in a party last June with Alfonso
This is not the first post I have written about her and it won’t be the last one but I have to admit she is one of my favourite celebrities in Spain, because of many reasons. And now she is again in the news because she has given away her inmense personal fortune in order to be free to marry his 60 aged fiancé Alfonso Diez.
The children of the Duchess have had until now blocked her plans to marry Alfonso Diez, a civil servant in the department of Social Security who also runs a PR business.
Her six children were all born from her first marriage to Pedro Luis Martinez de Irujo, son of the Duke of Sotomayor, who died in 1972. Being a widowed in 1978 she shocked the nation when she remarried to the former jessuist priest and intellectual Jesus Aguirre y Oritz de Zarate, who died in 2001. And in 2008 a new man appeared in the life of the Duchess, Alfonso Diez, whose relationship was said ti be based on a long friendship and without plans to marry. But things changed and meanwhile the civil servant was getting closer to the Duchess, the opposition of the children to the wedding was noticeable.
On February 26th, Cayetana of Alba criticized their behavior in an radio interview: "We do not know why my kids put difficulty into our relationship. We do not hurt anyone. I hope things will be sorted out. Alfonso wants nothing, he has renounced everything. He doesn’t want anything but me”. At that moment, the Duchess was already clearing out obstacles to their marriage plans.
At the beginning of July, before the family started summer holidays, Cayetana of Alba called all her children to a meeting in the office of notary Luis Nuñez in Madrid. Some weeks later we all learned why, after reading a press report from the Europa Press agency: the duchess had decided to donate part of their fortune in life. At 85, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, the 18th Duchess of Alba and third woman to head the House of Alba in its 539 years of history, the aristocrat with so many titles that it is doubtful if she could recite them by heart, had decided to settle one of the thorniest issues in any family, what do I give to whom?
The duchess’s personal wealth is estimated at between 600m and 3.500bn euros, though she insists she is not that wealthy. She has said: "I have a lot of artworks, but I can’t eat them, can I?". And this is true, there is no doubt, but that includes: hundreds of paintings (velazquez, goyas, tizianos....), waterprints (even one signed by Charles Chaplin and another signed by Empress Eugenia de Montijo), tapestries, pieces of pottery, miniatures, a first edition of Don Quijote, Columbus’ first map of America and the last will and testament of King Fernando el Católico, father of Catherine of Aragon and many more…… But finally the distribution of the main part of the inheritance has been thus:
- Carlos Fitz-James Stuart (Madrid, 1948), the firstborn of the Duchess will receive the title, besides the Fundación Casa de Alba (with its palaces of Liria and Monterrey, among others), the collection of fifty dukedoms, marquis, counties and the responsibility to preserve the historical legacy of the House of Alba.
- Alfonso Martinez de Irujo, duke of Aliaga (Madrid, 1950), will receive the ancient castle of El Tejado (XIV) in Salamanca and several rural plots.
- Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, Earl of Siruela (Madrid, 1954), editorial director of the prestigious Siruela and Atalanta, will receive some rural properties.
- Fernando Martinez de Irujo, Marquis of San Vicente del Barco (Madrid, 1959) will inherit the stately home in Marbella Las Cañas and some farms.
- Cayetano Martinez de Irujo, Count of Salvatierra (Madrid, 1963) will own the palace of San Sebastian and Arbaizenea farmhouse Las Arroyuelas in Seville.
- Eugenia Martinez de Irujo, Duchess of Montoro (Madrid, 1968) will own an estate in Ibiza where the Duchess of Alba is just spending her summer holidays with her boyfriend. Also she will inherit the farmhouse La Pizana.
And the Duchess has also wanted to donate a country estate to eight of his nine grandchildren and the ninth grandchild (son of his firstborn) has inherited El Palacio de las Dueñas in Seville.
And now there is only one thing to wait for: the wedding, which presumably will take place in Seville next September. But meanwhile she is relaxing in Ibiza, perhaps thinking of her big day.......