Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Don Carlos Stuart-FitzJames
the Empress Eugénie's nephew

Don Carlos Stuart-FitzJames was the nephew of the Empress Eugénie. Born in Madrid on 4 December 1849, at the death of his father in 1881 he became the 16th Duke of Alba. He died in New York on 15 October 1901.

According to his obituary in the Times (17 October 1901): ‘A New York Correspondent telegraphed last night - The Duke of Berwick and Alba died at his apartments in Holland-house, in this city, yesterday afternoon. He came as Sir Thomas Lipton’s guest, and arrived a few days before the first America Cup race and went to Holland-house […] He caught a cold on Thursday last and became feverish on Friday, and was attended by Dr Holbrook Curtis. The Duke seemed well on the way to recovery on Monday, but yesterday asthma, from which he had suffered for years, recurred, and he died in the afternoon from heart failure. A member of the Spanish Embassy has arrived to take charge of the body. The Duchess of Berwick and her children are in Belgium. The body is to be sent to Spain.

‘A Reuter telegram from New York states that Dr Curtis has telegraphed to the Empress Eugénie, the Duke’s aunt, announcing his death.

‘Undoubtedly in this man’s veins ran the blood of that great soldier, the victor of Almanza, who was the son of King James II, by Arabella Churchill, sister of the first Duke of Marlborough. The King created his son Duke of Berwick in 1687; but the title is not, of course, recognized in this country. It was from the elder of Berwick’s two sons […] that the Spanish noble who has just died descended. Carlos Maria Isabel Stuart Fitz-James y Portocarrero Palafox, 9th Duke of Berwick, 16th Duke of Alba de Tormes, of Liria, and of Olivares de Peñaranda, and holder of many another stately Spanish title, twelve times a grandee of Spain, Spanish Senator and Chamberlain, and a peer of France, was born in Madrid on December 4, 1849. He possessed four dukedoms, eleven marquisates, and fourteen titles of count, which it would be tedious to rehearse in full, as well as the Order of the Golden Fleece. His mother, descended from the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn, died in 1860. She was a Countess of Montijo – from which he obtained his title of Count of Montijo – the elder sister of the Empress Eugénie. He succeeded to the family honours on the death of his father in 1881. The duke married in Madrid, in 1877, Maria del Rosario Falco y Osorio, the 22nd Countess of Siruela, daughter of the late Duke of Fernan-Nuñez, a grandee of Spain of the first class; she was born in 1854 and is a lady-in-waiting to the Queen-Regent of Spain. The Duke and Duchess of Berwick had two sons and one daughter; the eldest, the Duke of Huescar, who now succeeds to his father’s titles, was born in Madrid on October 17, 1878.’

code: ad0016
Duc d'Albe, Duke of Alba, Duque de Alba, Alba, Don Carlos Stuart-FitzJames, Disdéri, Disderi