"Considering the latest news stories that have appeared in the media, I am hereby announcing that my marriage to Don Alfonso Díez will be in early October," begins a press release that finally puts an end to all the rumors. At age 85, the Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James - who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding more titles than any other noble on earth, and whose personal fortune is estimated at anywhere between 600 million and 3.5 billion euros - is about to get married for the third time in her life.
A staple of gossip magazines for decades, the duchess had most recently hit the headlines because of her six children's opposition to watching their mother wed a 60-year-old civil servant at this stage in her life. But Cayetana de Alba's decision to hand over her personal fortune to her progeny while still alive has gone a long way towards smoothing things out. On July 4, the duchess - who is a descendant of King James II of England - gathered her kids at a notary's office in Madrid and shared out her wealth in front of them: her eldest, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, will receive the House of Alba Foundation upon her death; her other children (Alfonso Martínez de Irujo, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, Fernando Martínez de Irujo, Cayetano Martínez de Irujo and Eugenia Martínez de Irujo, all born to Cayetana and her first husband, Luis Martínez de Irujo, who died in 1972) will receive estates, palaces, mansions and country homes. For his part, the groom has already signed a statement renouncing any assets of the Alba family.
The wedding will apparently be a small affair with just the duchess' personal doctor and her children in attendance "with their current wives, previous daughters-in-law and my son-in-law Francisco," a reference to Francisco Rivera, who is in fact the ex-husband of the youngest daughter Eugenia, but remains close to the duchess.