King Alfonso XIII of Spain
- Born: 17 May 1886, Madrid, Spain
- Marriage: Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena on 31 May 1906
- Died: 28 Feb 1941, Rome, Italy at age 54
Alfonso XIII (Alfonso León Fernando Maria Jaime Isidro Pascual Antonio de Borbon y Austria-Lorena), King of Spain, posthumous son of Alfonso XII of Spain, was proclaimed King at his birth. He reigned from 1886-1931. His mother, Queen Maria Christina, was appointed regent during his minority. In 1902, on attaining his 16th year, the King assumed control of the state.
During his reign Spain lost its last colonies in the Americas (Cuba and Puerto Rico) and the Philippines, lost several wars in North Africa; witnessed the start of the Spanish Generation of 1927, and endured the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, which ultimately cost him the throne.
During the First World War, despite his family connections with both sides and the division of popular opinion, Spain remained neutral. The king ran an office for captives from the Palacio de Oriente, that leveraged the Spanish diplomatic and military network abroad to intercede for thousands of prisoners of war, receiving and answering letters from all Europe.
He was a promoter of tourism in Spain. The problems with the lodging of his wedding guests prompted the construction of the luxury Hotel Palace in Madrid. He also supported the creation of a network of state-run lodges (Parador) in historic buildings of Spain. His fondness for the sport of football led to the patronage of several "royal" football clubs like Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Real Betis and Real Unión.
In approximately 1926, the King commissioned three private erotic movies whose English titles are The Minister, The Confessor, and The Women's Doctor. These movies can be seen at the Barcelona Museum of the Erotic.
When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on April 14, 1931, he left Spain, but did not abdicate the throne. He settled eventually in Rome where he lived in the Grand Hotel.
Once the Spanish Civil War broke out, Alfonso made it clear he favoured the military uprising against the Popular Front government, but General Francisco Franco in September 1936 declared that the Nationalists would never accept Alfonso as king (the supporters of the rival Carlist pretender made an important part of the Franco army). First he went into exile in France. However, he sent his son Juan de Borbon, Count of Barcelona to enter Spain in 1936 and participate in the uprising. However, near the French border, General Mola had him arrested and expelled from the country.
On 15 January 1941, Alfonso XIII abdicated his rights to the Spanish throne in favour of his fourth, but second surviving, son Juan, father of the current king Juan Carlos.
Alfonso died in Rome in 1941. The Spanish government ordered three days of national mourning. His funeral was held in Rome in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He was buried in the Church of Santa Maria di Monserrato, the Spanish national church in Rome, immediately below the tombs of Pope Calixtus III and Pope Alexander VI. In January 1980 his remains were transferred to El Escorial in Spain.
Marriage and children
On May 31, 1906 Alfonso married Scottish-born Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (1887-1969), a niece of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. A Serene Highness by birth, Ena, as she was known, was raised to Royal Highness status a month before her wedding to prevent the union from being viewed as unequal. As Alfonso XIII and Ena were returning from the wedding they narrowly escaped the assassination attempted by the anarchist Mateu Morral; instead, the bomb explosion killed or injured many bystanders and members of the royal procession.
Alfonso and Ena had seven children:
* Infante Alfonso Pio Cristino Eduardo Francisco Guillermo Carlos Enrique Fernando Antonio Venancio of Spain, Prince of Asturias (1907-1938), a hemophiliac, he renounced his rights to the throne in 1933 to marry a commoner, Edelmira Ignacia Adriana Sampedro-Robato, and became Count of Covadonga. He later remarried to Marta Esther Rocafort y Altazarra, but had no issue by either of them.
* Infante Jaime Luitpold Isabelino Enrique Alberto Alfonso Victor Acacio Pedro Maria of Spain (1908-1975), a deaf-mute as the result of a childhood operation, he renounced his rights to the throne in 1933 and became Duke of Segovia, and later Duke of Madrid, and who, as a legitimist pretender to the French throne from 1941 to 1975, was known as the Duke of Anjou.
* Infanta Beatríz Isabela Federica Alfonsa Eugenia Cristina Maria Teresa Bievenida Ladisláa of Spain (1909-2002), who married Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi.
* Infante Fernando, stillborn (1910)
* Infanta Maria Cristina Teresa Alejandra Guadalupe Maria de la Concepción Vittoria Eugenia of Spain (1911-1996), who married Enrico Eugenio Marone-Cinzano, 1st Conte di Marone.
* Infante Juan Carlos Teresa Silvestre Alfonso of Spain (1913-1993), named heir to the throne and Count of Barcelona, whose son is current king Juan Carlos I of Spain.
* Infante Gonzalo Manuel Maria Bernardo Narciso Alfonso Mauricio of Spain (1914-1934), a hemophiliac.
The king also had three illegitimate children:
* By French aristocrat Mélanie de Gaufridy de Dortan:
o Roger Leveque de Vilmorin (1905-1980)
* By Spanish actress Carmen Ruíz Moragas:
o Ana María Teresa Ruíz Moragas (born in 1926, died 19??). Married and had issue.
o Leandro Alfonso Ruíz Moragas (born in 1929), officially recognized by Spanish courts on May 21, 2003 as Leandro Alfonso de Borbón Ruíz. Has married twice and has issue.
Alfonso married Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena, daughter of Prince Henry Maurice of Battenburg and Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore, on 31 May 1906. (Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena was born on 24 Oct 1887 in Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and died on 15 Apr 1969 in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland.)