the Empress Eugénie's sister
The Empress Eugénie's sister, Maria Francesca Palafox y Kirkpatrick, was known as ‘Paca’ within the family. She became the wife of the Duke of Alba, the highest-ranking noble in Spain. She died in Paris on 16 September 1860. The Empress was away at the time on a state visit to Algeria and was only told of her sister’s death on the return journey to France.