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Carlos, Duke of Madrid

Spanish infanta
The basics
Date of birth Ljubljana, Ljubljana City Municipality, Slovenia
Date of death Jul 18, 1909 Varese, Province of Varese, Lombardy, Italy
Mother: Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este
Spouse: Princess Margherita of Bourbon-Parma Berthe de Rohan
Children: Infanta Blanca of Spain Jaime, Duke of Madrid someone
Brother(s): Infante Alfonso Carlos Duke of San Jaime
Father: Juan, Count of Montizón
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id ISNI id
The details

Don Carlos, Duke of Madrid (Spanish: Carlos María de los Dolores Juan Isidro José Francisco Quirico Antonio Miguel Gabriel Rafael; 30 March 1848 – 18 July 1909) was the senior member of the House of Bourbon from 1887 until his death. He was the Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain under the name Carlos VII from 1868 (his father's Spanish abdication), and the Legitimist claimant to the throne of France under the name Charles XI after the death of his father in 1887.


coin of Carlos VII

Carlos was born in Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola in what is now Slovenia, the elder son of Juan, Count of Montizón and of his wife Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este. His name in full was Carlos María de los Dolores Juan Isidro José Francisco, Quirico Antonio Miguel Gabriel Rafael. As an infant he lived with his family briefly in London where his younger brother Alfonso was born. After their father, considered too liberal for Carlist tastes, left their mother, the boys lived with her in Modena. Her brother Duke Francis V of Modena was largely responsible for the education of the boys and was the chief influence in their early lives. Carlos was known for his traditionalist views, much different from those of his father.


On 4 February 1867, at Frohsdorf in Austria, Carlos married Princess Margherita of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Duke Charles III of Parma and of his wife, Louise Marie Thérèse of France. The couple had five children:

  • Infanta Blanca of Spain (1868–1949) m in 1889 at Frohsdorf Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany and had issue.
  • Jaime, Duke of Madrid (1870–1931)
  • Infanta Elvira of Spain (1871–1929) died unmarried (but with illegitimate issue who took the surname "de Bourbon", by artist Filippo Folchi).
  • Infanta Beatriz of Spain (1874–1961) married in Venice in 1892 Fabrizio Massimo, Principe di Roviano (his mother was Donna Francesca di Paola Lucchesi-Palli, daughter of Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily and her second husband)
  • Infanta Alicia of Spain (1876–1975) married (1) in 1897 Friedrich, Prince von Schönburg-Waldenburg at Venice and had issue, divorced 1903; (2) in 1906 at Viareggio, Lino del Prete and had issue.

De facto king

Carlos organized and led the Third Carlist War. Between 1872 and 1876 he effectively ruled much of peninsular Spain, having as much legitimacy as the Presidents of the First Republic.

Carlos VII, de facto King of Spain

Later life

In January 1893 Carlos' wife, Margarita, died. The following year he decided to remarry. He consulted his mother who suggested two ladies: Princess Theresia of Liechtenstein (daughter of Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein) and Berthe de Rohan (daughter of Prince Arthur de Rohan).

Having met both ladies, Carlos decided on the latter and asked for her hand in marriage.

On 28 April 1894 Carlos and Berthe were married by Cardinal Schönborn in his private chapel in Prague. Berthe had a dominant personality, making the marriage very unpopular among Carlists. "All writers agree that this second marriage was disastrous, not only for the family of Don Carlos and for [Carlos] himself, but also for the [Carlist] party."

Carlos died in Varese in 1909. He is buried in the Cathedral of San Giusto in Trieste.

He was succeeded in his Spanish and French claims by his son Jaime.


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