Duchess of Alba is popularly known for her young lovers and numerous plastic surgeries, but amongst all these, there’s something else notable about her.
She became one of the most controversial and royals of all. Not minding all the luxury, Cayetana had a difficult childhood.
Cayetana lost her mother to tuberculosis at the age of 8. She inherited all the titles and had to live without a mother at a young age.
She was born into royalty and had a good relationship with her father Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Falcó, 17th Duke of Alba.
Her teenage days were also a roll coater as she had to leave for France with her father when the Spanish Royal Family was forced into exile in 1931. Monarchy in Spain was abolished, and a democratic republic was established.
She didn’t like France as most memories she had there were sour and she also suffered appendicitis. Things got better when her father was appointed an ambassador to Spain and they had to leave for London.
She got a better education and learned to speak different languages and got to get into the social sphere of London’s socialites. It was during that time she got to be friends with Princess Margaret.
Cayetana also got to be friends with Queen Elizabeth II as she was a descendant of English King James II.
Her most prominent friendship was that of Princess Margaret as they had similar interests and likes of being controversial and breaking royal rules.
Cayetana was first married to Pedro Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artacoz, who had a noble original. Their marriage was one of the most lavish weddings ever and being described as “the most expensive wedding in the world”. According to reports, the wedding cost 20 million pesetas, equivalent to roughly $10,000,000 in 2015.
The couple had six children together. In 1972, Pedro kicked the bucket and Cayetana mourned him for over 6 years.
A few years later, Cayetana found love again. Her marriage with Jesús Aguirre y Ortiz de Zarate, had many people talking as she was 11 years older than him and many described Jesús as a toyboy and gold digger. Cayetana cared the least about what they had to say.
“Some people will not forgive me for having married an intelligent man. We are very happy together; we do not need anyone else,” Cayetana told People in 1979.
She became a widow again in 2001 and many thought it was the end of her love life, but she proved them wrong again and got married to Alfonso Diez Carabantes. A decision her children were against.
“I do not know why my children are causing problems. We are not hurting anyone. Alfonso does not want anything, he renounced everything. He does not want anything but me,” Cayetana said.
According to reports, the marriage was happy. Naturally, Cayetana had a hard time keeping up – she was, after all, 85 years old when she and Alfonso tied the knot. Only three years after the wedding, Cayetana passed away. She died on November 19, 2014, at the age of 88.
In the Guinness book of records, she is the most titled aristocrat in the world when she passed away from pneumonia, with over 40 hereditary titles.