On This Day: The Duke of Anjou Marries A Franco Descendant

  March 8, 2017 at 5:00 am by

The family of Spain’s General Francisco Franco became officially linked to a branch of the country’s Royal Family, the Bourbons, when the General’s eldest grandchild, María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, married Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz on March 8, 1972.

Their wedding took place at chapel of the Palacio Real de El Pardo. Alfonso and María del Carmen had two children, sons Francisco de Asís and Luis Alfonso, before divorcing in 1982. The bride wore a wedding dress designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga and a diamond and emerald tiara. Among their wedding guests were the future King of Spain, Juan Carlos, and his wife Sofia. 

Don Alfonso was a grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg through their second son, Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia. He died in 1989.

María del Carmen is the heiress to the Dukedom of Franco, which was bestowed upon her mother, María del Carmen Franco y Polo, in 1975 by King Juan Carlos I.

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2 Responses to On This Day: The Duke of Anjou Marries A Franco Descendant

  1. Marco says:

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of that magnificent tiara?

  2. A.M. says:

    @Marco
    The tiara came as part of a rather stunning emerald parure, which included a magnificent necklace, earrings, a pair of brooches (both of which could be attached to the necklace as pendants, together or separately), 2 bracelets (that could be linked together to serve as an additional, more subdued necklace), and at least 1 ring.

    After Maria Del Carmen divorced the Duke of Anjou, she moved to Paris, taking a great deal of her jewelley with her. Unfortunately, her house (with second husband Jean-Marie Rossi) was burgled and a lot of valuables were stolen, including the tiara (presumably, with the rest of the parure). It was never heard of afterwards, so either it was sold through black market, or was broken into pieces and the stones sold separately. Either way, it’s highly unlikely the tiara will ever be seen again, or that we’ll ever have any definite information on its ultimate fate.

    In regards to the provenance of the tiara, no definite information is available (as far as I know), but it was most probably a gift from her father. Although some said it might have come from her husband’s family, the fact the tiara was among the jewels Maria Del Carmen kept after her divorce, the first option is likelier.

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