The Duchess of Alba is famous for her striking looks. However people have no idea how wealthy this mysterious lady actually was.
Behind the billions of dollars, marriages, toyboys and plastic surgery her incredible life story will leave you stunned.
Scroll down to find out the details….
People associate many luxurious things with the Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James she was best known for being one of the most fascinating royals.
Lets start by taking a look at her difficult childhood. Spanish-born Cayetana inherited most of her titles when her mother tragically died from tuberculosis in 1934.
Cayetanawas only eight when her mother passed so her memories of her were vague.
The young Duchess had a tragic and troublesome upbringing, but maintained a good relationship with her father, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Falcó, 17th Duke of Alba.
In 1931 her father fled to France when the Spanish Royal Family was forced into exile. The monarchy in Spain was abolished that same year and a democratic republic was established.
Her memories from her years in France weren’t happy ones. Things improved when her father moved to England to become an ambassador for the Spanish government.
Cayetana obtained an excellent education while in London and learned to speak English, French, German, and Italian.
During these years she made connections within the inner circles of London’s socialite sphere including the start of her friendship with Princess Margaret.
Cayetana was a direct descended from the English King James II; which helped opened doors to visits with relatives, Sir Winston Churchill. Cayetana also had Queen Elizabeth II as a playmate.
Her friendship with Princess Margaret is what made both women famous for their rebellious manner and for breaking royal norms.
When she was 21, Cayetana married Pedro Luis Martínez de Irujo y Artacoz, a man who came from a noble Spanish family.
Their wedding was described by the international press as “the most expensive wedding in the world”. Crowds of people lined the streets as Cayetana arrived by a horse-drawn carriage to the mighty cathedral of Seville.
The couple went of honeymoon for a six-months and traveled to Hollywood, where she became acquainted with Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, and a young Marilyn Monroe.
“She did not make much of an impression on me,” the Spanish aristocrat would later say about Monroe.
However, Cayetana loved Marlene Dietrich, who struck her as a “veritable goddess”.
Cayetana maintained contact with high-profile celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy when she visited Spain.
The Duchess had six children with her first husband, she was heartbroken when Pedro died suddenly in 1972.
However six years passed, she found love again and married Jesús Aguirre y Ortiz de Zarate which wasn’t looked on favourably as he was labeled a gold digger and a toyboy.
“Some people will not forgive me for having married an intelligent man. We are very happy together; we do not need anyone else,” according to Cayetana.
The Duchess continued to appear at various events with her grey, curly hair, colorful design dresses, and hippie-bohemian clothes stood out in the otherwise strict world of European royalties.
Unfortunately, in 2001 the Duchess experienced grief yet as her second husband passed away which left her lonely and devastated.
People was chocked when Cayetana found another man and married a public servant Alfonso Diez Carabantes, even her children couldn’t believe it and encouraged their mother to reconsider.
“I do not know why my children are causing problems. We are not hurting anyone. Alfonso does not want anything, he renounced everything. He does not want anything but me,” Cayetana said.
Even the Spanish king King Juan Carlos called him a gold-digger which was unusual for a king to speak publicly about.
In 2008 the House of Alba issued a statement saying that the relationship “was based on a long friendship and there are no plans to marry”
Cayetana made sure to pledge her children their rightful inheritance before eventually marrying Alfonso and making him promise he wouldn’t claim any of the Duchess’s fortune. In October 2011, at the age of 85 Cayetana tied the knot at a small ceremony. Three years later on the 19th November 2014, Cayetana passed away.
Thousands of people came to express their condolences when her body was laid in repose at the Town Hall in Seville.
In one of the first public portraits of the Duchess, we see a confident young woman sitting straight with an aura of perfection oozing royalty and natural beauty.
Although she denied plastic surgery Cayetana chose to go under the knife in a bid to maintain her youthfulness which made her face tighter to hide wrinkles.
Everyone agreed that she used plastic surgery for many years.
As a friend explained: “She clearly took it too far.”
Cayetana had her lips filled, her cheeks plumped, her wrinkles removed, and her brow lifted.
The Duchess of Alba’s fortune was estimated to be between €600 million and €3.5 billion she controlled a colossal fortune and owned several castles across Spain.
One of her most famous properites was the Liria Palace in Madrid, which was built back in 1770.
The neoclassical palace was where Cayetana was born and is believed to be the home to 249 oil paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens.
However despite her huge fortune, the Duchess insisted she was not particularly rich.
“I have a lot of artworks, but I can’t eat them, can I?” she said.