Monday, May 21, 2012

Dream job for Spanish prince

Prince Alvaro, Infanta Alfonso de Orléans-Borbon and Infanta Beatriz, NYC, 1929, on the telephone with King Alfonso XIII.   (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection)
May 21, 1932

Infante Alfonso of Orleans-Borbon, a first cousin of former King Alfonso XIII of Spain, has found his dream job in Paris.  He is working at a Ford automobile factory just outside Paris, reports the Associated Press.

He recently started as a clerk, and has quickly moved into a position as a "blue bloused mechanic."

Until the fall of the Spanish monarchy in April 1931, Infante Alfonso was "chief of the Spanish royal air squadron."

Much of Alfonso's "wealth dwindled" after the establishment of the Spanish republic, he turned his thoughts to America, as he regards "the mechanical field there as the 'most progressive in the world.'"

He traveled from Madrid to Zurich, where his two sons, who were formerly engaged to King Alfonso's two daughters, are now studying engineering.  Infante Alfonso wrote to Henry Ford, and "was offered a place in the Paris factory."    He hopes for a transfer to Detroit,

"This is a time when everybody should be doing something with his hands," Alfonso told the AP reporter.

The 45-year-old prince starts works at eight, "lunches on beef stew in the mechanics' canteen," and has dinner each evening with his mother, Infanta Eulalia in her convent pension. 

Infanta Eulalia, an aunt of former King Alfonso, is one of her son's greater supporters.  She bought his work clothes, and she has canceled "social engagements" so she can be home when he arrives from work."

Infante Alfonso's wife, Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a sister of Queen Mother Marie of Romania, is expected to join him in Paris in a few weeks.

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