Infante Alfonso of Spain

Infobox Spanish Royalty|infante
name = Infante Alfonso
full name = Alfonso Cristino Teresa Angelo Francisco de Asis
title = Infante Alfonso of Spain


titles = "HRH" Infante Alfonso of Spain
royal house = House of Bourbon
royal anthem =
father = Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
mother = Princess Maria Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
date of birth = birth date|1941|10|3
place of birth = Rome, Italy
date of death = death date and age|1956|3|29|1941|10|3

Infante Alfonso of Spain "(Don Alfonso Cristino Teresa Angelo Francisco de Asis y Todos los Santos de Borbón y Borbón Dos-Sicilias)" (3 October 1941 – 29 March 1956) was the younger brother of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Early life

Alfonso was born in Rome, the youngest son of the Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona and of his wife, Princess Maria Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. His godfather was the Infante Alfonso de Orleans y Borbón; his godmother was his father's sister Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain. [José María Zavala, "Dos infantes y un destino" (Barcelona: Planez & Janés, 1998), 101.] Within his own family he was called "Alfonsito" to distinguish him from other family members with the name Alfonso.

When Alfonso was still just a baby, his family moved to Lausanne in Switzerland where they lived in the Villa Les Rocailles. [Zavala, 102.] In February 1946 the family moved to Portugal. [Zavala, 111.]

In 1947 Alfonso visited Spain for the first time at the invitation of General Francisco Franco. In 1950 he and his brother Juan Carlos were sent to study in Spain. ["Spanish Pretender's Sons", "The Times" (October 2, 1950): 3. "General Franco and Don Juan", "The Times" (October 3, 1950): 5.] At first they lived in San Sebastián where a private school had been established in the Miramar Palace. [Zavala, 165.] In June 1954 they were received by General Franco at the Pardo Palace. [Zavala, 171.] Later Alfonso and Juan Carlos attended the military academy in Zaragoza. ["Prince to Return to Spain Tuesday", "The New York Times" (January 16, 1955): 25.]

Death and burial

In March 1956 Alfonso and Juan Carlos were at their parents' home Villa Giralda in Estoril, Portugal, for the Easter vacation. On Maundy Thursday Alfonso died in a gun accident. The Spanish Embassy in Portugal issued an official communiqué: [Quoted in Paul Preston, "Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy" (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004), 101. ]

: Whilst His Highness the Infante Alfonso was cleaning a revolver last evening with his brother, a shot was fired hitting his forehead and killing him in a few minutes. The accident took place at 20.30 hours, after the Infante's return from the Maundy Thursday religious service, during which he had received Holy Communion.

Very quickly, however, rumours appeared in newspapers that the gun had actually been held by Alfonso's brother Juan Carlos at the moment the shot was fired. Josefina Carolo, dressmaker to Alfonso's mother, said that Juan Carlos playfully pointed the pistol at Alfonso and pulled the trigger, unaware that the pistol was loaded. Bernardo Arnoso, a Portuguese friend of Juan Carlos, also said that Juan Carlos fired the pistol not knowing that it was loaded, and adding that the bullet ricocheted off a wall hitting Alfonso in the face. Helena Matheopoulos, a Greek author who spoke with Alfonso's sister Pilar, said that Alfonso had been out of the room and when he returned and pushed the door open, the door knocked Juan Carlos in the arm causing him to fire the pistol. [Preston, 102.]

There have been various stories about the origins of the pistol. The most frequently repeated is that it was a gift to Alfonso from General Franco. [Preston, 103.]

The funeral liturgy for Alfonso was held on Holy Saturday and was presided by Monsignor Fernando Cento, Apostolic Nuncio to Portugal. He was buried at the municipal cemetery in Cascais, Portugal. In 1992 he was re-buried in the Pantheon of the Princes of El Escorial near Madrid.

Notes

Bibliography

* Zavala, José M. "Dos infantes y un destino". Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1998. ISBN 8401550068.

* "Son Born to Spanish Pretender". "The New York Times" (October 4, 1941): 17.

* "Funeral of Infante Don Alfonso". "The Times" (April 2, 1956): 8.

* "Don Juan's Son Is Killed in Spanish Gun Accident". "The New York Times" (March 30, 1956): 3.

* Mikkelson, Barbara. [http://www.snopes.com/history/world/juancarlos.asp "A Royal Mystery"] .

Ancestry

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1= 1. Infante Alfonso of Spain
2= 2. Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
3= 3. Maria Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
4= 4. Alfonso XIII of Spain
5= 5. Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg
6= 6. Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
7= 7. Princess Louise of Orléans
8= 8. Alfonso XII of Spain
9= 9. Maria Christina of Austria
10= 10. Prince Henry of Battenberg
11= 11. Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
12= 12. Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta
13= 13. Princess Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
14= 14. Prince Philippe, Count of Paris
15= 15. Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans
16= 16. Francis of Spain
17= 17. Isabella II of Spain
18= 18. Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria
19= 19. Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria
20= 20. Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
21= 21. Countess Julia von Hauke
22= 22. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
23= 23. Victoria of the United Kingdom
24= 24. Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies
25= 25. Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
26= 26. Prince Francis, Count of Trapani
27= 27. Archduchess Maria Isabella of Austria
28= 28. Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans
29= 29. Duchess Helena Luisa Elizabeth of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
30= 30. Prince Antoine, Duke of Montpensier
31= 31. Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain


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