Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Ena returns to Spain for the first time since 1931
February 7, 1968
Queen Victoria Eugenia arrived in Spain today for the first time since April 1931, when the Spanish monarchy ended after Republicans won the election, the New York Times reported today.
The 80-year-old queen, "a regally erect figure in a full-length mink coat with a match turban, arrived at Barajas airport to the "cheers of about 15,000 devoted monarchists."
She is in Madrid to "act as a godmother" at the baptism of her great-grandson, Infante Felipe. The baptism ceremony will take place tomorrow.
Once "considered the most beautiful queen in Europe," Victoria Eugenia, known as Ena, is the widow of King Alfonso XIII, who died in 1941.
Alfonso left Spain aboard a British warship on August 14, 1931, when Spain was declared a republic. The Queen left the following day with her cousin, Princess Beatrice, the wife of the king's cousin, Infante Alfonso of Orléans-Borbon.
The Queen's third son, Don Juan, the Count of Barcelona, the 54-year-old "exiled pretender to the throne" is also in Spain for his grandson's baptism.
The Count of Barcelona's son Prince Juan Carlos, the father of the infant prince, lives in Spain, with his wife, Princess Sofia, the elder daughter of the late King Paul of Greece.
Although Spain is legally a kingdom since the end of the Spanish civil war, the country has been run by Francisco Franco. The "great question" in Spain is whether or or not Franco will name Prince Juan Carlos as his successor.
General Franco and his wife will attend the baptism at Zarzuela Palace. They also were present for the baptisms of Juan Carlos' two daughters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina.
Queen Ena, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, is staying at the Lira Palace, the home of the Duke of Alba, while her son is at the Zarzuela Palace with his son and his family. She has lived in Lausanne, Switzerland, for many years.
She arrived in Madrid from Nice, France, having stayed for a month in Monaco with Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
The queen was born Princess Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena of Battenberg, the daughter of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg. She was born on October 24, 1887 at Balmoral Castle.
The marriage between Princess Ena and King Alfonso XIII took place at Madrid on May 31, 1906.