Second, even third, chances

I speak from experience, in the sense that I was one of the “stubbornly opposed” children…

I empathize with all the seniors out there who are getting their second, or even third, chance at love, delusional or real.  It’s just sad that when MONEY — in all its forms:  be it corporations/businesses, real estate properties, bank placements, important jewelry, art, antiques, or simply cash — enters the question, the younger family members will never leave you alone.

The only solution is to become a pauper, but poverty creates even more problems rather than solves them.

Poor you.


From hello! here to find out more!

Celebrity wedding fever: Love conquers all for Spain’s most colourful aristocrat

05 AUGUST 2011 The Duchess of Alba is proof that you’re never too old to fall head over heels in love.

At the grand age of 85, Spain’s most famous and wealthy aristocrat is preparing to marry for the third time.



A descendant of Britain’s James II, the noblewoman is said to be able to cross the country from north to south without leaving her estates and has more titles than the Queen.

Her fiancé comes from much more modest stock. Alfonso Diez Carabantes is a civil servant and long-standing family friend. At 61, he is 24 years her junior.

Opposition to the match came from some of her six children. But true love won through in the end, and the nuptials are reportedly scheduled to go ahead in September.

The engagement

The duchess – full name Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva – has outlived two husbands.

She grew close to Alfonso after her second –  free-thinking former Jesuit priest Jesus Aguirre y Ortiz de Zarate – died in 2001. (Her first marriage to the scion of a noble family lasted 25 years, ending with his death in 1972).

In 2008, the noblewoman, known as Cayetana, spoke to HELLO! magazine’s sister publication HOLA! about why she was thinking about marrying again.

“I felt very lonely after Jesus died, and I developed feelings for Alfonso,” she told HOLA!

“When you get to know someone and you like them, you end up falling in love a little, and I fell in love with him.

“At one point, he confessed that he had developed feelings for me over the years. At first, I thought he was crazy.


“Later it hit me – it was something that would fill any woman with happy pride.”

The couple made plans for their future, but not everyone was as thrilled about the romance.

“The tough part was that my children didn’t understand and they got quite angry with me,” she explained.

“It’s true that I planned to marry. We were both full of enthusiasm for the idea. I took a step back for my children.

“I saw that everything was going to be very complicated.”

But the determined aristocrat – who is a constant presence at Spanish society events despite her increasing fragility – was not to be deterred.

Earlier this summer, she finally got her children on side by dividing up her vast wealth – thought to between 600m and 3.5bn euros (£524m and £3bn) – between them. The inheritance included a collection of estates, palaces and artworks.

Among them is a portrait by Francisco de Goya of her ancestor, the Duchess of Alba, who is said to have been the artist’s lover and the model for his masterworks ‘The Clothed Maja’ and ‘The Naked Maja’.

The ceremony

With sprawling residences in Ibiza, Seville and Madrid, the couple have plenty of venues at their disposal for the nuptials.

They have reportedly chosen the ancestral palace Las Dueñas in Seville (below) – the majestic 16th-century estate where Cayetana married her previous husbands and raised her six children.


The couple will tie the knot at the end of September or the start of October in the palace chapel. Guests are sure to include the cream of Spanish society.

Although it will be a high profile event, it will still pale in comparison with the duchess’ first wedding.

When she exchanged vows with Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artazcoz, son of the Duke of Sotomayor, in 1947 it was described as “the most expensive wedding in the world”.

Interest in their union was in danger of overshadowing the Queen‘s wedding to Prince Philip, which was held a month later.


Rumour has it that 20 million pesetas was spent – a great amount at that time.

This time round after marrying, the duchess and her new husband will honeymoon in Thailand (above).

The dress

Cayetana is known as something of a hippy for her distinctive style, which encompasses bold prints and bright colours.

And the aristocrat – who appeared on Vanity Fair‘s best-dressed list last year – is bound to make a statement with her gown.

A selection of the Duchess’ titles

  • 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes
  • 11th Duchess of Berwick
  • Duchess of Arjona
  • Duchess of Hijar
  • 11th Duchess of Liria and Jerica
  • 14th Countess-Duchess of Olivares
  • Marchioness of El Carpio
  • Countess of Aranda
  • Countess of Lemos
  • Countess of Lerin and Condestablesa of Navarra
  • Countess of Miranda del Castañar
  • Countess of Monterrey
  • Countess of Osorno
  • Countess of Palma del Rio
  • 12th Marchioness of la Algaba
  • Marchioness of Almenara
  • 14th Marchioness of Barcarrota 19th Marchioness of Coria
  • Marchioness of Eliche
  • Marchioness of Mirallo
  • Marchioness of Moya
  • Marchioness of Orani
  • Marchioness of Osera
  • 11th Countess of Tinmouth
  • Viscountess of la Calzada
  • 11th Baroness of Bosworth
  • Viscountess of la Calzada
  • 29th Dame of Moguer


  1. Nona Pimentel said,

    January 16, 2012 at 4:15 am

    haha, ‘love is blind…..folded’…well I don’t wish to deny that love actually, happens in the most unexpected moment, in the most unexpected circumstances, to the most expectant people and to the most ‘unsuspecting’ recipient…And they say that a ‘lot of women marry beneath them’…could be true at times… I wish them well though…

  2. Enrique Bustos said,

    January 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Last year’s November Philippine Tatler issue featured the Palacio de Liria in Madrid Spain owned by the Duchess of Alba the Philippine Tatler exclusive tour of the Palace was arranged by Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq the Palacio de liria is opened to the public but one must write a letter of request to be permitted to visit the Palace the waiting time is about two years and only eleven of two hundred room are open to the public some of the magnificent rooms that are open for public viewing are the Flemish Room with the portrait of King Charles and Queen Isabela of Portugal by Peter Paul Rubens Spanish Room with Jesus Christ on the Cross by El Greco,and Francisco Zubaran Sto Domingo de Guzaman Italian Room Madonna dela Granada by Fra Angelico The Library Francisco Goya’s Duchess in White Cayetana de Silva ,Alba bible and letters by Christoper Columbus Sala a Tapestry amores de Doises

    Some of the Duchess Art collections are the FF

    1.Velasquez Rockeby Venus,Infanta Margarita

    2.Correggio Cupid Education

    3.Raphael’s Madonna de Alba

    4.Fran Angelio Madonna de la Granada

    5.Pietro Perigino



    8.El Greco Jesus christ on the Cross

    9.Zubarans Sto Domingo de Guzman

    10.Giuseppe de Ribera


    12.Goya Duchess in White Cayetana de Silva, La maja vestida

    13.Peter Paul Rubens King Charles and queen Isabella of Portugal

    14.Josep dela Sert Mural






    20.Marc chagall

  3. Presy Guevara said,

    August 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    La Cayetana cunning works well. She divested herself early of her children’s inheritance to pacify them and object no more to her wedding plans. Everybody seems happy now, teehee.

  4. Jay Samson said,

    August 26, 2011 at 7:25 am

    THAT should wake him up in the morning.

  5. Myles Garcia said,

    August 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Well, she surely is unique in putting herself together–like a living Dali poodle painting. And at least she has more titles than the bracelets on her wrists. But I don’t know if I could wake up to a face like that for all the euros in the world.

    Manila’s Isabel Preysler will probably be present at the wedding. Now, isn’t La Duquesa (sounds like a mild cheddar cheese) a distant relation again of the de Ayalas — like a cousin to the 49th degree? Oh wait, that’s the 49th Parallel pala of the Koreas. LOL!!

  6. isagani gatmaitan said,

    August 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    that fitz-james stuart in her full name tells us she is descended from james II of england who lost his crown to the protestant faction in his own family. cayetana’s ancestor (berwick?) had an extramarital relationship with james II.

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