Husband number three at 85

2011-08-24 07:31

Madrid – Spain’s Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart (85) is to marry Labour Ministry civil servant Alfonso Diez.

Spain’s top aristocrat – who heads a dynasty dating to the 12th century and is said to have more noble titles than Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – said her third wedding would take place “in the most strict privacy”.

She had six children from her first marriage to aristocrat Luis Martinez de Irujo, who died in 1972. Six years later, she wed former Jesuit priest and intellectual Jesus Aguirre, who died this year.

Speculation as to a likely wedding had been rife for weeks, particularly after the duchess distributed most of her fortune among her six children. They had previously opposed a wedding, fearing that Diez – who is 25 years her junior – might be after their mother’s money.

The bride’s children would be attending the wedding, the statement said.

The exact value of the Alba fortune – which is partly managed by a foundation – is not known. Estimates put it at between €600 million and €3.5 billion, according to figures quoted by El Pais.

The duchess’ eldest son Carlos, the Duke of Huescar, will get overall control of the family fortune after Cayetana passes away.

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