Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Castellví (Spanish: Don Francisco de Paula Maria Trinidad Enrique Gabriel Miguel Rafael Edmundo Buenaventura de Borbón y Castellví; 29 March 1853 – 28 March 1942) was a younger son of the controversial Infante Enrique, Duke of Seville, grandson of Charles IV of Spain and younger brother of Francis, Duke of Cádiz, King consort of Isabella II of Spain. Despite his family ties, Francisco was never entitled Infante of Spain due to the unequal marriage of his parents, which did not receive approval from Queen Isabella II.
Francisco de Paula was born at Toulouse, France, the third child of Infante Enrique, Duke of Seville (son of Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain and Princess Luisa Carlotta of Naples and Sicily) and his wife, Elena María de Castellví y Shelly (1821–1863), daughter of Antonio de Padua de Castellví y Fernández de Córdoba, Count of Castellá, and Margarita Shelly. His mother was of Valencian and Irish ancestry. His parents' marriage was not approved by Queen Isabella II, so they were married in secret in Rome. Once they returned to Spain, the couple were exiled to Bayonne, and later they settled in Toulouse.
He had four brothers and one sister, and his early years were spent between Spain and France. On 12 March 1870, his father challenged Antoine, Duke of Montpensier to a duel. The duel ended in the shooting and death of his father. His brother Enrique refused to accept the 30,000 pesetas that the Duke of Montepensier offered to pay as compensation for his act. He and his siblings were adopted by his uncle, Francis.
Like his brothers, Francisco proved to have good military skills. Initially, he joined the Carlist army, but after the restoration of the monarchy, he joined the army of his cousin, Alfonso XII, in 1875. That year, he was appointed brigadier general in the island of Cuba, which at that time was still a colony of Spain.
Francisco de Paula was known at the time to claim for himself the nonexistent French throne, after the death of the pretender Henry, Count of Chambord in 1883. His claims caused numerous headaches for the Queen regent, Maria Christina, which resulted in two months of imprisonment for Francisco de Paula in Santoña in 1898. In 1927, his cousin Alfonso XIII awarded him the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Marriage and family
In Havana, he met his first wife, María Luisa de La Torre y Bassave (1856–1887), daughter of José Maria de La Torre y Armenteros, a wealthy Cuban landowner. They married in Havana on 15 September 1882, but settled in Madrid, where four of their five children were born.
- Elena de Borbón y de la Torre (18 September 1878 – 24 September 1936), married in 1908 to José de Oltra y Fullana, had issue. Killed during the Spanish Civil War.
- María Luisa de Borbón y de la Torre (27 March 1880 – 28 January 1968), married in 1904 to Diego González-Conde y García, Marquis de Villamantilla de Perales, had issue.
- Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de la Torre (16 January 1882 – 6 December 1952), married in 1907 to his first cousin Enriqueta de Borbón y Parade, 4th Duchess of Seville, their grandson Francisco de Borbón y Escasany is the current Duke of Seville.
- José María de Borbón y de la Torre (16 December 1883 – 28 October 1962), married in 1909 to Maria Luisa Rich y Carbajo, who was murdered by her husband in 1926. The case was silenced by the will of his cousin Alfonso XIII. They had issue.
- María de los Dolores de Borbón y de la Torre (25 May 1887 – 28 January 1985), died unmarried.
After the death of María Luisa in 1887, Francisco de Paula married secondly on 15 February 1890 in Madrid to Felisa de León y Navarro de Balboa from a noble family and also a native of Cuba. They had three children.
- Enrique María de Borbón y de León (6 July 1891 – 29 October 1936), Marquis de Balboa, married in 1917 to Isabel de Esteban y Iranzo, Countess de Estaban, had issue. Killed during the Spanish Civil War.
- Alfonso María de Borbón y León (24 October 1893 – 20 October 1936), Marquis de Squilache, married in 1925 to María Luisa de Caralt y Mas, had issue. Killed during the Spanish Civil War.
- María de las Nieves Blanca de Borbón y León (26 August 1898 – 4 June 1989), married in 1929 to Luis de Figueroa y Alonso-Martinez, 2nd Count de Romanones, had issue.
After the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic, Francisco de Paula was able to stay in Spain, and he continued to reside in Madrid. However, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he had to seek asylum at the Embassy of Chile in Madrid. Several of his descendants had worse luck, and his children Elena, Enrique, Alfonso and grandchildren María Luisa González-Conde y de Borbon, José Luis de Borbon y Rich and Jaime de Borbón y Esteban were shot by the Spanish Republican Army.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 29 March 1853 – 28 March 1942: Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Castellví
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
|Ancestors of Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Castellví|
Notes and sources
- Genealogics - Leo van de Pas - Don Francisco de Borbón y Castellvi
- thePeerage.com - Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de Castellvi
- The Royal House of Stuart, London, 1969, 1971, 1976, Addington, A. C., Reference: II 96
- Mateos Sáinz de Medrano, Ricardo. Nobleza Obliga. La Esfera de Los Libros, 2006. ISBN 84-9734-467-7.