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Friday, 19 December 2014


The Spanish royal family have released their first Christmas card since King Felipe VI  and Queen Letizia took the Spanish throne earlier in 2014. The elegant magenta card features two images from the coronation, one of Felipe and Letizia with their two daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia. And the second picture, on the back, was taken after the excitement of the morning's coronation, when it was time for the new King and Queen of Spain on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Madrid, where the couple beamed and waved down to the crowds of well-wishers who had gathered to witness the historic moment.

The card has a message in Spanish and English: "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015", as well as a personalised message from the Spanish royal family, which reads: "That the excitement, the hope, and the goodwill of Christmas remain beyond these days of celebration."

The magenta card also featured eight-year-old Princess Leonor's first signature which includes the title, Princesa de Asturias.

The family also shared a card from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

Sunday, 23 November 2014


As a little tribute to the recently deceased Duchess of Alba I want to publish again a post about her which I wrote and posted in 2011 in this blog. It said as follows:

"The Duchess of Alba, the grandest grandee in Spain, is said to be able to cross the country from north to south without leaving her estates, and possess more titles than the Queen of England and of highter rank.

The duchess of Alba is very popular in Spain and very well known abroad, where even she was in the best dressed Vanity Fair last year.

Though it seems international press is starting to name her as "the rocker duchess", I do prefer to name her as the hippy duchess, because she has been always a very free woman, very determined to do her own, following the live and let live hippy motto, because she has always dressed in her own hippy style and because she has always liked to spend holidays in Ibiza (the hippy paradise in Spain).

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva was born at the Palace of Liria on March 28th, 1926, in Madrid. The palace houses Francisco de Goya's full-length portrait of Cayetana's ancestor, The Duchess of Alba, reputed to have been his lover and model for his masterworks, The Clothed Maja and The Naked Maja.

A dazzling beauty in her youth, possessor of 44 noble titles and 150 hereditary ones, in fact according to Guinness World Records, she has more titles recognized by an existing government than any other noble. The duchess is renowned for her forthright character, forged during a high-rolling spell in England in the Second World War where her father, the 17th Duke, was Spanish ambassador in London.

In 1947 she married Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artacoz, son of the Dukes of Sotomayor, in "the most expensive wedding in the world", according to the press on that date. The couple lived mostly in the ancestral Las Dueñas palace in Seville, and had six children. She is said to have enjoyed a lively love life. The father of her fourth son, Fernando, is widely reported not to have been her husband but the Sevillian flamenco dancer Antonio el Bailarin ("the dancer").

After her husband's death in 1972, the duchess controversially married the free-thinking former Jesuit priest Jesus Aguirre y Ortiz de Zarate, in 1978. On his death in 2001, the title and property reverted to Cayetana. Dedicated Alba-watchers say her six children are split over their mother's marriage plans.

But despite wealth and her bluest of blue blood, Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, 84, is being denied her heart's desire after her children scotched her plans to marry a civil servant 24 years her junior, Alfonso Diez, who says when he is interviewed that he has been in love with the duchess since thirty years ago. "They don't want me to marry, but they change partners more often than I do," the duchess complain about her six children, all of whom made high-profile marriages that ended in divorce. She admits to furious rows with her children over her marriage plans.
Her sons Carlos, Alfonso and Cayetano, are said to oppose the match, while Jacobo, Fernando and Eugenia want their mother to do what makes her happy. At present, Carlos, her eldest son, stands to inherit everything. He has progressively assumed responsibility for the family holdings since Aguirre's death. That may change if she marries again.

The House of Alba fears for the safety of a sumptuous patrimony should the twice-widowed duchess marry a third time. The duchess is mistress of a fabulous collection of estates, palaces and artworks, including portraits by Goya of an illustrious antecedent said to have been the artist's lover.

With her piping, querulous voice and eye-popping outfits, the duchess is constantly in the public eye at society weddings and bullfights featuring her ex-son-in-law Francisco ("Fran") Rivera Ordóñez, a popular torero (bullfighter) from a distinguished bullfighting family.

Some gossip columnists hint that Mr Diez is little more than a carpet- bagger battening upon a frail old woman estranged from her children. Others say it's bit much if Spain's top aristocrat can't choose her own partner for her twilight years.

The fact is that Cayetana de Alba is much more happier since she is dating Alfonso Diez, her health is better and she travels a lot with his boyfriend. But will she finally do her will in this matter and get married to the civil servant? Who knows? Let’s time passes by and we all see!

The Duchess of Alba and his last and third great love finally got married in October, 2011.

Duchess of Alba, many people will miss you because of many reasons, for your joy of life, for your spontaneity with everyone (rich or poor) and specially for your free spirit so far from a sourpuss aristocracy.

Duchess, rest in peace.

Thursday, 10 July 2014



“Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.” ― Henry David Thoreau 

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” ― John Keats

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck

“I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay

“A man says a lot of things in summer he doesn’t mean in winter.” ― Patricia Briggs, Dragon Blood

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” ― Kenny Chesney

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” ― Yoko Ono

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” ― George R.R. Martin

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.” ― George R.R. Martin

“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” ― Aristotle

 “If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…” ― Evelyn Waugh
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ― Charles Bowden

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.” ― Deb Caletti

“Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.” ― Nora Ephron

“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?” ― Dodie Smith

 “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” ― William Shakespeare

“Some of the best memories are made in flip flops.” ― Kellie Elmore 

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” ― Jeannette Walls
“In summer the empire of insects spreads.” ― Adam Zagajewski

“A breeze, a forgotten summer, a smile, all can fit into a storefront window.” ― Dejan Stojanovic 

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” ― L.M. Montgomery 

“The days draw out, the weather gets warmer, and it’s what we call summer, with a bitter laugh when we’ve said it.” ― Stan Barstow 

“It’s summer and time for wandering…” ― Kellie Elmore
“That familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F Scott Fitzgerald 

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” ― Sylvia Plath

“Watching the summer close is like watching a good kid die for no apparent reason.” ― Darnell Lamont Walker

And with this post I want to wish from the blog Sangria, Sol y Siesta a very 

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