Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart


Born at Liria Palace on 28 March 1926, she was the only child of the 17th Duke of Alba (a prominent Spanish politician and diplomat during the 1930s and 1940s) by his wife, María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay, 9th Marchioness of San Vicente del Barco. Her godmother was the Queen Consort of Spain, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, wife of Alfonso XIII de Borbón, King of Spain.

As head of the dynasty, she was styled by her most senior title of Duchess of Alba, whilst holding over 40 other hereditary titles. According to Guinness World Records, she was the most titled aristocrat in the world.

On 12 October 1947, the Duchess married Don Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artázcoz (1919–1972), son of the Duke of Sotomayor. The wedding in Spain, just after the Second World War, is considered to be one of the last great weddings of European nobility and attracted the attention of the international media. The New York Times called it “the most expensive wedding of the world.” It was reported that 20 million pesetas (€7,644,678 equivalent in 2014) was spent at that time. Six children were born of this marriage, who were all conferred noble titles by their mother, in accordance with Spanish Royal protocol, including the rank of Grandee of Spain.

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

‘Cayetana’ in 1947, when she got married for the first time; it was Spain’s last feudal wedding Hulton/Getty Images

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 1947

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 1947 – picture alliance / dpa

The Duchess Cayetana of Alba in the ‘Finca de Canas’, 11th September 1973, Marbella, Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Cayetana Fitz James, Duchess of Dawn with its Eugenia daughter (Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart. Foto: © Getty Images

The Duchess Cayetana of Alba dancing flamenco in the ‘Palacio de Liria’, 25th February 1966, Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)

The Duchess Cayetana of Alba with her children (L to R) Fernando, Alfonso, Eugenia, Cayetano, Jacobo and Carlos at the ‘Palacio de Liria’, 29th November 1968, Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)

The Duchess Cayetana of Alba with her husband Pedro Luis Martinez de Irujo and her daughter Eugenia, at the Palacio de Liria, 29th November 1968, Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gianni Ferrari Cover/Getty Images)

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

April 1966, Sevilla, Spain — Original caption: Seville, Spain: Close up of Mrs. John F. Kennedy, and her hostess, the Duchess of Alba, during Mrs. Kennedy’s stay in Spain. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 1978. Foto: © Getty Images

Vintage: Young Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

The Duchess of Alba photographed with her sons in 1959 (Photo: Rex)

The Duchess Cayetana of Alba in the gardnes of the ‘Finca las Canas’ at Marbella, 11th September 1973, Malaga, Spain. (Photo Gianni Ferrari / Cover / Getty Images)

Cayetana Fitz James, duchess of Alba, in the gardens of the Liria Palace (Photo by Aurora Fierro/Cover/Getty Images)

Cayetana Fitz James, duchess of Alba, in the gardens of the Liria Palace The duchess of Alba on a fountain (Photo by Aurora Fierro/Cover/Getty Images)


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