Boda de Alfonso XIII (The Marriage of Princess Ena and Alphonse XIII, King of Spain)
R: Segundo de Chomón. P: Pathé Frères. Sp / Fr 1906
“On May 17, 1902, at the age of 16, Alfonso was crowned king of Spain. These were troubled times for his country. In 1898 Spain had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Spanish-American War and had lost Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines to the United States. The Catalan and Basque peoples in Spain were demanding autonomy, and in the cities socialist and anarchist labor groups were becoming increasingly violent. Political life was very unstable, and between 1902 and 1906 the young Alfonso had to deal with 14 ministerial crises and 8 different prime ministers.
In May 1921 Alfonso delivered a speech denouncing the parliamentary system in Spain, and in July a Spanish force of 10,000 men was annihilated by rebellious tribes in Spanish Morocco. The army and the monarchy came under increasing criticism. The situation became so critical that in September 1923 Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera took over the government and set up a military dictatorship. Alfonso supported the dictator, and during a visit to Italy he introduced Primo as ‘my Mussolini.'”
“On May 31, 1906 Alfonso and Victoria [Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, King Edward’s Scottish-born niece. KK] were married in Madrid at the Royal Monastery of San Jeronimo, Victoria having converted to Catholicism two months before. It was a grand affair but the enemies of the monarchy were determined to ruin it. A Catalan anarchist tried to assassinate the royal couple with a bomb. Thankfully, they survived but sadly several bystanders were killed or wounded in the attack. It was an ugly scar on what was otherwise a happy occasion. At the start of their married life, King Alfonso and Queen Victoria Eugenia seemed the ideal, happy, devoted couple. However, things began to change after the birth of their first child, Prince Alfonso of the Asturias. He was born with hemophilia, proving that Victoria had been a carrier after all. Two subsequent daughters and a son were born without the disease but, sadly, their last child and third son was afflicted as well. Despite knowing the facts from the beginning, human nature is what it is and King Alfonso tended to blame his wife for the disease that kept his sons in constant danger and from that time on he became increasingly distant from his wife. After 1914 he then had a succession of mistresses by whom he had six illegitimate children.”
THE MAD MONARCHIST
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