He Loves Me? He loves Me Not?

Last week saw a wedding here in my "adopted" city of Seville. The wedding of the loveable but eccentric Duchess of Alba (aged 85), to her "toyboy" (aged 61).

The deed has been done

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know there were a lot of tweets and questions about this union.Did the Spansish really love her, or were they laughing at her? What about the groom, did he really love her, or her titles? The questions were thick and fast on Twitter.

I really didn't have an opinion, so asked some of my Spanish clients and friends, was this really a love union? Here are some things I learnt about the Duchess and her celebrated union:

*She is the most noble/titled woman in the world. If she meets Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen must curtsey to her.

Before the perils of Botox and plastic surgery!

*She is descended from King James II and related to both Winston Churchill and Princess Diana
*Her library alone is valued at 36 million pounds and includes Christopher Columbus's first map of America
*She was listed in Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List along with Lady Gaga
* A client of mine here in Spain,who used to be her "Maid of Honour" at all the Debutánte balls told me that "ordinary" Spanish people love her. But the high society of Spain (and especially Seville) are embarrased by her antics and wish she would not be such a "loose cannon".
*However, the citizens of Seville, love her. She is very close to the citizens of the city; she walks around without bodyguards, chats to people etc and has donated a lot of money to various charities in Spain, but particularly in Seville.
* Nothing is known about the past relationships of the Groom. Rumour has it that the Duchess has paid the Press Association (equivalent) not to say anything. Quite common here in Spain.
* She is very happy buying in markets even though she can afford the best designers in the world. Her wedding attire was made by Spanish designers Vittorio & Lucchino.
* She was a first class flamenco dancer when she was younger, learning from THE best flamenco dancer in Spain.

Not quite sure "strutting her stuff" was appropriate. But then again
it was her day, not mine ;-)

* She was the first woman in Spain to master the art of bullfighting whilst mounted on a horse.

At the bull-ring of Seville with Jackie Kennedy.
Clearly poor Jackie O isn't enjoying what she is seeing.

But the big question everyone keeps asking is, are they in love? Everyone you speak to or listen too agrees she is definitely in love. Alfonso Diez (the Groom) is another question altogther. Everyone seems to unanimously agree that he is not in love with her.

What do you think?
*Was this an embarrasing spectacle that had the rest of the world ridiculing her/Spain?
*Should she be allowed to do what she wants even if it goes against protocol?
*If she loves him, why shouldn't she be able to marry at 85, or do you think it's ridiculous to get married at that age?
*Can true love exist between a woman of 85 and a man of 61?

I am still baffled by what I think.I would love to hear what the rest of the world thinks.


  1. she doesn't seem to mind the gossip--so good for her! the botox is a real tragedy :(

  2. I think she's so intriguing. And I definitely believe that she's in love. He seems to be too from what I've seen but I'll admit that's not very much :)

    Happy Monday, lovely! xoxo

  3. I can't get past her face, she has mutilated herself, if only she had let age take it's natural course. She looks simian, whatever was once injected into her lip has migrated.
    I hope he'll make her happy, he has no legal rights to her fortune, is he in in for the status, however short lived? I just don't know.

  4. It saddens me to see what she has done to herself with the botox. Even so, she deserves to live her life to the fullest, and to be happy and in love. I don't know if her new husband is in love with her, but he seems to give the appearance of being so. I hope, for her sake, he is.

  5. Well, I always believe that if you cannot say something good, then stay quiet.....but, seriously, WHY WHY WHY would anyone make themselves look so grotesque, it's just so wrong.

    I read - altho it may not be true - that the groom signed a pre-nup some time ago so it would appear he has not married her for her money.

    I'm sure she is not a bad person but she does look ridiculous...but that only reflects on her, not on Spain, she is clearly quite exceptional.

    It's her life so yes, she should be able to do just what she wants to do, it only really affects her.

    Happy Monday Van X

  6. Wow, so much learnt from this post. I think she loves him but not sure about the other way round.
    Finally caved in to joining Twitter! Will find you lovely. Hope you have a great week. X

  7. Anytime you see a much-older woman (and a wealthy one at that) marrying a younger man, it's natural to be suspicious and very often, rightly! But human nature is a curious thing. I'd bet that she really IS besotted with him ... don't know if I'd waste my money the other way around! In any regard, I wish them, as well as everyone getting married, the best! ;) xo Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa!

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    This week: "Charmed I'm sure"

  8. I work with the elderly and see many sad and lonely and even angry, bitter people. So when I see anyone in advanced years who is living life to the fullest and on her own terms like the Duchess, I say "bravo". And if pulling and tugging and paralyzing her face makes her feel good about herself, then good for her. I hope I have as much energy as she does at 85.
    Thanks for all the cool tidbits you shared about her - she is one interesting character! xo, A

  9. Hi friends, great to see all your views.
    I think (only from what I've heard) that altho' he has signed a prenup, he will get a monthly salary from her (worth thousands per month). Plus he will also get some of her titles, which means when she dies, the State will continue paying him a salary as he is now "noble". From a public administrator, on a salary of about €1,000/month to noble; does make you think ;-)
    I definitely think she is in love with him. Maybe she knows he doesn't feel the same way?? But if she has companionship in the autumn of her life, and she has to pay for it, at least her latter years can be happy. She's not a silly woman. I'm sure she knows perfectly what she has got into.

  10. I´ve never heard about her before, so first of all, thanks for teaching me something new about the European nobility :) I love to see how happy she looks, and if that´s the case, so to hell with all the tabloids and people who are laughing at her. She deserves her happiness, like all of us. However, I´m so sad to see how botox can transform a beautiful woman into some kind of freak...it´s a shame.

    Happy Monday sweetie!

    xx Ivana
    Style in the City

    Be sure to enter my giveaway to win an amazing scrapbook software :) http://tinyurl.com/mymemoriesgiveaway

  11. Kudos to her spirit! But wow. What she has done to herself cosmetically is truly sad. Equally as sad is if she married for love that it possibly won't be requited in her final chapter...and everyone deserves to be loved. xxBliss

  12. Thanks for sharing this amazing information. I saw this on TV and was slightly surprised! They also showed a picture of her when she was young and so beautiful x

  13. She is quite eccentric. She didn't age well, unfortunately. :)

  14. All I can say is get it girl!!!

  15. I love your post! I have to admit that whilst it was her appearance that initially intrigued me, I can't help but find her terribly endearing from the snippets I have read about her and her life thus far. You certainly managed to rustle up some facts that I hadn't come across yet though Vanessa!

    Whenever I see someone advanced in years that still has a real spirit and fire it reminds me of my Nana. At 85 she would have very happily taken a toy boy.

    I think the Duchess sounds like a fascinating woman. I may be naive, but I have no trouble believing that her 61 year old husband may indeed love her.

    She may be 85, and she may be a good example of why it's probably best to age naturally, *BUT* she certainly doesn't strike me as a feeble little old lady. Why must it be so hard to imagine that someone can still be loveable and desirable just because they've reached a certain age or their health or visage is not what it used to be?

    Can you imagine the stories this ladies would have to share? I imagine she'd be an absolute character and quite possibly a lot of fun. And if her eagerness to keep up her Flamenco dancing is anything to go by, she may just be more passionate than anyone cares to think of their Grandmothers/Mothers being at that age ;)

    I choose to believe that he does love her. I can't imagine that their relationship is based on sex appeal, but personally I think that anyone marrying based on sexual attraction is a fool anyway. At any age.

    Then again I could be wrong and she may be a devil between the sheets *laughs*

  16. Venessa, thank you for sharing this much info about the Duchess. See, I only get to know her from her current events and your post gives a lot more depth to this person.

    As much as it may seem intuitive that the groom married her without love (as that happens with higher rate of occurrence these days), we can not defy the possibility that he actually does love her. :-)

  17. Reality hurts and bless are the people who are able to live with delusion and religion!

  18. Gross, gross, gross. Everything!
    Poor Jackie K. having to be at a bullfight!

  19. I've actually changed my initial thoughts on this union. At first I was grossed out & then I read an interview with her kids. What a bunch of stuck-up, priggish ingrates they are. The back-biting & infighting that's occuring there is shameful. I reckon Mum's entitled to have a bit of fun, 'cos she sure ain't going to get it on an outoing with her progeny. You go girl!
    Thank you Vanessa for such a lovely comment over at The Hedge yesterday, I was really touched!
    Millie x

  20. Millie ~
    I agree with your accessment of her offspring, and believe she has every right to have some fun and enjoy life. If the young fellow she married loves her, all the better.


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