Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ena capturing every Spanish heart

May 26, 1906


Preparations for the wedding between King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg continues as a frenetic space.  According to the Washington Post, "Princess Ena has captured every Spanish heart."  She has already become their Queen.  Wherever she goes or appears, she is greeted with the cries of "Long live the beautiful Queen."

This morning the royal couple got into an "auto car" and drove over the "romantic route leading to the Pardo Palace."   They appeared briefly on the upper balcony to witness the "morning relief of the Royal Guard."  Princess Ena was "gowned in gray, with a broad-brimmed picture hat adorned with a red sweeping plume."

King and his fiancee were cheered from crowds outside the palace gate.  Afterward, the king drove the Princess and her family to Madrid through "lines of enthusiastic people."  The day was full of events from luncheon at the royal palace, a drive to Casa del Campo, and the dinner at the Pardo Palace at night fall.

The Spanish nobility and aristocracy, traditionally conservative "toward foreign consorts" appear to have embraced the "popular feeling of admiration toward Princess Ena.  She has a "regal bearing and personal beauty" that makes her worthy of the Spanish crown.

After meeting the Princess,  Infanta Eulalia, one of Alfonso's aunts, turned to him and said "Whether Queen of Spain or not, she is by nature a queen."

The king's presents to his bride are on display.  The value of the gifts is said to exceed $1,000,000.  The gifts include an "exquisite crown for the Queen to wear on state occasions."  She has also received a "ring of gold set with brilliants, two collars, one of pearls and the other of rubies and sapphires; a diadem; a pair of golden bracelets, a pair of magnificent pendants, and a large diamond brooch."

The El Pardo palace has been prepared to be Ena's temporary residence.  The reception room has been "daily smothered with fresh flowers brought from Seville.  The palace grounds remain in a "state of decay," as there was not enough time to remedy the situation.   But inside the palace "everything is beautiful."    For the first time, a bathroom has been installed in the palace.

Ena's mother, Princess Henry of Battenberg, is staying at the residence of the Ministry of Marine.  Princess Ena will "don her wedding attire" here after arriving by motor car from El Pardo.

Royal guests are en route to Madrid for the wedding.  The Prince and Princess of Wales began their journey from London earlier today and arrived in Paris, where they were met at the train station by the British ambassador.  They will stay at the British Embassy, and remain there until they leave for Madrid.

An anarchist was arrested in Cadiz after arriving there on steamer from Buenos Aires.




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