Sunday, December 7, 2014

Duchess of Alba: Spain's richest aristocrat dies aged 88

The frizzy-haired eccentric aristocrat was one of Spain's most-loved figures whose antics filled the nation's gossip magazines and gripped the audiences of TV chat shows even during the final months of her long life.

Described as the "rebel noble", she spurned convention to forge her own path in life, following her passion for flamenco and, as a patron of the arts, amassing a private collection of masterpieces said to rival any in Europe.
 
Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart had more titles than any other aristocrat and owned palaces and an extensive property portfolio as well as paintings by Goya and Velazquez.

 A statue of the duchess already stands in Seville

 The Duchess of Alba married Alfonso Diez in 2011 - Brooches of the duchess, accentuating the unusual looks she had acquired as a result of plastic surgery, were handed out at her wedding as part of the celebrations

 The duchess was the world's most titled person, according to Guinness World Records. She was five times a duchess, 18 times a marchioness, 18 times a countess, 14 times a Spanish grandee and once a viscountess.