Infanta Pilar of Spain Turns 80

  July 30, 2016 at 9:00 am by

Her Royal Highness The Infanta Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz, Dowager Viscountess de la Torre celebrates her 80th birthday on July 30th.

The elder sister of former King Juan Carlos was born in Cannes, France during the exile of the Spanish Royal Family and is the elder daughter of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Princess María de las Mercedes de Borbón. Her baptism also took place in Cannes and her godparents were King Alfonso XIII and Princess Louise d’Orléans. Her childhood was spent in Cannes, Rome and later at Estoril in Portugal.

There were rumours of a possible marriage with King Baudouin of the Belgians, but he instead married another Spanish lady, Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragon. In April 1967 Pilar’s father granted her the title of Duchess of Badajoz for life and in early May that year, the Infanta married Spanish nobleman Don Luis Gomez-Acebo, Viscount de la Torre at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal. Prior to her wedding, the Infanta renounced her rights of succession to the Spanish throne. The Infanta Pilar and Don Luis had five children, sadly her husband passed away in March 1991 following a long battle with lymphatic cancer.

Following her husband’s death, Infanta Pilar – a devoted follower of equestrian sports – acted as President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1994 to 2006 and also is a Member of the Executive Board of the Spanish Olympic Committee. Infanta Pilar has eleven grandchildren.

The Infanta is also the honorary President of the Nuevo Futuro charity and attends most of the important Spanish Royal court events including weddings, christenings, funerals and most recently the abdication ceremony of her brother and proclamation ceremony of her nephew, King Felipe VI, in 2014.

It has been strongly rumored that the extended Spanish Royal Family will gather in Palma de Mallorca this weekend to celebrate the Infanta’s 80th birthday at her summer residence at Calvià.

Happy Birthday Ma’am!

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