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Spain
Family photo from spain

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…

Saint-Simon portrait officiel

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…

Charles II - king-of-spain

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…

The Ruby of the Black Prince

It was during the time when Spain was still partially Muslim, when Arab sovereigns still ruled certain provinces, despite the Christian Reconquista which had begun centuries earlier. King Peter the Cruel, or the Just, was staying in Seville when he learned that an Arab emirs, one of his own allies, was in possession of the largest,…

Vaya con Dios

Tatiana Metternich, Princess Metternich, formerly the Russian born Princess Vassiltchikov, was one of the grandest ladies I have ever known. Beautiful, courteous, an aristocrat to the bone, with her sleek blue eyes she was the epitome of a class that no longer exists. When I think of her, I am reminded of one particular anecdote…

The Ghost at the Universal Exhibition

In 1992, the Universal Exposition was held in Seville, Spain. The chef-d’oeuvre of the fair was an exhibition entitled “1492,” a celebration of the year the Americas were discovered. Masterpieces from every country and culture dating from the era were assembled and presented for the exhibit. The exposition was housed in a wood and plaster structure, built…

Family Portrait : Spain

Queen Marie-Christine, widow of Ferdinand VII Marie Christine of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married her uncle, King Ferdinand VII of Spain. She was his fourth wife. King Ferdinand died shortly after, and Marie Christine found herself the Regent of her young daughter, Isabella. Civil war soon broke out; coups were orchestrated constantly. The political situation was explosive….


Spain : My Religion

In Malaga, I was thrilled and exhilarated during the Holy Week. The nightly processions of grand, flower covered thrones, shining with candlelight and carrying statues. The Virgin, with her poor, tragic face, yet covered with diamonds and jewels, and the bloodied Christ, adorned with luxurious brocades. Then there were the pointy hats and colorful dresses…

Spain

In 1944, my grandmother, our host, informed us that she no longer had enough money to support us. In reality, the war had interrupted all international financial transfers. We now had to find another refuge. Everyone left in different directions. My mother took me to Malaga, in Spain. Franco was ruling. After his victory over…

Peter the Cruel

My half-Spanish grandmother always scolded me for referring to our ancestor, the King of Castile, as Peter the Cruel. “His name is Peter the Just,” she would correct me, preferring the qualifier attributed to him by the Jews and Muslims he had always protected. Whether Peter was Cruel or Just, he loved the city of…