If you are in need of a feel good love story and are trying to figure out if money is more important than love & happiness (considering that none of us will have any thanks to Washington D.C) - I have a tale for you.
Let me introduce you to Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva better known as the 18th Duchess of Alba, the most titled living nobility in Spain. To go with the titles are $600M to $3.5BN worth of castles, art and cash and of course other goodies only Catholic Spain can offer, such as: never having to bow to the pope, the right to bring your horse into church and no waiting at any tapas restaurants. I jest on this last perk but the other two are legit.
The 85-year-old (stop I know this isn’t a love story about the young & tortured but rather the old & twisted) Duchess is a colorful character; her last husband was a former Jesuit priest, which many found appalling in this very Catholic nation. Here in the U.S. of course we are just happy they aren’t sleeping with our underage children. She is also very fond of plastic surgery and not the good kind, you know when you look refreshed vs unrecognizable. Politely put she looks like an alien form of life wearing Phil Specter’s hair. But remember millions can erase a lot of physical flaws in other people’s eyes and with billions you are practically goddess-like.
That’s the problem here, the Duchess has to give up her assets to her heirs in order to be allowed to marry commoner Alfonso Diez who, unlike her, is easy on the eyes and a Julio Iglesias look-a-like and needless to say younger than her. This comes in handy when you are a mere low-level government employee like Diez, who works at the local social security office, which is another way of saying he’s f***king broke. The duo have been living in sin for sometime and she is no longer satisfied shacking up in one of her many castles. Everyone from King Juan Carlos to her children have implored the Duchess not to marry and instead maintain her nobility even if she can’t maintain her decency.
What would you do?
Let me interject some American pragmatism into my prima across the pond - DON’T DO IT. I am trying to forget the number of zeroes behind her name and that it’s a tough economy everywhere especially in Spain before dispensing advice. Here goes.