Friday, October 3, 2008


The ‘Casa de los Duques de Alba de Tormes’ is Spain’s most noble family. It can trace its roots back to the 14 th century and I believe that it is far more ‘royal’ than the British ‘House of Windsor’. In a quick glance through the family’s assets I see listed four palaces, two castles and a handful of houses and estates. I can see you connecting with them immediately!

The present head of the family is María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva or Cayetana to her friends. By my calculation she is 82 years of age and by all accounts was a bit of a girl in her day.

Today as she is wheeled out for events my heart sinks. Because of her ‘royal’ status the media hoard crowd around her firing questions hoping that she’ll mutter a quotable gem. Believe me it is not a pretty sight.

There have been recent rumours that the Duquesa is seriously ill. So I was surprised when this week she came out fighting. She insists “I am in good health” and wait for it “don’t rule out my getting married.”

According to Cayetana in an interview with ‘Hola’ her legs are now a problem but that does not stop her leading a normal life, or what passes for normal in the ‘Casa de Alba’. She insists that she loves Alfonso Díez, the feelings are very intense, they have corresponded for over 30 years and wedding bells may well ring in the near future.

Which just goes to show you are never too old especially if you are a Duquesa.

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