Saturday, February 22, 2014


A YES vote in September’s referendum on independence for Scotland could reawaken centuries old claims to the Scottish crown from members of the House of Stuart.

By: Ted Jeory
Could the Duchess of Alba be the next Queen of Scotland
 Could the Duchess of Alba be the next Queen of Scotland? [WENN]
And an 87-year-old billionaire from Spain might argue she has the strongest claim.

For the Duchess of Alba is said to be one of two main contenders from the Stuart dynasty, whose Scottish monarchs transformed the country during their time in power.

While First Minister Alex Salmond insists Queen Elizabeth II would remain as head of state after a Yes vote, others are not so sure.

Some Scots look back fondly in the history books to their Stuart kings, the first of whom was Robert II in 1371.

By the 17th century, they ruled all of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

The Duchess of Alba is said to be one of two main contenders from the Stuart dynasty [PA]
The Duchess of Alba is the most titled nobleman or woman in the world, with more than 40 honours to her name
In 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I in London, unifying the two crowns. His son Charles I was executed and Charles II ascended to the thrones after Oliver Cromwell’s inter-regnum.

Charles II’s brother, Roman Catholic James II, then ruled until the Glorious Revolution saw him depart the British Isles.

The last Stuart monarch was Queen Anne, who died childless in 1714.

The Crown passed to the House of Hanover, but the Stuart line continued abroad.

Respected Telegraph commentator Peter Oborne wrote yesterday that David Cameron might throw a spanner in Scotalnd’s constitutional works.

He wrote: “Will the Queen be allowed to remain as Scottish monarch? “I have no doubt that the Queen herself would strongly prefer that she did.

“But it is not simply a matter for her. She is constitutionally obliged to take the advice of the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“Cameron has already denied Scotland the pound sterling. He is entitled to deny the Scots the House of Windsor, especially since the Scots had their own separate monarch before James the VI and I unified the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603.”

 The Duchess of Alba married a civil servant 24 years her junior in 2011 [WENN]
He said the closest in line is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, descended from Charles I’s youngest daughter Henrietta.

However, Franz, 81, who suffered at the hands of the Nazis, has always downplayed his interest in making any claims on the British or Scottish thrones.

Mr Oborne said that would leave the door open to the most titled woman in the world, the Duchess of Alba, whose official name is  Doña María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, Grandee of Spain.

As part of her name suggests, she too can trace her line back to the Stuart dynasty.

The Duchess of Alba is the most titled nobleman or woman in the world, with more than 40 honours to her name according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The head of the 539-year-old House of Alba has been a duchess seven times over and enjoys the privilege of not having to kneel before the Pope.

Could Alex Salmond's independence plans have an unexpected knock-on effect? [PA]
The Duchess married in 2011 for the third time to a civil servant 24 years her junior.

The aristocrat is one of Spain's most famous and richest people, with her wealth estimated to be worth up to around £2.9 billion pounds.

The Duchess of Alba's wealth includes thousands of acres of land and hundreds of paintings and historical artefacts.

Among them are Christopher Columbus' first map of America and a first edition of classic novel Don Quixote.

The Duchess of Alba during her youth [REX]
Prior to her most recent marriage the Duchess of Alba's children tried to block her plans to wed Alfonso Díez.

It was reported that her claims to the House of Alba wealth would be lost if she managed the civil servant.

However, the Duchess of Alba bypassed her children's concerns by giving them their inheritance in advance.

She later claimed that she was still in control of her fortune.

She said: "I made the shareout because I wanted to. Nobody pressured me.

"Anyway, as long as I am alive everything remains in my hands."

Reflecting on her wealth, Mr Oborne joked: “If she became queen of an independent Scotland she would be in a position to bail out the Scottish government financially.” 


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