Thursday, 23 January 2014

The heirs of 1914: Spain

The heir to the throne of Spain in 1914 was a man who would never wear his country's crown.  Alfonso Pio Cristino Eduardo Fracisco Guillermo Carlos Enrique Eugenoio Fernando Antonio Venancio, Prince of Asturias had been first in line to his country's throne since his birth in 1907.  At the age of 11, he was in the middle of his education as a king in waiting and although his father, Alfonso XIII, had already encountered several difficult periods in a reign that had started at the moment of his own birth, there was a general expectation that his own little Alfonso would one day reign in Spain as the fourteenth monarch of that name.

Alfonso, Prince of Asturias as a child.  He was born to rule Spain but died in exile

There were concerns over Prince Alfonso's health as he had inherited haemophilia from his mother's side of the family and he was well protected to avoid injuries that might lead to bleeding.  But in 1914, his life was a straightforward tale of a young boy born to be king learning how to be a king.  Just 17 years later, his father would lose his throne and the whole family would flee into exile.  Alfonso would give up his dynastic rights to marry a commoner in 1933.  By the time he died, as a result of heavy bleeding from injuries sustained in a car accident in 1938, he had divorced and remarried and even if the throne to which he has been born had returned from exile, Alfonso would not have been eligible to inherit it.  This heir of 1914 would never inherit his country's crown.

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