Monday, May 13, 2013

The Duchess of Alba

A descendant of James II, she carries on the name and lineage of the Royal Stuarts. From the Mail Online:
The Duchess, or María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, to give her the full name, is Spain's richest woman, has more recognised titles than any other noble in the world and is a distant relative of both Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

As the head of the House of Alba, and the 18th Duchess, her property portfolio includes castles, palaces, country houses and land across Spain - with the most famous being the Liria Palace in Madrid, where she was born. As well as the eccentric Duchess, the palace is also thought to be home to 249 oil paintings by artists including Rembrandt, Goya, Van Dyck and Rubens, as well as the Alba Bible which dates back to 1430.

The Duchess is a descendant of King James II of England, through his illegitimate son James Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick whose mother was Arabella Churchill, the sister of the Duke of Marlborough. 

She is therefore distantly related to Sir Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales, who were descendants of Arabella‘s daughter Henrietta Fitz-James. Her godmother was Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and although her supreme title is Duchess of Alba, she has more than 44 other noble titles, and 150 hereditary ones. She is a duchess seven times over, a countess 19 times and a marquesa 23 times. Despite her privileged past, in her latest tome the Duchess said that her life 'had not been easy'. (Read entire article.)

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