Spanish Royalty: Alfonso XIII (1886-1931)


Figure 1.--I am not sure but I believe that the adults in this 1911 portrait are King Alfonso XIII, Queen Ena, the Queen Mother Maria Christina, and Princesses Maria--the King's sister. The two princes are Alfonso and Jaime with an older cousin--Prince Ferdinand. The boys' wear identical short pants outfits. The girl is Princess Beatrice and the baby is Princess Maria Christina.

Alfonso XIII was one of Spain's longest ruling monarchs. He was King of Spain from 1886-1931. Alfonso mairred Victoria-Eugenie (one of Queen Victoria's forty grandchildren, who died in 1969. She was also a Battenberg, her mother was Princess Beatrice and her father Price Henry of Battenberg. King Alfonso XIII had six children. One Prince Juan Carlos would eventually regain the Spanish crown for his son that his father lost. Alfonso XIII supported the military dictatorship (1923-30) of Miguel Primo de Rivera, but social unrest and a republican election victory led to his deposition and exile (1931). The resulting Republic was attacked in 1936 by rebel forced organized by Francisco Franco who commanded Spain's forces in Morocco. The resulting Civil War horrified Europe and was in effect the prelude to World war II. Aided by NAZI Germany and Fascist Italy, Franco won and Franco ruled until his death in 1975. Alfonso XIII hoped that Franco would reinstall him on the throne, but Franco refused to do so. Alfonso died in 1941 at the height of World War II.

Parents

Alfonso's father was King Alfonso XII. His mother was the Hapsburg Princess Maria Cristina.

Birth

Alfonso was born at the Royal Palace in Madrid during 1886, about 6 months after the death of his father. He was proclimed king on the day of his birth. This was a unique case in Spanish history.

Regency

Alfonso's mother, Queen Maria Cristina, who was acting as Regent after the death of her husband, served as Regent for her son. During her regency, the United States decalred war on Spain in 1898 and seized Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and other Spanish colonial possessions. Alfonso in 1902, when he became 16 years old was declared of legal age and began his rule as Alfonso XIII.

Siblings

Alfonso had two older sisters.

Maria de las Mercedes (1880)

Maria was born in 1880 and mairred Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Sicily in 1901. They had three children Alphonse of Bourbon-Sicily (1901), Ferdinan of Bourbon-Sicily (1903), Isabella of Bourbon-Sicily (1904).

Maria Theresa de Bourbon (1882)

Maria Theresa was born in 1882. She mairred Ferdinand of Bavaria in 1906. They had no children. Maria Thresa died in 1912.

Childhood

We have no information on Alfonso's childhood at this time.

Childhood Clothing

We have no information on the clothing Alfonso wore as a boy.

Education

We have no details on Alfonso's education.

Marriage

Alfonso mairred Victoria-Eugenie in 1906 at the Church of San Jeronimo in Madrid. I do not know how they met or on their personal relationships.


Figure 2.--Queen Ena is seen here with five of her children in 1916. Prince Alfonso and Jaime would have been about 8-9 years old and wear white sailor suits with wide brimmed hats. Prince Juan weas a short pants outfit, with a similr wide brimmed hat. He would have been about 3 years old. Notice the heavy headgear worn by the princesses.

Queen Ena

Victoria Eugenie was one of Queen Victoria's 40 grandchildren, She was also a Battenberg, her mother was Princess Beatrice and her father Price Henry of Battenberg. She became Queen Ena. The English look of the children;s clothing suggest Queen Ena personally selected them. She seems to have taken an active role in raising the children. Most available images show the Queen with the children and not the King or the twomof them together. After Alfonso was deposed the royal family left Spain and lived in Italy and Switzerland. The Queen died in Switzerland during 1969.

Children

King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena had seven children. It was a large happy family with the children fairly close in age. The revolution establishing the Republic (1931) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), affected the status of the Spanish royal family. Alphonso Pius and Alfonso's other older sons abdigated or renounced their claims to the crown. The Republic overthrew the monarchy (1931). General Francisco Franco led a revolution which led to the Civil War and overthrew pf the the Republic (2936-39). Franco did not, however, immediately restore the monarchy. It was to be a younger son, Prince Juan Carlos, that would eventually regain the Spanish crown for his son that his own father had lost.

Children's Clothing

We have no written information on the clothing worn by the children. Available images show that the boys when they were younger wore a variety of short pants outfits. Some appear to be simple jumoers and shorts. Ither outfits appear to be button-on suits with blouses and shorts. White socks were normally worm with shirts. At a slightly older age they began wearing long pants sailor suits with wide-brimmed sailior hats. As older boys they wore knicker suits and Eton collars. The girls appear to have worn extensive head gear out of doors. I think the fashion at the time was to avoid getting any kind of tan

Reign

Alfonso XIII was one of Spain's longest ruling monarchs. He was King of Spain from 1886-1931. Alfonso XIII supported the military dictatorship (1923-30) of Miguel Primo de Rivera, but social unrest and a republican election victory led to his deposition and exile (1931). After the triumph of a republican-Socialist coaltion plebecite in the major cities, Alfonso XIII left the country, faciliting the proclamation of the Second Republic. The King from exile supported several attempts of monarchic recovery, especially the unsuccessful military rise of July 18, 1936. The resulting Republic was attacked in 1936 by rebel forced organized by Francisco Franco who commanded Spain's forces in Morocco. The resulting Civil War horrified Europe and was in effect the prelude to World War II. Aided by NAZI Germany and Fascist Italy, Franco won and Franco ruled until his death in 1975. Alfonso lived on France and Switzerland, but settles in Rome. He abdicated Spanish the dynastic rights of the Bourbon in the person of his third son man, Juan, after the resignations of Princes Alfonso and Jaime. Alfonso XIII hoped that Franco would reinstall him on the throne, but Franco refused to do so. Alfonso died in Rome during 1941 at the height of World War II. He was burried in the church of Montserrat of Rome until their transfer in 1980 to be deposited in the Panteón Real del Monasterio de El Escorial.







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Created: June 29, 2001
Last updated: 8:04 PM 7/26/2008