Spanish noble Duchess of Alba dies at age 88

Updated: 2014-11-21 10:54


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Spanish noble Duchess of Alba dies at age 88

Maria Eugenia Martinez de Irujo (R), daughter of Spain's Duchess of Alba, sits next to her mother's coffin in the town hall of the Andalusian capital of Seville, Nov 20, 2014.Spain's 18th Duchess of Alba, who died on Thursday aged 88, was one of Europe's wealthiest and most titled aristocrats, the owner of fabulous palaces and priceless works of art. She died after a short illness, surrounded by family in the 14th century Palacio de Duenas in Seville, famous for its lemon-tree-filled courtyards and her favourite of her many properties. Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, known to friends as "Cayetana", was named by Guinness World Records as the world's most titled person.

MADRID - The Duchess of Alba, a Spanish noble who is known for having more titles than anyone else on earth, died of pneumonia on Thursday at the age of 88.

Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart had asked to be taken to her home at the Las Duenas Palace in Seville on Tuesday night, according to local media reports.

She had a place in the Guinness Book of Records as having 49 inherited aristocratic titles, more than anyone else in the world, and was a distant relative of people such as King James II of England, Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

The Duchess of Alba was also extremely wealth, owning a large amount of property, as well as a massive art collection, which featured works by artists such as Spanish greats Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez, as well as a first edition of Don Quixote and many priceless historic documents, including Columbus's first map of America.

A regular fixture in society magazines, in recent years she courted controversy over her decision to marry Alfonso Diaz, a civil servant 25 years her junior, a choice which was not welcomed by all of her family, although all six of her children and her husband, were at her bedside when she died.

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