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Francis of Spain
King consort of Spain; Duke of Cádiz
King consort of Spain
Tenure 10 October 1846 – 25 June 1870
Spouse Isabella II of Spain
Isabella, Princess of Asturias
Alfonso XII of Spain
Infanta Maria de la Paz
Infanta Eulalia, Duchess of Galliera
Father Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain
Mother Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Born 13 May 1822(1822-05-13)
Aranjuez, Spain
Died 17 April 1902 (aged 79)
Épinay-sur-Seine, France
Coat of arms of Francis of Assisi as King Consort of Spain.

Francis, Duke of Cádiz (Spanish: Francisco de Asís de Borbón; 13 May 1822 – 17 April 1902) was king consort of Spain as spouse of Isabella II of Spain.



Francis was born at Aranjuez, Spain, the second son of Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain, Duke of Cadiz, and of his wife, Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. He was named after Francis of Assisi.

Francis' paternal grandparents were Charles IV of Spain and Maria Luisa of Parma. His maternal grandparents were Francis I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Isabella of Spain. Maria Isabella was a daughter of Charles IV and Maria Luisa.


Francis married Isabella, his double first cousin, on 10 October 1846. There is evidence that young Isabella would rather have married his younger brother, Infante Enrique, Duke of Sevilla, and complained bitterly about her husband's effeminate habits after their first night together. Nonetheless, twelve children were born of the marriage, of whom five reached adulthood:

Later life

Starting in 1864, Francis acted as president of the Spanish Privy Council (Consejo del Reino). In 1868 he went into exile with his wife in France. They were amicably separated and, with time, became good friends, which they had certainly not been while she was Queen regnant. In exile, Francis adopted the incognito title of Count of Moratalla. The 1874 restoration placed his son Alfonso XII on the throne.

Without returning to Spain, Francis took up residence at the château of Épinay-sur-Seine, France, in 1881 and died there in 1902. The castle is currently the Épinay-sur-Seine city hall.


16. Philip V of Spain
8. Charles III of Spain
17. Elisabeth of Parma
4. Charles IV of Spain
18. Augustus III of Poland
9. Maria Amalia of Saxony
19. Maria Josepha of Austria
2. Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain
20. Philip V of Spain (= 16)
10. Philip, Duke of Parma
21. Elisabeth of Parma (= 17)
5. Maria Luisa of Parma
22. Louis XV of France
11. Princess Louise-Élisabeth of France
23. Maria Leszczyńska
1. Francis of Spain
24. Charles III of Spain (= 8)
12. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
25. Maria Amalia of Saxony (= 9)
6. Francis I of the Two Sicilies
26. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
13. Marie Caroline of Austria
27. Maria Theresa of Austria
3. Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
28. Charles III of Spain (= 8)
14. Charles IV of Spain (= 4)
29. Maria Amalia of Saxony (= 9)
7. Maria Isabella of Spain
30. Philip, Duke of Parma (= 10)
15. Maria Luisa of Parma (= 5)
31. Princess Louise-Élisabeth of France (= 11)


There has been considerable speculation that some or all of Isabella's children were not fathered by Francis; this has been bolstered by rumours that Francis was either homosexual or unable to complete the sex act due to physical impediments. As Francis and Isabella were double first cousins (their fathers were brothers and their mothers were sisters) nuclear DNA typing is problematic, as Francis and Isabella shared a significant number of genes, but it does not make it impossible; the main impediment is that nuclear DNA typing for this purpose is most accurate when DNA from both parents is compared with that of their children and not with that of more distant descendants (who also carry the genes of other family lines). In addition, testing would require exhumation of Francis, Isabella, and one or all of their children; this necessity could pose logistical problems.

Y chromosome testing would show whether a putative male-line descendant (such as Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou or Juan Carlos of Spain) was descended from the same male line as Francis, but would not prove that Francis himself (as opposed to Enrique or another male-line family member) was the father of Isabella's children. Mitochondrial DNA testing, a common form of testing used in forensic identification, would not be useful in this case, as mitochondrial DNA is only passed on from the mother.


Bergamini, John D. The Spanish Bourbons: The History of a Tenacious Dynasty. New York: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-399-11365-7

Francis, Duke of Cádiz
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 13 May 1822 Died: 17 April 1902
Spanish royalty
Preceded by
Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies
King Consort of Spain
1846–1868 1870
Succeeded by
Maria Victoria al Pozzo della Cisterna

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