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Duchess of Alba dies in Seville at 88


Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, known as the Duchess of Alba, has died aged 88 in Seville.

She was Spain’s richest woman and one its most eccentric figures.

The Duchess of Alba had more titles than any other aristocrat and owned palaces and an extensive property portfolio as well as paintings by Goya and Velazquez.

She died at home on November 20 after a short illness.

She is survived by her husband of three years, Alfonso Diez, who is 25 years her junior.

The Duchess of Alba was the head of one of Spain’s oldest noble families.

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.

The Duchess of Alba was a regular in Spanish gossip magazines and was famous for hosting Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy on their visits to Spain.

In 1959, she turned her palace in Madrid over to French designer Yves Saint Laurent for a Dior fashion show.

One of the more memorable images from her latter years came when she flung off her shoes to perform an impromptu flamenco dance before a crowd of photographers and guests at her third wedding in 2011.

The Duchess of Alba’s wealth, estimated at between €600 million ($753 million) and €3.5 billion, is expected to be shared among her six children.

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