. Hohenlohe came, on his father's side, from a family which traced its history to the 12th century and were reigning Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in Württemberg until Napoleon I's invasion. He descended from a younger, Catholic branch that had inherited property in Bohemia in the 19th century. His mother Piedad was Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas, granddaughter of Francisco-María de Yturbe, Mexican Minister of Finance, of Basque origin. King Alfonso XIII of Spain was his godfather at a christening in the royal palace.
The hereditary wealth of the Hohenlohe family was depleted in the 20th century. His mother lost estates in the Mexican Revolution, and after the fall of the Third Reich, property in Germany and Czechoslovakia disappeared behind the iron curtain.
Alfonso was educated by private tutors in Bohemia and Spain, learning fluent German, Spanish, French and English. His father owned Rothenhaus Castle (today Červený Hrádek Castle in Jirkov, Czech Republic) where he tried to prevent the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler in 1938 through diplomatic negotiations with the British government. In August 1938, the British mediator in the dispute between Germany and Czechoslovakia over the Sudetenland, Lord Runciman, met the leader of the Sudeten German Party (SdP), Konrad Henlein, at Rothenhaus Castle − to no avail. After World War II, Prince Max Egon was expropriated by the communist government.
Alfonso then discovered the idyllic fishing village Marbella on a trip and decided to buy land there in 1947. He sold plots to various rich and powerful friends, including the Rothschild and Thyssen families and Ferdinand von Bismarck. In 1954 he created the Marbella Club, the Costa del Sol's first luxury hotel, attracting many celebrities of the time to the former fishing village. On 3 August 1954, he survived a plane crash in Preston, Connecticut.
The family fortune was replenished by Alfonso's marriage in 1955 to the 15-year-old Austrian-Italian Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, a Fiat heiress. The bride's youth evoked some scandal in high society, but the couple had obtained a papal dispensation for the marriage and 400 guests attended a 16-day wedding party. Five years later, the marriage was dissolved by divorce in Mexico City after Ira left him to marry notorious 1950s playboy Francisco "Baby" Pignatari, another papal dispensation being obtained, this time for an annulment, from the Church in 1969.
After the divorce, the prince had much-publicised relationships with actresses Ava Gardner and Kim Novak. In 1973, he married actress Jocelyn Lane. This too was a stormy partnership, and ended in divorce in 1985.
In the 1990s, the property speculator Jesus Gil y Gil became mayor of Marbella, and the town entered a construction boom. The prince pulled out, selling his shares in the Marbella Club due to the area's increasing association with Arab arms traffickers and Russian mafia, whose conspicuous consumption was peppered with violence. He moved to the town of Ronda and successfully turned his efforts to wine-making, with new wife Marilys Haynes. His last wife died on 2 November 2000, apparently taking her own life, the same year he learned he had prostate cancer.
Marriages and issue
- He married his first wife HSH Princess Ira zu Fürstenberg on 17 September 1955 (civil) and 21 September 1955 (religious) in Venice, Italy; and the couple were divorced in 1960, annulled in 1969. They had two sons: Prince Christoph "Kiko" von Hohenlohe (1956–2006) and Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1959–).
- He married his second wife Jocelyn Lane on 3 May 1973, in Marbella, with whom he had a daughter Princess Arriana Theresa (b. 1975).
- He married Marilys Healing (1941–2000) on 15 February 1991, in Vaduz.
- With former model Heidi Balzer he also has extramarital daughter, Désirée, Countess d'Ursel (b. 1980). 
He died in Marbella on 21 December 2003.
|Ancestors of Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.|
- Elizabeth Nash (24 December 2003). "Obituaries: Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe". The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2009.[dead link]
- María Piedad de Iturbe, marquesa de Belvis de las Navas. Geneall. Retrieved on 27 July 2015.
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV, C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, pp.227–239.
- Royal Musings 30 September 2008. Royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 27 July 2015.
- Vyšný, Paul, The Runciman Mission to Czechoslovakia, 1938: Prelude to Munich, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire, 2003, ISBN 0-333-73136-0, pp. 215-217.
- "El otoño del "rey" de la fiesta" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 November 2000. Retrieved 19 November 2009.