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Gonzalo, Duke of Aquitaine (5 June 1937 – 27 May 2000) (Gonzalo Victor Alfonso José Bonifacio Antonio María y Todos los Santos de Borbón y Dampierre, French citizen as Gonzalve Victor de Bourbon) was a grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.



Gonzalo was born in the Clinica Santa Anna in Rome,[1] the younger son of Infante Jaime of Spain and of his wife, Emmanuelle de Dampierre. He was baptised with the names Gonzalo Victor Alfonso José Bonifacio Antonio Maria y Todos los Santos in the chapel of the hospital where he had been born.[2]

In 1941, after the death of Alfonso XIII, Gonzalo moved with his family to Lausanne in Switzerland. They lived first at the Hotel Royal, before Gonzalo and his older brother Alfonso were sent to the Collège Saint-Jean in Fribourg.[3] On 8 December 1946 Gonzalo made his first communion; on the same day he was confirmed by Cardinal Pedro Segura y Sáenz, Archbishop of Seville.[4]

In 1953 Gonzalo visited Spain for the first time. The following year General Francisco Franco allowed Gonzalo and Alfonso to continue their education in Spain.[5]

In September 1955 Gonzalo and Alfonso were both injured in an automobile accident near Lausanne.[6] They were returning from Windsor and had been driving all day and all night.[7]

In December 1959 an engagement was announced between Gonzalo and Dorothy Marguerite Fritz of San Francisco, daughter of Nicholas Eugene Fritz, Jr.[8] She was a wealthy heiress and the owner of the exclusive Huntington Hotel. The marriage never took place.

In November 1961 Gonzalo and his brother Alfonso, concerned that their father was wasting away his money, applied to a French Court for a decree of interdiction against their father; this would have meant that their father would have been legally considered a minor.[9] They were supported in their application by their grandmother Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain as well as by other members of the Spanish Royal Family. In January 1962 the court held that there were not sufficient grounds for an interdiction, but it did appoint a trustee for reasons of prodigality and extravagance.

On 28 January 1983, at Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, Gonzalo was married in a civil ceremony to María del Carmen Harto y Monteallegre (born Vallecas, Madrid, 23 April 1947), daughter of Rafael Harto y ... and wife María del Carmen Monteallegre y .... They received a civil divorce on 18 April 1983, before the marriage had been registered in Spain.

On 25 June 1984 in Madrid, Gonzalo was married in a civil ceremony to María de las Mercedes Licer y García (born Valencia, 15 October 1963), daughter of Luis Licer y ... and wife, María de las Mercedes García y Estrada. They renewed their vows in a religious ceremony on 30 June 1984, at Olmedo, near Valladolid. They separated in July 1985, were civilly divorced in 1989, and received a religious annulment in 1994.

On 12 December 1992 in Genoa, Italy, Gonzalo was married in a civil ceremony to Emanuela Pratolongo (born Genoa, 22 March 1960), daughter of Vincenzo Pratolongo and wife (m. 8 July 1951) Sofia Hardouin di Gallese (b. Genoa, 13 October 1930, in turn daughter of Blasco Hardouin di Gallese (18 June 1903 – 1 December 1956), of the Dukes di Gallese, and wife (m. 14 January 1928) Elena Scerni. They renewed their vows in a religious ceremony on 17 September 1995 in Rome.

Gonzalo had no children from any of his marriages. He did, however, have an illegitimate but recognized daughter by her father as legitimate by Sandra Lee Landry, daughter of Paul Octavio Landry and wife Margaret Lee Bledsoe:[10]

Gonzalo died of leukemia at Lausanne, Switzerland. He is buried in the Chapel of Saint Sebastian in the church of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid.

Rank and titles

Since Gonzalo's mother was not born a princess of a royal house, his grandfather Alfonso XIII did not consider Gonzalo in line to the Spanish throne in accordance with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1776. Gonzalo's father Jaime disagreed, however, and maintained that his sons were Spanish dynasts with the style His Royal Highness. In Spain Gonzalo was generally addressed as Don Gonzalo de Borbón y Dampierre. Elsewhere he was often addressed as a prince with the style His Royal Highness.

The internal family conflict over Gonzalo's rank and title continued throughout his life. In 1972 his uncle the Count of Barcelona invited him to the wedding of his daughter Margarita; the invitation did not recognise the royal rank of Gonzalo who wrote a letter of protest to his uncle.[11]

Gonzalo was considered a French prince with the style His Royal Highness by those legitimists who believed that his grandfather Alfonso XIII was also the heir to the French throne. After his grandfather's death and the accession of his father Jaime in 1941, Gonzalo was regarded as second in line to the legitimist French throne for many years until the birth of his nephew in 1972.

On 8 March 1972, Jaime named him and received him into the Order of the Holy Spirit and the Order of Saint Michael; the declarative letters patent were dated 21 September 1972.[12] Also on 21 September 1972 Jaime gave Gonzalo the title duc d'Aquitaine (Duke of Aquitaine).[13] He was given the Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus by Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy; the document of investiture referred to him as Duke of Aquitaine.

On 14 September 1988, the tribunal d'instance in Montpellier issued a certificate of French nationality to Gonzalo on the grounds that his mother was born French and had retained her nationality when she married. On 18 May 1989, Gonzalo was issued French national identity papers with the name SAR de Bourbon, duc d’Aquitaine, Gonzalve Victor (H.R.H. of Bourbon, Duke of Aquitaine, Gonzalve Victor). He later received a French passport with the same name.



  1. ^ Begoña Aranguren, Emanuela de Dampierre, Memorias: Esposa y madre de los Borbones que pudieron reinar en España (Madrid: Esfera, 2003), 111.
  2. ^ Aranguren, 112.
  3. ^ Marc Dem, Le duc d'Anjou m'a dit: La vie de l'aîné des Bourbons (Paris: Perrin, 1989), 23.
  4. ^ Dem, 24.
  5. ^ Dem, 43-44.
  6. ^ "Spanish Princes Hurt in Wreck", The New York Times (September 11, 1955): 81.
  7. ^ Dem, 48-49.
  8. ^ "Miss Dorothy Fritz Betrothed to Prince", The New York Times (December 18, 1959): 32.
  9. ^ "Trustee to Run Duke's Estate", The Times (January 25, 1962): 9.
  10. ^ Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants, Companion Volume (Falköping, Sweden: Rosvall Royal Books, 2004), 56.
  11. ^ Aranguren, 222-223.
  12. ^ État présent de la Maison de Bourbon, 3e éd. (Paris: Editions de Léopard d'or, 1985), 213.
  13. ^ État présent de la Maison de Bourbon, 3e éd., 116.

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