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Spain is not only in my heart, but also in my blood.
My great grandmother the first Countess of Paris was Infanta of Spain.
I have cousins all across the country… and just as many memories.
I lived in Spain during my childhood in Malaga. Ever since, Spain has been in my thoughts, continuously revitalized by numerous family visits and tourism.

I have been observing the extraordinary evolution of this country since the end of the civil war from the beginning of Philippe VI’s reign. Such profound changes have occurred that it seems to me that the Spain of my childhood was another planet compared to what it is now. Picturesque Spain is what remains; I would like to share a few examples of this with you – please join me…

 

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Royalty

Family portraits from Spain

Photo dedicated to my grandmother the Duchess de Guise by young king Alfonso XIII He is not handsome, but he is irresistibly seductive. The truth is: few ladies could resist him. Distinguished, elegant, an admirable equestrian, courteous: he was a grand nobleman, right to his fingertips. Alas, he was less brilliant politically, which would bring…

Royalty

THE ECCENTRIC DUCHESS

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba was the descendant of a bastard child of King James II of England, who had come to fight in Spain. It could have been said that she was the last of the line of Stuarts. She possessed innumerable duchies, marquisates and counties, which made her one of the most…

Royalty

THE JEWELS OF THE SPANISH CROWN

In the month of July 1808, panic reigned in Madrid. A French army of 100,000 men was marching towards the city, determined to prevail. For a year coups d’état, revolts and repression had wracked the city. Napoleon, after having dethroned the Bourbon dynasty, was determined to put one of his brothers on the throne of…

Royalty

A secret scandal: Zaraus part II

« In an old and lost time a great sage lived here, a man of knowledge and kindness. Seduced by the beauty and serenity of the place he came to settle here. He built a hermitage and every day through his prayer spread his blessing on this deserted site. After his death a few monks…

Royalty

A secret scandal : Zaraus

The seaside resort of Zaraus hardly seems the place to conjure up visions of the supernatural. Of course ghosts can settle anywhere but I hardly feared that they would be inspired by these modest, mundane seaside constructions dolefully aligned along rectilinear avenues or by the recent villas which have sprung up and that clashed with…

Royalty

ALBERONI & THE PRINCESS DES URSINS

King Philippe V married the Princess of Savoy who made the mistake of dying. A terrible tragedy. They had indeed produced an heir, a son, but it was not therein that lay the problem: King Philippe V could not carry on without making love or he would fall ill. This uncompromising Christian would share his…

Royalty

FAMILY PHOTOS FROM SPAIN

  The guards on horseback in front of the Royal Palace of Madrid Built in the 18th century by King Charles III, in my opinion it is still the most beautiful royal dwelling in Europe: as much for its exterior architecture as for its interior décor and for the richness of its collections. It holds…

Royalty

ALBERONI & THE DUKE OF VENDOME

It was during the Spanish War of Succession that one of Saint Simon’s masterpieces unfolded: the story of Alberoni. France was then fighting against a coalesced Europe. A French army laid siege on the city of Parma: its Duke was an ally of Louis XIV’s enemies. The Duke was a direct descendant of Pope Paul…

Royalty

THE SUCCESSION OF CHARLES II

One of the chapters of the reign of Louis XIV concerns the succession of Spain. It fascinates me. It is the end of the year 1700 and we find ourselves in Madrid. King Charles II is dying. He was badly deformed, the result of so many marriages between blood relations in the family which had…

Mysteries

THE ASSASSIN SURVIVES ( The end)

One of the President’s friends saw the whole scene. He hurried after Booth, who, first withdrew his hunting knife, and then struck him. Then the actor climbed up the balustrade of the box and leapt onto the stage. His spur became caught in one of the flags that adorn the balustrade, and he lost his…

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