Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz

Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz bigraphy, stories - Pretender to the thrones France and Spain

Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz : biography

20 April 1936 – 30 January 1989

Alfonso, Duke of Anjou, Duke of Cádiz, Grandee of Spain (Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón y Dampierre, French citizen as Alphonse de Bourbon) (20 April 1936 – 30 January 1989) was a grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and a Legitimist claimant to the defunct throne of France as Alphonse II.


Alfonso was born in the Clinica Santa Anna in Rome,Begoña Aranguren, Emanuela de Dampierre, Memorias: Esposa y madre de los Borbones que pudieron reinar en España (Madrid: Esfera, 2003), 111. the elder son of Infante Jaime of Spain and of his first wife, Donna Emanuela de Dampierre. He was baptised at the home of his maternal grandmother, Donna Vittoria Ruspoli, of the Italian princes di Poggio Suasa, the Palazzo Ruspoli, on the Via del Corso, 418, Rome, by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII).Aranguren, 112; Marc Dem, Le duc d’Anjou m’a dit: La vie de l’aîné des Bourbons (Paris: Perrin, 1989), 16.

Since Alfonso’s mother was not born a princess of royal descent, his grandfather Alfonso XIII did not consider young Alfonso in line to the Spanish throne in accordance with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1776. Alfonso’s father Jaime, however, maintained that his sons were French dynasts with the style of Royal Highness. In Spain up until 1972 Alfonso was generally addressed as Don Alfonso de Borbón y Dampierre. Elsewhere he was often addressed as a prince with the style His Royal Highness.

From his birth Alfonso was considered a French prince with the style His Royal Highness by those legitimists who believed that Alfonso XIII was also the heir to the French throne. When his grandfather died on 28 February 1941, Alfonso’s father Jaime succeeded him in this French claim; Alfonso was thereupon recognised by the legitimists as Dauphin of France.

In 1941 Alfonso moved with his family to Lausanne in Switzerland. They lived first at the Hotel Royal, before Alfonso and his younger brother Gonzalo were sent to the Collège Saint-Jean in Fribourg.Dem, 23. On 8 December 1946 Alfonso made his first communion with his brother, Gonzalo; on the same day he was confirmed by Cardinal Pedro Segura y Sáenz, Archbishop of Seville.Dem, 24.

On 25 November 1950, Alfonso received the title Duc de Bourbon (Duke of Bourbon) from his father.État présent de la Maison de Bourbon, 3e éd. (Paris: Editions de Léopard d’or, 1985), 115.

In the 1960s General Francisco Franco toyed with the idea of naming Alfonso as his successor as Head of State of Spain, before designating Juan Carlos as the future monarch in July 1969. In December 1969 Alfonso was appointed Ambassador of Spain to Sweden, a position he held until 1973.

On 8 March 1972, in the Palace of El Pardo in Madrid, Alfonso married Doña María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, daughter of Don Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquess of Villaverde, and of his wife, Doña Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco (only daughter of General Franco). The witnesses of the marriage were General Franco and Alfonso’s mother. Alfonso and Carmen separated in 1979, received a civil divorce 1982 and an annulment in 1986.

On 22 November 1972, General Franco awarded Alfonso the Spanish title Duque de Cádiz (Duke of Cádiz) with the dignity Grandes de España (Grandee of Spain), and was recognised and granted with the style of Royal Highness. The title Duke of Cádiz was a title used by the Royal House of Spain and had formerly been held by Alfonso’s great-great-grandfather the Infante Francisco de Asís.

On 20 March 1975, Alfonso’s father Jaime died; he was immediately recognised by his supporters as King Alphonse II of France. On 3 August 1975, he took the courtesy title Duc d’Anjou (Duke of Anjou).État présent de la Maison de Bourbon, 3e éd., 115.

From 1977 to 1984 Alfonso was President of the Spanish Skiing Federation. From 1984 to 1987 he was President of the Spanish Olympic Committee."Alfonso de Borbón, 52, of Spain Dies in Colorado Skiing Accident", The New York Times (1 February 1989): A19.