85-Year-Old Duchess of Spain Remarries
The 85-year-old Duchess of Alba married a civil servant 25 years her junior today in the chapel of the duchess’s 15th-century Palacio de las Duenas in Seville. The duchess met Alfonso Diez Carabantes, a social security administration employee, through her second husband, a former priest who died in 2001.
The New York Times called today’s ceremony, “Spain’s most elaborate social event since the end of the monarchy”.
The duchess had to prove to her children that she was marrying for love after plenty of suspicion and criticism. She said, “They don’t want me to marry, but they change partners more often than I do,” adding, “The tough part was that my children didn’t understand and they got quite angry with me.” She is worth up to $4.7 billion with plenty of estates, palaces, treasures and masterpieces. To prove to her children they were marrying for the right reason, she divided her wealth among her children and grandchildren. According to reports, Diez has given up any rights to her fortune.
Seville residents seemed to support the union. AFP news agency quoted Concepcion Arrincon as saying, “Age has nothing to do with it – as long as there is love, that’s the most important thing,”
The duchess, whose full name is Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, first wed in 1947 at the age of 21 in front of 1000 guests.