Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria

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Infante Carlos
Duke of Calabria (more)
Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria.jpg
Photographed in his studio in a Teba jacket
Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (disputed)
Tenure3 February 1964 – 5 October 2015
Predecessor Infante Alfonso
Successor Prince Pedro
Born(1938-01-16)16 January 1938
Lausanne, Switzerland
Died5 October 2015(2015-10-05) (aged 77)
Retuerta del Bullaque, Spain
El Escorial, Spain [1]
IssuePrincess Cristina
Princess María
Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria
Princess Inés
Princess Victoria
Full name
Spanish: Carlos María Alfonso Marcelo
House Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Father Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria
Mother Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma
Religion Roman Catholic
Royal styles of
Infante Carlos of Spain,
Duke of Calabria
Coat of arms of Carlos Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (External Ornaments as Infante of Spain).svg
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Carlos Maria Alfonso Marcelo de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y de Borbón-Parma, Infante of Spain, Duke of Calabria (16 January 1938 – 5 October 2015) was, at his death, the last infante of Spain during the reigns of his cousins King Juan Carlos I and King Felipe VI.

Duke of Calabria was the traditional title of the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Naples after the accession of Robert of Naples. It was also adopted by the heads of certain Houses that had once claimed the Kingdom of Naples in lieu of the royal title.

Infante, also anglicised as Infant or translated as Prince, is the title and rank given in the Iberian kingdoms of Spain and Portugal to the sons and daughters (infantas) of the king, regardless of age, sometimes with the exception of the [male] heir apparent to the throne who usually bears a unique princely or ducal title. The wife of a male infante was accorded the title of infanta if the marriage was dynastically approved, although since 1987 this is no longer automatically the case in Spain. Husbands of born infantas did not obtain the title of infante through marriage, although occasionally elevated to that title de gracia at the sovereign's command.

Juan Carlos I of Spain King of Spain

Juan Carlos I is a former King of Spain, reigning from 1975 until his abdication in 2014.


Additionally, he was also one of two claimants to the headship of the dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies prior to its incorporation into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, in which capacity he was also the Grand Master of one of the three branches of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.

Pretender someone who claims a relation to a throne

A pretender is one who maintains or is able to maintain a claim that they are entitled to a position of honour or rank, which may be occupied by an incumbent, or whose powers may currently be exercised by another person or authority. Most often, it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied or claimed by a rival or has been abolished.

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Italian state (pre-unification)

The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was the largest of the states of Italy before the Italian unification. It was formed as a union of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples, which collectively had long been called the "Two Sicilies".

Kingdom of Italy kingdom on the Appenine Peninsula between 1861 and 1946

The Kingdom of Italy was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when civil discontent led a constitutional referendum to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.

Early life and education

The second of three children and the only son of Infante Alfonso de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y de Borbón (1901–1964) and Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma (1917–2017), he was born during his parents' exile from republican Spain in Lausanne, Switzerland. [2] As the elder son of Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by Mercedes, Princess of Asturias (1880-1904), the eldest child of Alfonso XII of Spain, Alfonso had been heir presumptive to the Spanish throne between the death in childbirth of his mother and the birth in May 1907 of a son to his mother's brother, King Alfonso XIII. [3] If Mateu Morral’s attempt to assassinate King Alfonso XIII of Spain had succeeded, Infante Alfonso (Infante Carlos’s father) would have become at that moment the King of Spain. [4]

Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria Duke of Calabria

Infante Alfonso of Spain, Prince of the Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria was one of two claimants to the title of the head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies from 1960 until his death in 1964. Alfonso was the son of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1870–1949) and his wife Mercedes, Princess of Asturias (1880–1904). He was born and died in Madrid, Spain.

Lausanne Place in Vaud, Switzerland

Lausanne is a city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and the capital and biggest city of the canton of Vaud. The city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva. It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura Mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva.

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Italian noble

Don Carlos, Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infante of Spain was the son of Prince Alfonso of the Two Sicilies, Count of Caserta and his wife Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and nephew of the last King of the Two Sicilies, Francis II.

Raised from infancy side-by-side with his future king, Juan Carlos I (Carlos's elder by 11 days), the cousins attended school together first in Switzerland and later in Spain. [5] Carlos was chosen by the Spanish pretender, Don Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona, to become Juan Carlos's roommate at a boarding school that Don Juan and Spain's dictator Francisco Franco agreed to establish to bring the potential future king from his family's exile in Portugal to be educated in Spain. [6] The school was the site of a country house, Las Jarillas, located 10 miles north of Madrid and donated for the purpose by the Marquès de Urquijo. [6]

Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona Spanish count

Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona, also known as Don Juan, was the third son and designated heir of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. His father was replaced by the Second Spanish Republic, and under his son, Juan Carlos I, a constitutional monarchy was restored.

Boarding school School where some or all pupils live-in

A boarding school provides education for pupils who live on the premises, as opposed to a day school. The word "boarding" is used in the sense of "room and board", i.e. lodging and meals. As they have existed for many centuries, and now extend across many countries, their function and ethos varies greatly. Traditionally, pupils stayed at the school for the length of the term; some schools facilitate returning home every weekend, and some welcome day pupils. Some are for either boys or girls while others are co-educational.

Francisco Franco Spanish general and dictator

Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general and politician who ruled over Spain as a military dictator from 1939, after the nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. This period in Spanish history is commonly known as Francoist Spain.

In November 1948 Carlos and Juan Carlos took up residence there, along with eight selected sons of the aristocracy (and one commoner, the future cabinet member José Luis Leal Maldonado) and a team of tutors selected by Don Juan, including as headmaster the liberal scholar José Garrido, along with a traditionalist chaplain, Ignacio de Zulueta. [6] Over the course of the next two years, under the guidance of Pedro Martínez de Irujo y Caro, Duque de Sotomayor in loco parentis , the princes were carefully educated and introduced to distinguished Spaniards, including Franco himself as well as Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo and Fernando Alvarez de Miranda. [6] The princes obtained their bacs from the Colegiata de San Isidro de Madrid, and reunited to take courses in law together at the University of Madrid, remaining close friends throughout. [5]

Cabinet (government) group of high ranking officials, usually representing the executive branch of government

A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

The term in loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent" refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. Originally derived from English common law, it is applied in two separate areas of the law.

Complutense University of Madrid university in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world

The Complutense University of Madrid is a public research university located in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world. The university enrolls over 86,000 students, being the 3rd largest non-distance European university by enrollment, and consistently ranking as one of the top universities in Spain. According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the university is widely regarded as the most prestigious academic institution in Spain. It is located on a sprawling campus that occupies the entirety of the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, with annexes in the district of Somosaguas in the neighboring city of Pozuelo de Alarcón.


Carlos lived in Madrid with his family. Their assets included agricultural properties in Toledo and Ciudad Real. He also held investments in major companies, including Repsol and Telefonica.

Toledo, Spain City in Castile–La Mancha, Spain

Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain; it is the capital of the province of Toledo and the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive monumental and cultural heritage.

Ciudad Real Municipality in Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Ciudad Real is a city in Castile–La Mancha, Spain, with a population of c. 75,000. It is the capital of the province of Ciudad Real. It has a stop on the AVE high-speed rail line and has begun to grow as a long-distance commuter suburb of Madrid, which is located 115 miles (185 km) to the north of Ciudad Real.

Repsol Spanish oil and gas company

Repsol S.A. is an energy company based in Madrid, Spain. It carries out upstream and downstream activities throughout the entire world. It has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. It is vertically integrated and operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.


In April 1961 Carlos met his future wife, Princess Anne of Orléans, in Madrid, at the wedding of his elder sister, Princess Teresa, with Don Iñigo Moreno, future Marquess of Laula. [5] In May 1962 they met again at the wedding in Athens of Infante Juan Carlos to Princess Sophia, daughter of the Greek king Paul of the Hellenes, appearing together at each of several occasions over the course of the week-long wedding celebrations. [5] Two months later, Anne was invited to and visited the home of Carlos's parents at Toledana. [5] By the end of 1963, the secret was out: French news media pictured the couple together and speculated about the date when the engagement of the royal couple would be announced publicly. [5]

Carlos's uniform of the Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla, worn by him as best man to the wedding of his cousin King Juan Carlos I in 1962 Uniforme de maestrante.jpg
Carlos's uniform of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, worn by him as best man to the wedding of his cousin King Juan Carlos I in 1962

Although both were Roman Catholic Bourbons by male-line descent, a disagreement now erupted between the couple's fathers about the dynastic claim of Carlos's father to the legacy of the deposed Bourbon-Sicily dynasty, whose last undisputed head, Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria, had died childless in January 1960. [5] Carlos's father, Infante Alfonso, had asserted himself as rightful heir because his late father, Carlo of Bourbon-Sicily (1870-1949), had been Calabria's next oldest brother. [5] Anne's father Henri, Comte de Paris, however, upheld the claim of Ferdinand's next younger brother, Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro (1883-1973) to the headship of the house, contending that Carlo had renounced his and his future descendants' Sicilian rights when he married the Spanish heiress presumptive, Mercedes of Asturias, in 1901, no doubt being mindful that his own claim to be head of the royal House of France depended upon the validity of the 1713 renunciation of a senior Bourbon prince, Philippe, Duc d'Anjou, in favor of the junior House of Orléans. The Comte de Paris withheld his consent, thus plans for the couple's marriage were dropped. [5]

Carlos's father died in 1964, and with patience, persistence and compromise from afar, he eventually obtained the hand of his bride. [5] The 250 guests received one of two different invitations from either the bride's parents or the groom; the former referred to the bride's marriage to " HRH Prince Carlos of Bourbon", while the latter announced the wedding of "Princess Anne of France" to the "Duke of Calabria". On 11 May 1965 at Louveciennes the "lovers of the Gotha" (as the press dubbed the couple) were married in a civil ceremony and the following day, the Comte de Paris escorted his daughter to the altar at the Chapelle royale de Dreux , the Orléans' traditional parish chapel and necropolis, for Catholic nuptials. [5]


The couple had five children [2] and twenty grandchildren:


Departing Europe to spend a year abroad after his broken engagement, Carlos rounded out his study of the law with internships at several banks in the Americas, notably Chase Manhattan in New York, the National Bank of Mexico and the Banco Popular del Peru. [5] Following marriage, Carlos and his wife remained for sometime guests of the Marquès de Decio, head of the household of Infante Alfonso in his capacity as Duke of Calabria. In 1966 the couple took up residence in a large apartment in the heart of Madrid. [5]

Carlos then launched a professional specialization in financial law and banking. [5] After his father's death in 1964 he also managed his family's large agricultural holdings in Spain.


Infante Carlos was one of two claimants of the dignity of Head of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies. The other claimant was his second cousin Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro. Infante Carlos was also one of three claimants to the Grand Magistery of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George; the other two claimants are Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Carlo, Duke of Castro.

Infante Carlos was the senior male-line descendant of Ferdinand IV and III of Naples and Sicily (Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) and as such "first born legitimate heir of the Farnese" (primogenito legittimo farnesiano), as Ferdinand was designated by his father, King Charles III of Spain, on 16 October 1759 (ten days after abdicating the Two Sicilies Crown). Although Ferdinand had two elder brothers, his eldest brother was mentally retarded and deemed unfit to inherit any crown; his next eldest brother, meanwhile, was his father's heir to the crown of Spain; treaty provisions prevented the union of the crowns of Spain, Naples and Sicily on the head of one person.

Prince Carlo of Bourbon, grandfather of the Infante, renounced his rights by signing the Act of Cannes[ clarification needed ]. While "Duke of Castro" is a title that belongs to the Head of the Royal House along with Duke of Parma, Piacenza, etc., Duke of Calabria is a title of the Crown Prince, corresponding to the Spanish Prince of Asturias or the British Prince of Wales.

Titles, styles and honours

Titles and styles


Protector of the Real Cuerpo de la Nobleza of Madrid, Maestrante of Sevilla, Zaragoza, Granada, Valencia and Ronda, [13] Member of the Real Cuerpo de la Nobleza of Catalonia, Member of the Cofradía del Santo Cáliz of Valencia, and Patron-President of the Foundation of the Military Order's Hospital of Santiago de Cuenca (Patrono-Presidente de la Fundación de las Ordenes Militares Hospital de Santiago de Cuenca). Infante Carlos was also President of the Spanish Foundation of the United World College, [14] President of the Patronato of the Naval Museum, President of the Spanish Confederation of Foundations, [15] President of the Iberoamerican Confederation of Foundations, [16] President of the Foundation of San Benito de Alcántara, [17] and President of the Foundation for the Protection of Nature (Fundación Fondo para la Protección de la Naturaleza). He died on 5 October 2015 at the age of 77. [18]

Under the traditional succession laws of the Kingdom of Navarre, Carlos's mother Infanta Alicia, born a Princess of Bourbon-Parma, was the claimant to that throne, which was formally united with the Kingdom of France in the seventeenth century. She was also the closest known genealogical representative of King Edward the Confessor, and the direct genealogical representative of King David I of Scotland. [19]



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Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria Spanish noble

Infanta Margarita of Spain, Duchess of Soria, 2nd Duchess of Hernani, Grandee of Spain, is the younger sister of King Juan Carlos and aunt of the reigning King Felipe VI of Spain.

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Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Italian princess

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Infanta Alicia of Spain, Duchess of Calabria was a daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma, and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria. Alicia was Duchess of Calabria through her marriage to Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria (1901–1964). She bore the title of Infanta of Spain from 1936, and took part in some of the activities that the Spanish Royal Family organises. Through marriage, she was maternal half-aunt of Juan Carlos I of Spain. She was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, and died in Madrid, Spain. She was paternal first cousin of Boris III of Bulgaria, and paternal half-first cousin of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Otto, Crown Prince of Austria and Queen Anne of Romania.

Prince Pedro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria, is the only son of Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria (1938–2015) and his wife, Princess Anne of Orléans.

The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was unified with the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. The headship of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies has been disputed since the death of claimant Prince Ferdinand Pius, Duke of Calabria on 7 January 1960 between Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro and his descendants and Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria and his descendants. The two current claimants to the former realm of the Two Sicilies are Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro and Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria, both descended in the male line from Charles III of Spain, who succeeded to the crowns of Naples and Sicily in 1734, reigning there until his succession to the throne of Spain with the death of his brother, Ferdinand VI of Spain on 10 August 1759. By the treaties of Vienna of 1738 and Naples of 1759 he was obliged to surrender the thrones of Naples and Sicily to preserve the European balance of power,

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  1. Hola
  2. 1 2 Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser Band XV. "Spanien". C.A. Starke, Limburg an der Lahn, 1997, pp. 103-105. (German). ISBN   3-7980-0814-0.
  3. Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 523-525, 527. (French). ISBN   2-908003-04-X
  4. "Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, único Infante de España por expreso deseo del rey Juan Carlos". ¡Hola! (in Spanish). 6 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 de Montjouvent, Philippe. Le Comte de Paris et sa Descendance. Editions du Chaney, 1998, Charenton, pp. 251-261, 264-265, 270-272. (French). ISBN   2-913211-00-3.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Powell, Charles (1996). Juan Carlos of Spain. Oxford, UK: MacMillan Press, St. Antony's Series. pp. 50–51, 221–222. ISBN   0-333-54726-8.
  7. Orden Constantiniana de San Jorge
  8. Royal Decree 2412/1994 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  10. "Del Imperio a la Unión Europea: La huella de Otto de Habsburgo en el siglo XX. Escrito por Ramón Pérez-Maura"
  13. Maestranza de Caballeria
  14. Fundación Comité Español de Colegios del Mundo Unido
  15. Asociacion de Fundaciones
  16. Confederación Iberoamericana de Fundaciones
  17. Fundación San Benito de Alcántara
  18. Muere el infante Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, primo y amigo de Juan Carlos I
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) The Constantinian Order, magazine


  1. Prince Carlos was created an Infante of Spain by King Juan Carlos I of Spain by Royal Decree 2412 dated 16 December 1994 as the "Representative of a line linked historically to the Spanish Crown". If the renunciations of the sisters and aunts of the present king are considered valid under Spain's current constitution, Carlos was also next in line for the Spanish throne after the legitimate descendants of King Juan Carlos I.
Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 16 January 1938 Died: 5 October 2015
Preceded by
King of the Two Sicilies
1964 – 2015
Reason for succession failure:
Italian Unification under the House of Savoy
Succeeded by