Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alfonso and Beatriz of Spain have arrived in New York

November 13, 1928

Infante Don Alfonso of Spain, a cousin of King Alfonso XIII, and arrived in New York earlier today on the White Star liner Majestic.  He was accompanied by his wife Infanta Doña Beatriz, and their eighteen-year-old son, Prince Alvaro, who recently finished his secondary education at Winchester School in England.

Don Alfonso was received with a 21 gun salute from Fort William en route to the pier.

Infanta Beatriz is the younger sister of Queen Marie of Romania, and a Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.

Infante Alfonso, who wore a "gray lounge suit with a light brown overcoat," met with reporters on board the Majesty.    The Prince spoke of his interest in aviation, and has been a pilot since 1910.  He is a Major in the Spanish Royal Air Force.

"My principal object in coming here is to meet Americans and interest them in Spain.  We have many things in common.  I believe a man named Columbus was sent by Spain to America, and after him there was another called De Soto, who spent some time here.  I hope that Americans will visit Spain next year and see the expositions at Barcelona and Seville.  Americans who take their cars to Spain will find new broad concrete roads.  The King is an automobile 'fan' and loves to go at top speeds, and he has had the roads banked, so he does not have to slow down at the turns.  I would rather fly any day than ride with the King, because I consider it much safer.  He is a marvelous driver and I have motored with him many times, but when he is at the wheel it makes one thoughtful as the milestones whizz by."

Don Alfonso would not confirm nor deny the report that the King and Queen of Spain plan to visit the United States next year.

The British-born Infanta Beatriz is the head of the Spanish Red Cross, and she plans to visit New York hospitals during her three week visit to this country.

Beatriz was "dressed in gray, with a felt hat, slippers and stockings to match."  

The family was met at the pier by Mrs. Consuelo Vanderbilt, with whom they will stay for three days at her home at 640 Fifth Avenue.  Afterwards, they will travel to Long Island, to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Percy Pyne, where they will be "for the remainder of their stay."

They plan to visit Washington, Boston, Niagara Falls and Montreal before returning to Europe on the Majestic on December 7.

Tonight,  Mrs. Vanderbilt hosted the royal party at a performance of The Three Musketeers at the Lyric Theatre.  They arrived with "an escort of motorcycle police and Secret Service men.

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