Remembering the Duchess of Alba

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The Duchess of Alba passed away this morning at the age of 88, following a period of illness. Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva,18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, was one of the few women in the royal world of male primogeniture to carry her title in her own right (she was the only child of the 17th Duke of Alba). She was well known for her glamorous lifestyle, her record number of noble titles (more than 40), her controversial marriages, her passions for art, culture and flamenco dance, and her very colourful fashion.

Duchess of Alba | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba, 1955| Royal HatsIn Cordoban costume for the 1955 Seville fair

 Duchess of Alba | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba, 1962 | Royal Hats

 Leading a pre-bullfight parade during Spain’s 400th anniversary in 1962

Duchess of Alba, 1966 | Royal Hats At a bullfight with the Countess of Quintanilla and Jaqueline Kennedy in 1966

Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats  Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats   Duchess of Alba  | Royal HatsDuchess of Alba, May 3, 2010  | Royal Hats

At the May 3, 2010 wedding of Pepito Marquez y Gonzalez de Gregorio and Edina Zichy

Duchess of Alba, April 4, 2011  | Royal Hats Duchess of Alba, August 14, 2013  | Royal Hats

At the Seville Fair in April 2011; Enjoying Ibiza in August 2013

Duchess of Alba, October 11, 2013  | Royal Hats

At the October 11, 2013 wedding of Maria Colonques and Andres Benet

Duchess of Alba, 1980 | Royal Hats

In the garden of the Palace of Liria, 1980

Photos from Elmundo; Jerry Cooke via Getty; Rex via London Express; Loomis Dean via Getty; The Daily Mail; Enfemenio; The Telegraph; Lecturas; Europa Press, Europa Press and Aurora Fierro via Getty

11 thoughts on “Remembering the Duchess of Alba

  1. What an amazing woman! Yes, she has wealth beyond our wildest dreams… Which could have ruined many people. She clearly enjoyed every minute and decided to stay young until the end. I have to say, that’s just how I’d do it!

  2. Interesting, I think, that in this selection of portraits, she only seems really to come into her own, to look happy and satisfied, after she’d started her rather drastic experiments with her appearance. She may not have ended up a conventional picture of regal beauty, but it would seem she liked how it all turned out…

  3. I’m so pleased you compiled this tribute. Although her eccentricity certainly overtook propriety in recent decades, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart was beloved by many in Spain and especially by citizens of Seville.
    The gentleman in the next-to-the-last photo, incidentally, is the Duchess’s (3rd) husband, Alfonso Diez, who at 64 is two years younger than her oldest son, Carlos, the new duke.
    The woman in the 5th picture, to the left of Jacqueline Kennedy, is the American (spy) Aline Griffith, now known as the Dowager Countess of Romanones.

  4. What beautiful pictures of her, I so admire this woman who in life where men are more powerful, she rose above all of them to be her own person and live her life on her terms. She is one person on this earth that really lived each moment of her life and let nothing slip by her. Oh the lace veils, I so love the mystery of them, they make a woman look so feminine and yet powerful.

  5. She marched to the beat of her own drummer and lived her life to its fullest. I applaud her for that! This colorful lady was full of fun and she will be missed. Her bold fashion choices were not always to my taste, but she rocked them and I admired her for living life her way. May she rest in peace.

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