Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Duke of Galliera says he will become an Italian citizen

December 23, 1919

Prince Antonio de Bourbon-Orléans, who recently renounced his title - Infant of Spain and "his privileges of royalty, has given an interview to an Italian newspaper, where he announced that he would become an Italian citizen.
According to the report in the New York Times, Antonio said that "his interdiction by the Spanish court was the result of a plot to confiscate his property." He says that his daughter-in-law, Princess Beatrice, was behind this plot, and had "influence with his nephew, King Alfonso of Spain."

Prince Antonio, who is married to Infanta Eulalia of Spain, told the reporter that "I was watched constantly, and intercepted correspondence prevented me from withdrawing money from the banks." He also said that the King's "promises were never fulfilled."

"The real object was that the court wanted to take possession of my fortune in order to pay heavy debts." He claimed that Senator Ortega "succeeded in having a court administrator named in France for my property, from which he received large sums which were never accounted for. He then came to Italy with an order from King Alfonso to withdraw sums due me and to carry them in the diplomatic pouch to Spain."

Antonio added that the Italian court did not recognize "the validity of the order."
Last May, Prince Antonio said he was "informed that a decree was published by the King of Spain interdicting me was told that Alfonso wanted me to go to Madrid."

Prince Antonio did return, "accompanied by two Spanish officers." He was "immediately summoned" by the king, who inquired about his health. "It had even been said that I was smoking opium and using morphine. This is all nonsense, because I have never tried to find any artificial paradises."
He also said that King Alfonso "promised to arrange things, as soon as reports could be received from Italy." The king appointed Orega Moreyon as Antonio's "custodian."

"I've been accused of prodigality. I think they should ask my nephew, the King of Spain, if the 40,000,000 pesetas he takes yearly for his civil list is too little to satisfy the debts he incurs."

He added the Premier of Spain "might speak on this subject about the credits of his to the King amounting to 30,000,000 pesetas."

Antonio claimed that he was forced to "sign a power of attorney, but I escaped from Spain in time and checked their manoeuvres. My interdiction was granted at the request of my children, instigated by my daughter-in-law, Princess Beatrice. You certainly know what her conduct has been at the Spanish Court. The scandal reached such a point that when the Queen of Spain returned to Madrid Princess Beatrice was invited to go abroad. In matters of that sort journeys abroad are still in vogue at the Spanish Court."

Note: the article refers to the Prince as Alfonso, his name was Antonio.


manuel said...

Who is this Prince Alfonso. Infanta Eulalia's husband was Prince Antonio or Orleans, created Infante Antonio at his birth. He was the son of the Duke of Montpensier and Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain, Queen Isabel II's sister. He was never deprived of his title of Infante. I think the paper mixed up Antonio and Alfonso, who was his son, and was deprived of this title of Infante when he married Beatrice of Coburg. But that did not happen in 1919, but in 1909.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The article is from 1919, not 1909 and he called Alfonso throughout, but yes, of course, his name, was Antonio. He is quoted and refers to Beatrice as his daughter-in-law.

Bea said...

I have a hard time understanding who the real Princess Beatrice was. Some say she was a schemer who had an affair with the king, some say she was a loyal woman who had a long happy marriage. She doesn't come off that well in this.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I think some articles have to be taken with a grain of sand. There is a wonderful book, in Spanish, Ena y Bee En defensa de una amistad. One wonders how accurate the original interview was in the Italian newspaper.