Queen Victoria Eugénie of Spain
King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugénie were married on 31st May 1906 at the Royal Monastery of San Jerónimo, Madrid, Spain. However on the processional route returning to the Royal Palace from the service, Mateu Morral (1880-1906) - a Catalan anarchist, threw a bomb from a balcony at the carriage carrying the newly-wed King and Queen as they passed by. Luckily both survived but 15 people were killed in the outrage. Morral was subsequently captured but committed suicide. Victoria Eugénie's start as Queen of Spain was not happy and she became isolated and unpopular with the Spanish people and relations with the King were fractious. However the birth of a son and heir in 1907 temporarily improved relations with the King but it was soon discovered that the child was a haemophiliac - which the King is alleged to have never come to terms with and would never forgive his wife.
Victoria Eugénie (left) & King Alfonso XIII
on their wedding day
A drawing of the aftermath of the assassination attempt on
Victoria Eugénie & King Alfonso XIII on their wedding day
King Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugénie had 7 children -
Infante Alfonso Pío Cristino Eduardo Francisco Guillermo Carlos Enrique Eugenio Fernando Antonio Venancio de Borbón y Battenberg, Prince of the Asturias (1907-1938). He later renounced his rights of succession to the Throne to marry in 1933 a commoner - Edelmira Sampedro-Ocejo y Robatoin (1906-1994), and took the title Count of Corvodonga. The marriage was dissolved in 1937 and he married 2 months later in Havana, Cuba - Esther Rocafort y Altuzarra (1913-1993), a fashion model, but separated after just 2 months and were divorced in 1938. He died in Miami, Florida, USA aged 31yrs due to complications from haemophilia following a motoring accident.
Infante Jaime Leopoldo Isabelino Enrique Alejandro Alberto Alfonso Víctor Acacio Pedro Pablo María de Borbón y Battenberg (1908-1975). He was profoundly deaf and following his elder brother’s renunciation, Jaime himself renounced his rights of succession to the Throne in 1933 and was created Duke of Segovia. In 1935 he married - Donna Emmanuelle de Dampierre (1913-2012) but divorced in 1947 in Bucharest, which was not recognised in Spain. In 1949, in a civil ceremony in Innsbruck, Austria, he married Charlotte Tiedemann (1919-1979). After his father’s death in 1941 he proclaimed himself as the legitimate heir to the French Throne as Head of the House of Bourbon and took the title of Duke of Anjou. In 1949 he retracted his renunciation right to the Spanish Throne and in 1964 he took the title of Duke of Madrid and by some was recognised as King Jaime IV of Spain. In 1969, he renounced his rights to the Throne again in favour of his nephew (Infante Juan Carlos) and died aged 66yrs in 1975 in Switzerland a few months before his nephew came to the Throne.
Infanta Beatriz Isabel Federica Alfonsa Eugénie Cristina Maria Teresia Bienvenida Ladislàa de Borbón y Battenberg (1909-2002). She married in Rome, Italy in 1935 morganatically - Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince of Civitella-Cesi (1911-1986) and renounced her rights of succession to the Throne. She died in Rome in 2002 aged 93yrs.
Intante Fernando de Borbón y Battenberg (1910-1910), stillborn.
Infanta Maria Cristina Teresa Alejandra María de Guadalupe María de la Concepción Ildefonsa Victoria Eugenia de Borbón y Battenberg (1911-1996). She married in Rome, Italy in 1940 morganatically - Enrico Marone-Cinzano, 1st Count Marone (1895-1968) and renounced her rights of succession to the Throne. She died in Madrid visiting family for Christmas in 1996 aged 85yrs.
Infante Juan Carlos Teresa Silverio Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg (1913-1993). He joined the British Royal Navy as a Midshipman but could not accept a commission and retain his Spanish nationality. Following his elder brothers's decision to renounce their rights to the Throne, he was created Prince of the Asturias and recognised as heir to his father. In 1935 he married in Rome, Italy - Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1910-2000). Upon his father’s death he took the title Count of Barcelona. In 1969, General Francisco Franco (1892-1975), the Nationalist Head of State of Spain announced that Juan’s son - Infante Juan Carlos (b.1938) would be his designated heir. In 1975, Juan’s son became King Juan Carlos I following Franco’s death and eventually Juan was persuaded to relinquish his claim to the Throne and he was formally created Count of Barcelona. He died in 1993 in Pamplona aged 79yrs. His grandson is now King Felipe VI of Spain (b.1968) - who was himself Victoria Eugénie's god-son.
Infante Gonzalo Manuel Maria Bernardo Narciso Alfonso Mauricio de Borbón y Battenberg (1914-1934), He too suffered from haemophilia and died i Krumpendorf, Austria following a motoring accident - driven by sister (Infanta Beatriz) in 1934 aged 19yrs.
Victoria Eugénie with her 6 surviving children
Queen Victoria Eugénie of Spain prior to going into exile
La Villa Vieille Fontaine -
Victoria Eugénie's home in Lausanne, Switzerland
In 1942, Victoria Eugénie was subsequently ordered by Mussolini’s government to leave Italy due to her 'ill-disguised leanings to the Allied cause.' Victoria Eugénie subsequently settled in Lausanne, Switzerland and took up reside at La Villa Vieille Fontaine.
The arms of Victoria Eugénie whilst Queen of Spain
On 14th April 1931, King Alfonso and the Royal Family decided to leave Spain following municipal elections in which anti-monarchist candidates won the majority of votes and the Second Spanish Republic was created. Initially the Spanish Royal Family went to France and later to Italy but at this time King Alfonso and Victoria Eugénie decided to separate. The King had frequently been unfaithful and the marriage had been unhappy for years. Victoria Eugénie went to live near Kensington Palace, London to be close to her mother - Princess Beatrice (1857-1944). However, in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II, she was 'invited to leave' the UK and returned to Italy.
King Alfonso XIII whilst in exile
On 28th February 1941, King Alfonso died in Rome, Italy and General Franco ordered 3 days of national mourning in Spain. His funeral was held in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, followed by interment in the Church of Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli - the national church of Spain in Italy. His remains were returned to Spain in January 1980 at the request of his grandson - King Juan Carlos I of Spain (b.1938), who was restored to the Throne in 1975. King Alfonso's coffin was finally interred with his ancestors in the Royal Vaults at the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Madrid.