Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Royal Celebration in Bucharest: Thirty Years Since Margarita of Romania Returned to Her Homeland

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This week, the Romanian royal house will be commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the first visit to Romania of Crown Princess Margarita, eldest daughter of King Michael and Queen Anne. On this maiden trip, which began on 18 January 1990, Margarita was accompanied by her younger sister Princess Sophie.

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The itinerary for the celebrations are outlined below:
Friday, 17 January, at 6:00pm
Double book launch at Cărturești Carusel, Lipscani street no. 55, Bucharest. In the presence of Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown, the book Margareta. Trei decenii ale Coroanei by Sandra Gătejeanu-Gheorghe will be presented at the Curtea Veche Publishing House. The publication Lumea Majestății Sale by Alexandru Muraru and Daniel Șandru will be presented at Corint Publishing House. Entrance to the public is free. 
Saturday, 18 January, at 12:00pm
The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation has organised an anniversary event at the National Theater to celebrate 30 years since the organization was founded. The event will be attended by Her Majesty Margareta, Prince Radu, and Princess Sofia, as well as personalities from the country and abroad who have supported the foundation since 1990: collaborators, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and members of today's collective of the foundation. Only those with invitations will be able to attend. 
Saturday, 18 January, at 2:30pm
Romanian television will present, on TVR1, a special edition of the show "The King's Hour". The show can be watched the same day on TVR Moldova at 3:00pm and on TVR International at 5:00pm. 
Saturday, 18 January, at 7:00pm
Live broadcast of the Royal Concert from the Romanian Athenaeum on TVR3 and Radio Romania Music. 
Saturday, 18 January, at 7:00pm
A gala concert will be held at the Romanian Athenaeum in the presence of Custodian of the Crown Margareta, Prince Radu, and Princess Sofia, along with one hundred people from the country and abroad who have supported the Royal Family since the early days of 1990. Also, there are invited 600 guests from Romania, representatives of all areas of Romanian life, with whom the Royal Family has collaborated during the past thirty years. Only those with invitations will be able to attend. 
On the stage of the Athenaeum, great personalities of today's Romanian music will rise. Conductor Tiberiu Soare will lead the Royal Chamber and the Royal Choir. Along with them will play violinist Remus Azoiței, pianist Alexandra Dăriescu, soprano Valentina Nafornița, tenor Teodor Ilincăi, and as guest of honor, soprano Nelly Miricioiu. 
Saturday, 18 January, at 11:45pm
TVR1 will broadcast the concert “Margareta. Trei decenii ale Coroanei” from the Romanian Athenaeum.
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According to the website of Casa Regala, these events will be attended by Custodian of the Crown Margarita, Prince Radu, Princess Helen, Mr. Alexander Nixon, and Princess Sophie. For whatever reason, Princess Marie of Romania as well as Prince Nicholas and Princess Alina-Maria of Romania, the youngest sister and nephew and niece of the Custodian of the Crown, respectively, do not appear to have been invited to this family celebration. Besides those already mentioned, the attendance of French journalist Stéphane Bern, Swedish royal reporter Roger Lundgren, and Belgian aristocrat Marquis Olivier de Trazegnies. Crown Prince Leka of Albania is the only foreign royal who will be present for the weekend's festivities.

Did J.F.K. Have A Lovechild With A Royal Balkan Princess? The Answer Depends On Who You Ask!

A Right Royal Conundrum.
Photograph (c) Marko Todorović, Tanjug/Tanja Valič, Wikipedia/White House Press Office
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Over the past week, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (b.1936) and her youngest daughter Christina Oxenberg have been going back and forth through Balkan media outlets over a rather personal issue: who was Christina's *real* father? Christina has stated that when she was a teenager, her mother Elizabeth told Christina that Christina's biological dad was actually John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963), the 35th President of the United States of America. Elizabeth has stated that she never told her daughter any such thing. Christina insists that her mum did, indeed! So, let us look at the facts...

Mr. Howard Oxenberg in 1960.
The Oxenberg/Karageorgevich marriage license: riddled with errors.
On 21 January 1961, the attractive twenty-five year-old Elizabeth married Howard Oxenburg (1919 - 2010), who was seventeen years her senior, at Manassas, Virginia. The couple had been an item for over a year; indeed, the news rags had incorrectly reported that the couple had eloped in either June or July  of 1960. Needless to say, Elizabeth's parents Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga (née Greece and Denmark) were not thrilled with the match; they had hoped that their daughter would find a nice royal man with whom to settle down. Furthermore, although Howard was well to do, being a successful clothes manufacturer, he had only recently divorced from his first wife, with whom he had children. Thus, the Yugoslav royal couple were rather let down at their daughter's (first) marriage.

Baby Oxenberg/Karageorgevich # 1 arrives in September 1961.
This article appeared in The Kansas City Times of Kansas City, Missouri, on 23 September 1961.
Almost eight months to the day after their wedding, Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Howard Oxenberg welcomed the arrival of their first child, Catherine Oxenberg, who was born in New York City on 22 September 1961.

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Early in the following year, 1962, the following blurbs started appearing in the American press:

The Oxenbergs and the Kennedys hanging out in Palm Beach in early 1962.
This article appeared in the Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia, on 18 February 1962.
The Oxenbergs dance the night away at White House dinner with Jackie and JFK.
This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Press of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 18 February 1962. 
Articles reported that Howard and Elizabeth Oxenberg (née Yugoslavia) had spent a weekend with President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at Palm Beach in early 1962. The Oxenbergs had also attended a dinner party hosted by the Kennedys at the White House, where Elizabeth was noted as "slim, sun-tanned, [and] brown-haired" and being "one of the most stunning" guests of the soirée. Aside from the trip to Palm Beach and the party at the White House, there are no other reports of the Oxenbergs and the Kennedys commingling at the beginning of 1962. However, this does not mean that there could not have been private social visits.

Baby Oxenberg/Karageorgevich # 2 is on the way!
This article appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah, on 29 May 1962.
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia arrives back in N.Y.C. from Milan to prepare (again) for impending motherhood.
In 1962, Howard and Elizabeth Oxenberg were living at 983 Park Avenue in New York City. As was the norm, Elizabeth spent a fair part of that year traveling to the Caribbean and Europe on her Greek diplomatic passport. On 2 February, she arrived back in New York City after a vacation to Nassau, Bahamas. On 1 April, Elizabeth was back in the Big Apple after a hop over to London. On 7 May, the princess again returned to NYC from another trip to Nassau. On 29 May 1962, Howard and/or Elizabeth (via the media) let it be known that they were expecting their second child. On 16 August, Elizabeth came back to her Park Avenue apartment after flying in from Milan. She had been visiting her parents Prince Paul and Princess Olga at their villa in Florence. After her Italian interlude, the by-then quite pregnant princess stayed put in the States.

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Howard and Elizabeth Oxenberg
Elizabeth and Howard Oxenberg spent the first weekend of November 1962 at Templeton, the Long Island home of Winston and C. Z. Guest. At this point, Elizabeth was expecting to give birth in about six weeks ( - she had to wait eight). Among the nearly sixty guests of the Guests were the following: Elsa Maxwell (who wrote all about it later), British film director Peter Glenville, British actress Margaret Leighton, American actor/painter/writer/jack-of-all-trades Anthony Quinn, and Reed Vreeland (Diana's husband). In her column of 8 November, Elsa Maxwell recalled that Elizabeth was the most attractive girl at the party - "without question." Howard Oxenberg was "a handsome, charming, and romantic man." Elsa and Elizabeth chatted about Elizabeth's only surviving brother, Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, whom Elsa had seen in France the previous month. Alexander had asked Elsa, "Do you see much of my sister Elizabeth, or doesn't she go anywhere?" Elsa replied: "What do you mean by asking if Elizabeth goes anywhere? Do you mean is she bienvenue, is she well-received in New York because she married a clothing manufacturer?" When Elsa told Elizabeth of this conversation, Elizabeth remarked that her brother was "a terrible snob." Elsa went on to gently chide Elizabeth about the fact that Elizabeth's sister-in-law and Alexander's wife, Maria Pia of Savoy, had not attended the April in Paris Ball. Elsa had been expecting to see Pia there. Elizabeth responded with a droll: "I can't be responsible for what a sister-in-law does. I am only responsible for myself." The last remark of Elizabeth is rather telling, in hindsight. She could not possibly know that her sister-in-law Pia of Savoy would give birth in just five months time to a second set of twins; the father of these twins was not Elizabeth's brother/Pia's husband Prince Alexander. Alas, that is another story of complicated paternity.

Christina Oxenberg is born.
This article appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 9 January 1963.
On 27 December 1962, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Mrs. Howard Oxenberg, gave birth to her second daughter, Christina, in New York City. Princess Olga of Yugoslavia had flown in from Europe to be with her daughter and to be present at her granddaughter's birth. Queen Mother Helen of Romania (née Greece and Denmark) was Christina's godmother: Queen Mother Helen and Christina's grandmother Princess Olga were first cousins.

Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia with daughters Catherine and Christina.
Marriage on the rocks: Howard Oxenberg and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia divorce.
This article appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 29 May 1966.
Elizabeth Balfour (née Yugoslavia; formerly Oxenberg) with daughters Catherine and Christina in 1969.
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By 1966, the Oxenberg/Yugoslavia marriage had run its course. Over the years, gossip had it that the couple was frequently on the verge of divorce. Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Mr. Howard Oxenberg went their separate ways: she moved to Chelsea with her daughters, and he remained in New York. Both Elizabeth and Howard remarried and divorced...several times.

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Now, we will fast forward to the present day. Christina Oxenberg is an author who lives in the United States. She has written several books: Taxi (1986), the novel Royal Blue (1998; republished in 2014), a compilation of short stories entitled When In Doubt...Double The Dosage (2014; after its publication, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. remarked: "A laugh on every page, Christina Oxenberg is one of the most lethal wits of the western world."), Princess Margaret's Coat (2017), and a history of her royal Serbian relations titled Dynasty: A True Story (2018). Her mother Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia resides in Belgrade; the princess was able to get the Serbian government to retain to her the ownership of a small villa that belonged to her mother Princess Olga. The princess has worked successfully to rehabilitate the reputation and legal status in Serbia of her father Prince Regent Paul, who had been declared an enemy of the state during the long Communist rule in the country. Both women are accomplished in their own right.

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The crux of the issue between the two now is the issue of Christina's paternity. Last year, Christina wrote that Princess Elizabeth had told her daughter that Christina's actual father was U.S. President John F. Kennedy...not Howard Oxenberg, to whom Elizabeth was married at the time. Last week, Princess Elizabeth gave a statement that was picked up by several Balkan news organisations saying that her daughter is a liar and that she [Elizabeth] never told her daughter that J.F.K. was her biological dad. In response, via a statement given to other news organisations, Christina responded to her mother's statement by affirming that her mum did, indeed, tell her that John F. Kennedy was her biological father. Obviously, mother and daughter are not on speaking terms...unless you count communicating with one another through interviews in the press. Further, the final answer to this question of paternity can only be definitively answered by a DNA test. In the meantime, if one wonders whether Christina Oxenberg is the daughter of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, it will depend on how one looks at it. If you ask Christina, she will tell you that she is J.F.K.'s daughter because her mother told her so. Yet, if you ask Elizabeth, she will tell you that she never said anything of the sort. Regardless, one thing is a fact: Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia did meet President John Kennedy several times in the early months of 1962.

Oy vey!

Sources:
Princess Elizabeth's daughter exclusively for Telegraf: My mom told me I was Kennedy's daughter

Ćerka princeze Jelisavete šokira novim detaljima: "Mama je htela da ubije trećeg muža"
Čerka Jelisavete Karađorđević tvrdi da joj je otac Džon Kenedi

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

75 Years of Marie Christine: The Birthday of Princess Michael of Kent

Princess Michael of Kent in 1999
Wedding of Baron Günther von Reibnitz and Countess Marianne Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget
Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz was born on 15 January 1945, at Karlsbad, Germany (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic). Marie Christine was the daughter of Baron Günther von Reibnitz (1894 – 1983) and his second wife Countess Maria Anna (Marianne) Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget (1911-1998). Günther and Maria Anna had married in 1941, and had their only son Baron Friedrich von Reibnitz (b.1942), who was followed by their only daughter. In 1946, Marie Christine’s parents divorced; she was barely one year-old.

Marie Christine's maternal grandpa: Count Friedrich Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget
Marie Christine's maternal grandma Princess Hedwig zu Windisch-Grätz with mother Marianne as a baby
Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz’s paternal grandparents were Baron Hans Egon von Reibnitz (1856 - 1918) and Baroness Ida von Eickstedt (1867 - 1937). Her maternal grandparents were Count Friedrich Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget (1869 – 1935) and Princess Hedwig zu Windisch-Grätz (1878 – 1918). Marie Christine's mother Marianne was a fifth cousin of Queen Geraldine of Albania (1915 - 2002; née Countess Apponyi de Nagy-Appony; consort of King Zog of Albania). Countess Marianne and Queen Mother Geraldine of the Albanians were both descendants of Count Georg Christian von Waldstein (1743 - 1791) and Countess Elisabeth Ulfeldt (1747 - 1791). Princess Michael of Kent was thus a sixth cousin of the late King Leka I of the Albanians (1939 - 2011). In 2016, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent attended the wedding of Crown Prince Leka (II) and his wife Elia Zaharia in Tirana.

Countess Marianne Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget
Following her parents’ divorce, Marie Christine and her brother Fred were raised by their mother. Marianne decided to move the family to Australia, which is where her young children grew up. Marianne remarried in 1952 to Polish aristocrat Tadeusz Rogala-Koczorowski (1911 - 1989). From this union, Marie Christine gained a younger half-brother: Macio Rogala-Koczorowski (b.1953). Marie Christine was a pupil at the Kincoppal School, located in the Rose Bay suburb of Sydney. The baroness then went on to spend some time on her father's farm in Africa. After this, Marie Christine traveled to Europe and stayed with her maternal family in Austria. In Europe, she studied the History of Art; this compelled the baroness to move to London to study and found her own interior design company.

Marie Christine's first husband Thomas Troubridge
Whilst in London, Marie Christine met her first husband, Thomas Troubridge (1939 – 2015), a British banker and a descendant of the Troubridge baronets. Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz and Thomas Troubridge were married on 14 September 1971 at Chelsea Old Church, London. Alas, the couple separated in 1973, and their union ended in a civil divorce in 1977. A Roman Catholic annulment was granted in May 1978.

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On 30 June 1978 in Vienna, Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz married Prince Michael of Kent (b.1942), youngest child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. The couple have two children: Lord Frederick Windsor (b.1979) and Lady Gabriella Kingston (b.1981; née Windsor).

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Today, Princess Michael of Kent celebrates her seventy-fifth birthday. 

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We wish HRH many happy returns!

The Italian Monarchist Union Condemns Move By Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy



The Unione Monarchica Italiana has condemned the unilateral move of Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, in his announcement today that he will be abolishing the Salic law that governs the Royal House of Savoy. Unfortunately for the Prince of Naples, the majority of Italian monarchists support his cousin Prince Amedeo, Duke of Savoy, as Head of the Royal House.

Following is the communiqué released by the UMI:

PRESS RELEASE OF THE ITALIAN MONARCHIST UNION

It seems evident to anyone with a limited knowledge of the law, and of the constitutional one in particular, that the matter of the succession to the throne of a state governed by a constitutional monarchy should necessarily be found in the fundamental Charter of the State, that is, in its Constitution. In fact, the Albertine Statute refers to art. 2 regarding the rules of succession to the throne, stating that "the throne is inherited according to the Salic law". It follows from this that only a new constitutional charter of the Kingdom, to be approved in the forms proper to a State "governed by a Representative Monarchical Government" (also in art. 2) could modify the rule of succession to the throne. The succession is vested in the Savoy Family, and can only be changed by the organs of the Representative State, that is to say, of the Parliament in its constituent function. It is deduced that the initiative announced today [by Vittorio Emmanuele di Savoia] constitutes an announcement devoid of any legal effect.

Rome, 01/15/2019

The National President
Alessandro Sacchi

Savoy Succession Dispute Deepens: Prince of Naples, Son of Last King of Italy, Abolishes Salic Law


The Secretariat of Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, has confirmed that the prince has decided to abolish to Salic Law, which governs the line of succession in the Royal House of Savoy, and to replace it with absolute primogenture. Vittorio Emanuele is the only son of the late King Umberto II of Italy and Queen Marie-José (née Belgium).  Since 2006, the claim to the Headship of the Royal House has been disputed between Vittorio Emanuele and his cousin Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta.

Victor Emmanuel of Savoy and Marina Doria
From his marriage to commoner Marina Doria, the Prince of Naples has one son: Emanuele Filiberto, who owns food trucks in Los Angeles. Emanuele Filiberto, titled as Prince of Venice by his late grandfather, has two daughters, Vittoria and Luisa, from his marriage to French actress Clotilde Courau. This move by the Prince of Naples to allow his granddaughters to become dynasts after their father, the Prince of Venice, whose dynastic status is already disputed by many Italian monarchists owing to his father's unequal and unauthorised marriage to his mother Marina.

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The documents released detailing the succession change for the main-line Savoys show that Vittorio Emanuele took the decision on 28 December 2019 at Geneva, where he lives. The Prince of Naples grants to his eldest granddaughter Vittoria (b.Geneva 28 December 2003) the titles "Princess of Carignano" (Principessa di Carignano) and "Marchioness of Ivrea" (Marchesa d'Ivrea). Vittoria of Savoy also becomes a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. Luisa of Savoy (b.Geneva 16 August 2006), the younger granddaughter of Vittorio Emmanuele, receives the titles of "Princess of Chieri" (Principessa di Chieri) and "Countess of Salemi" (Contessa di Salemi). Like her sister, Luisa becomes a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.

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The Prince of Naples states that his decision has effect immediately. It is noted that the Princesses Vittoria and Luisa will accompany their father the Prince of Venice to a service on 14 March 2020 at Hautecombe Abbey to commemorate King Umberto II and Queen Marie-José.

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This announcement will likely be condemned in due course by the Duke of Aosta and the Unione Monarchica Italiana (Italian Monarchist Union).






Thursday, January 9, 2020

In Memoriam: Infanta Pilar of Spain (1936 - 2020)

In Memoriam
† Infanta doña Pilar de España (1936 - 2020)
Duquesa de Badajoz
Vizcondesa viuda de la Torre

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HRH Infanta doña Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz, Dowager Viscountess of La Torre, died on Wednesday, 8 January 2020, at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid. She was eighty-three years-old. The infanta had suffered from cancer for a number of years.

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Juan, Count of Barcelona. 
Maria, Countess of Barcelona.
Doña María del Pilar Alfonsa Juana Victoria Luisa Ignacia y Todos los Santos de Borbón y Borbón, Infanta of Spain, was born on 30 July 1936 at Villa Saint Blaise, the home of her parents, in Cannes, France, as the eldest child of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona (1913-1993), and his wife Maria de las Mercedes (1910-2000; née Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies), who married in 1935. Pilar's paternal grandparents were King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886-1941) and Queen Victoria Eugenia (1887-1969; née Princess of Battenberg). Pilar's maternal grandparents were Infante Carlos of Spain, Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1870-1949) and his second wife Princess Louise (1882-1958; née Princess d'Orléans). Pilar's maternal grandfather Carlos' first wife, Infanta Maria de las Mercedes of Spain (1880-1904), was the sister of Pilar's paternal grandfather, King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Pilar's paternal grandfather and her godfather.
Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, paternal grandmother of Infanta Pilar.
Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Countess of Caserta, maternal great-grandmother of Infanta Pilar.
PHOTOGRAPH (C) EUROPEAN ROYAL PHOTO ARCHIVE.
THIS IMAGE MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED.
In early August 1936, Infanta Pilar was christened at the Église Notre-Dame des Pins in Cannes. Her paternal grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, and her maternal great-grandmother, the Countess of Caserta (1851-1938; née Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies), were present. The Countess of Caserta was Pilar's godmother; Pilar's grandfather King Alfonso XIII, who was not present (owing to his wife's attendance), was her godfather. The infanta was named to honour Nuestra Señora del Pilar of Zaragoza.

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Pilar was followed by two brothers and one sister. Juan Carlos, future King of Spain, arrived in 1938. Infanta Margarita was born in 1939. Infante Alfonso, born in 1941, was the benjamin of the family. Although Pilar was born in France, the youngest three children of the Count and Countess of Barcelona were all born in Rome. The family moved to Portugal in 1943, where they resided at the Villa Giralda in Estoril. Pilar's youngest brother Alfonso died in a tragic accident in 1956: he was only fourteen years-old. At Estoral, Pilar was a student at the Colegio Esclavas do Sagrado Coração de Jesus, where she concentrated on learning history, geography, literature, and religion. Afterwards, Pilar studied nursing at the Escuela de enfermería Arturo Ravara in Lisbon. Besides Spanish, the infanta was fluent in English, French, Portuguese, and Italian.

Infanta Pilar, Queen Victoria Eugenia, and don Luis.
Isabelle, Countess of Paris; Claude, Duchess of Aosta; and Carl, Duke of Württemberg
The Princesses of Orléans with their Brazilian cousin Princess Maria da Gloria, future wife of Alexander of Serbia. 
Don Luis, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, and Infanta Pilar.
Juan Carlos and Sofía, the future King and Queen of Spain.
King Umberto arriving with his son Prince Vittorio Emmanuele and his daughter Princess Maria Gabriella. 
The Prince and Princess Napoléon (née Alix de Foresta).
The Count and Countess of Barcelona arrive at the wedding of their eldest child along with their son-in-law's parents.
They are followed by doña Sofía and Duke Philipp of Württemberg. 
Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, with his daughter, the bride-to-be, the Infanta Pilar. 
Luis and Pilar at the altar.
Luis and Pilar.
Infanta Pilar with her husband Luis, her grandmother Victoria Eugenia, and her mother Maria.

On 5 May 1967, Infanta Pilar married don Luis Gómez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada, Viscount de la Torre, Grandee of Spain. Luis was born in 1934 as the son of don Jaime Gómez-Acebo y Modet (1897-1977) and doña Isabel Duque de Estrada y Vereterra, Marquesa de Deleitosa (1907-1979). The wedding of Pilar and Luis was held at Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal. Pilar's husband was a first cousin of doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela (b.1935), who had married in 1962 to Pilar's cousin King Simeon II of the Bulgarians (b.1937). Indeed, Pilar and Luis had become acquainted with one another at the home of Simeon and Margarita of Bulgaria. The Count and Countess of Barcelona had hoped for a royal husband for their eldest child (such as King Baudouin of Belgium), but they eventually came around to Pilar's choice. Among others, the marriage of Infanta Pilar of Spain was attended by the following royal relations and friends: Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, the Count and Countess of Barcelona, Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sophia of Spain, Infanta Margarita of Spain, Infanta Beatriz of Spain, Queen Mother Giovanna of Bulgaria, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Antoinette of Monaco, King Umberto II of Italy with his children Victor Emmanuel and Maria Gabriella, the Duke of Bragança, Duke Franz of Bavaria, the Count and Countess of Paris, Princess Anne d'Orléans (Duchess of Calabria), Princess Diane d'Orléans and husband Duke Carl of Württemberg, Princess Claude d'Orléans (Duchess of Aosta), Princess Chantal d'Orléans, Princess Esperanza of Orléans-Bragança and her daughter Princess Maria da Gloria, Infanta Filippa of Portugal, and the Prince and Princess Napoléon. Thousands of Spanish citizens came to Lisbon to witness the wedding of the eldest child of the Count and Countess of Barcelona.


Infanta Pilar was given the title Duchess of Badajoz by her father before her wedding. At the same time, General Francisco Franco authorised Pilar to use her title of Infanta de España in her family's country. The Count of Barcelona rehabilitated the title of Viscount (Vizconde) of la Torre for his soon-to-be son-in-law shortly before Pilar and Luis were married. Pilar renounced her rights of succession to the Spanish throne on the occasion of her marriage.

Infanta Pilar and don Luis Gómez-Acebo with their five children.
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Infanta Pilar and don Luis quickly set about establishing a family. The couple had five children, one daughter and four sons: doña Simoneta Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (b.1968); don Juan Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (b.1969), Vizconde de La Torre; don Bruno Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (b.1971); don Beltrán Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (b.1973); and don Fernando Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (b.1974). Sadly, doña Pilar was left a widow when don Luis Gómez-Acebo died from cancer at the rather young age of fifty-six in 1991. All of the children of Infanta Pilar married and had children: they gave her eleven grandchildren.

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Pilar was a great supporter of equestrian sports. The infanta was the President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1994 to 2006. Doña Pilar was also a strong advocate for the Nuevo Futuro charity, whose fundraising events she attended faithfully over the decades. It goes without saying that Pilar was a steadfast anchor of her brother Juan Carlos and her sister Margarita. Infanta Pilar was a "grande dame" with a quick wit and a sharp tongue.

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Following her death, Infanta Pilar of Spain was cremated, and her ashes will be buried at the San Isidro cemetery in Madrid, where her husband Luis was buried. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, King Felipe and Queen Letizia, the infanta's children and grandchildren, King Simeon and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, the Dowager Duchess of Calabria, the Duke of Calabria, and Princess Béatrice d'Orléans, have all been present at the funeral home as the preparations for the infanta's burial are finalised.



May S.A.R. Pilar de Borbón y Borbón, Infanta de España, Rest In Peace.

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