Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

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Prince Alfonso
Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Egon von Fürstenberg with Prince Alfonso 1955.jpg
Prince Alfonso (right) with his brother-in-law Prince Egon von Fürstenberg in 1955
Born(1924-05-28)28 May 1924
Madrid, Spain
Died21 December 2003(2003-12-21) (aged 79)
Marbella, Spain
Cemetery of Saint Barnabas,
Marbella, Spain
SpousePrincess Ira von Fürstenberg (m. 1955–1960)
Jocelyn Lane (m. 1973–1985)
Marilys Healing (1991–2000)
IssuePrince Christoph of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Princess Arriana of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Désirée zu Hohenlohe
Alfonso Maximiliano Victorio Eugenio Alejandro María Pablo de la Santísima Trinidad y Todos los Santos
FatherPrince Maximilian Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg
MotherMaría de la Piedad de Yturbe y von Scholtz-Hermensdorff, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas

Alfonso Maximiliano Victorio Eugenio Alejandro María Pablo de la Santísima Trinidad y Todos los Santos, Prinz 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.[1]


He was born in Madrid as the eldest son of Prince Maximilian Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg[2] (1897–1968) and his wife, María de la Piedad de Yturbe y von Scholtz-Hermensdorff, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas (1892–1990). She was known as Piedita and was the 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.

On his father's side, Hohenlohe came from a family which traced its history to the 12th century[3] and whose members 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 during the 19th century. His mother Piedad was Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas and 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.

Alfonso had five siblings – Maria Francesca (known as Pimpinella, his eldest sister, Marquesa de Belvís de las Navas), Christian, Elisabeth, Max Emanuel and Beatrice (known as Teñu).[4]

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.

Early life[edit]

Rothenhaus Castle (Červený Hrádek), Czech Republic

Alfonso was educated by private tutors in Bohemia and Spain, learning fluent German, Spanish, French and English.[citation needed] 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.[5] During World War II, Max Egon of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, without having an official function, tried several times in vain to prevent a further escalation of the war in Europe, to contribute to an agreement with Great Britain in the summer of 1940 and from 1942 he repeatedly conspired with diplomats of the Allies with the aim of removing Hitler from power.[6] After World War II, Prince Max Egon was expropriated by the communist government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

Alfonso then moved with his parents to Spain. There he 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.[1] On 3 August 1954, he survived a plane crash in Preston, Connecticut.[citation needed]

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.[3]

Later life[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1] His last wife died on 2 November 2000, apparently taking her own life, the same year he learned he had prostate cancer.[7]

Marriages and issue[edit]


He died in Marbella on 21 December 2003.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Elizabeth Nash (24 December 2003). "Obituaries: Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe". The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2009.[dead link]
  2. ^ María Piedad de Iturbe, marquesa de Belvis de las Navas. Geneall. Retrieved on 27 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV, C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, pp.227–239.
  4. ^ Royal Musings 30 September 2008. Retrieved on 27 July 2015.
  5. ^ Vyšný, Paul, The Runciman Mission to Czechoslovakia, 1938: Prelude to Munich, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire, 2003, ISBN 0-333-73136-0, pp. 215-217.
  6. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Kein Friede mit Deutschland. Die geheimen Gespräche im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939–1941., Munich 1994, and: Max Egon Prinz zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Staatswissenschaftler, Großgrundbesitzer und Privat-Diplomat im Dritten Reich, 1897–1968., in: Lebensbilder aus Baden-Württemberg, vol. 23, Stuttgart 2010, p. 444–471.
  7. ^ "El otoño del "rey" de la fiesta" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 November 2000. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  8. ^ "Alfonso, Prinz zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg : Genealogics".