Thursday, May 24, 2012

a debut for an Infanta

May 24, 1898

Infanta Maria de las Mercedes of Spain will not be having a festive debut into Society, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy. There will be no "coming out" frocks or balls to mark the occasion when the Infanta, who is also styled as the Princess of Asturias, turns eighteen years old in three months. 

Her mother, Queen Maria Cristina, believes that a grand celebration should not be held at this time as Spain is "passing through too terrible crisis" to allow for "balls or festivities at court."

Instead, the young princess made her debut "at one of her afternoon receptions." She did not wear the customary white gown," but wore a "high visiting dress of blue satin of a rather dark shade."  She also no wore jewelry "worth mentioning."

Her long dark hair "was done up in long tresses as to form a sort of diadem."  She also wore for the first time a "long and train dress."

Infanta Mercedes is said to "have a serious and rather sad face, not devoid of charm or comeliness."  She has always been shy and reserved, and she has now made her debut into society under "singularity sad auspices."

From the time of her father's death until the birth of her younger brother, King Alfonso XIII six months later, Mercedes was the "full-fledged Queen Regent."   After her brother was born, the Infanta resumed her position as Princess of Asturias, heiress presumptive to the throne.

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