Infante Carlos
Duke of Calabria (more)
Photographed in his studio in a Teba jacket
Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Tenure3 February 1964 – 5 October 2015
PredecessorInfante Alfonso
SuccessorPrince Pedro
Born(1938-01-16)16 January 1938
Lausanne, Switzerland
Died5 October 2015(2015-10-05) (aged 77)
Retuerta del Bullaque, Spain
(m. 1965)
IssuePrincess Cristina
María Paloma, Archduchess Simeon of Austria
Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria
Princess Inés
Princess Victoria
Spanish: Carlos María Alfonso Marcelo
HouseBourbon-Two Sicilies
FatherInfante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria
MotherPrincess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma
ReligionRoman Catholic
Royal styles of
Infante Carlos of Spain,
Duke of Calabria
Reference styleHis Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Royal Highness

Don Carlos María Alfonso Marcelo de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Borbón-Parma, Infante of Spain, Duke of Calabria (16 January 1938 – 5 October 2015) was, at his death, the last male infante of Spain during the reigns of his cousins King Juan Carlos I and King Felipe VI.

Additionally, he was also one of two claimants to the headship of the dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies prior to its incorporation into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, in which capacity he was also the Grand Master of one of the three branches of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.

Early life and education

The second of three children and the only son of Infante Alfonso de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Borbón (1901–1964) and Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma (1917–2017), he was born during his parents' exile from republican Spain in Lausanne, Switzerland.[2] As the elder son of Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by Mercedes, Princess of Asturias (1880–1904), the eldest child of Alfonso XII of Spain, Alfonso had been heir presumptive to the Spanish throne between the death in childbirth of his mother and the birth in May 1907 of a son to his mother's brother, King Alfonso XIII.[3] If Mateu Morral’s attempt to assassinate King Alfonso XIII of Spain had succeeded, Infante Alfonso (Infante Carlos’s father) would have become at that moment the King of Spain.[4]

Raised from infancy side-by-side with his future king, Juan Carlos I (Carlos's elder by 11 days), the cousins attended school together first in Switzerland and later in Spain.[5] Carlos was chosen by the Spanish pretender, Don Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona, to become Juan Carlos's roommate at a boarding school that Don Juan and Spain's dictator Francisco Franco agreed to establish to bring the potential future king from his family's exile in Portugal to be educated in Spain.[6] The school was the site of a country house, Las Jarillas, located 10 miles north of Madrid and donated for the purpose by the Marquess of Urquijo.[6]

In November 1948 Carlos and Juan Carlos took up residence there, along with eight selected sons of the aristocracy (and one commoner, the future cabinet member José Luis Leal Maldonado) and a team of tutors selected by Don Juan, including as headmaster the liberal scholar José Garrido, along with a traditionalist chaplain, Ignacio de Zulueta.[6] Over the course of the next two years, under the guidance of Pedro Martínez de Irujo y Caro, Duque de Sotomayor in loco parentis, the princes were carefully educated and introduced to distinguished Spaniards, including Franco himself as well as Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo and Fernando Alvarez de Miranda.[6] The princes obtained their bacs from the Colegiata de San Isidro de Madrid, and reunited to take courses in law together at the University of Madrid, remaining close friends throughout.[5]


Carlos lived in Madrid with his family. Their assets included agricultural properties in Toledo and Ciudad Real. He also held investments in major companies, including Repsol and Telefonica.


In April 1961 Carlos met his future wife, Princess Anne of Orléans, in Madrid, at the wedding of his elder sister, Princess Teresa, with Don Iñigo Moreno, future Marquess of Laula.[5] In May 1962 they met again at the wedding in Athens of Infante Juan Carlos to Princess Sophia, daughter of the Greek king Paul of the Hellenes, appearing together at each of several occasions over the course of the week-long wedding celebrations.[5] Two months later, Anne was invited to and visited the home of Carlos's parents at Toledana.[5] By the end of 1963, the secret was out: French news media pictured the couple together and speculated about the date when the engagement of the royal couple would be announced publicly.[5]

Carlos's uniform of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, worn by him as 'best man' to the royal wedding in 1962 of his cousin Juan Carlos of Spain.[7]

Although both were Roman Catholic Bourbons by male-line descent, a disagreement now erupted between the couple's fathers about the dynastic claim of Carlos's father to the legacy of the deposed House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies dynasty, whose last undisputed head, Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria, died without a son in January 1960.[5] Carlos's father, Infante Alfonso, had asserted himself as rightful heir because his late father, Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1870–1949), had been Ferdinand's next oldest brother.[5] Anne's father Henri, Count of Paris, however, upheld the claim of Ferdinand's next younger brother, Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro (1883–1973) to the headship of the house, contending that Carlo had renounced his and his future descendants' Sicilian rights when he married the Spanish heiress presumptive, Mercedes of Asturias, in 1901, no doubt being mindful that his own claim to be head of the royal House of France depended upon the validity of the 1713 renunciation of a senior Bourbon prince, Philip V of Spain, in favor of the junior House of Orléans. The Count of Paris withheld his consent, thus plans for the couple's marriage were dropped.[5]

Carlos's father died in 1964, and with patience, persistence and compromise from afar, he eventually obtained the hand of his bride.[5] The 250 guests received one of two different invitations from either the bride's parents or the groom; the former referred to the bride's marriage to HRH Prince Carlos of Bourbon, while the latter announced the wedding of Princess Anne of France to the Duke of Calabria. On 11 May 1965 at Louveciennes the "lovers of the Gotha" (as the press dubbed the couple) were married in a civil ceremony and the following day, the Comte de Paris escorted his daughter to the altar at the Chapelle royale de Dreux, the Orléans' traditional parish chapel and necropolis, for Catholic nuptials.[5]


The couple had five children:[2]


Departing Europe to spend a year abroad after his broken engagement, Carlos rounded out his study of the law with internships at several banks in the Americas, notably Chase Manhattan in New York, the National Bank of Mexico and the Banco Popular del Peru.[5] Following marriage, Carlos and his wife remained for sometime guests of the Marquès de Decio, head of the household of Infante Alfonso in his capacity as Duke of Calabria. In 1966 the couple took up residence in a large apartment in the heart of Madrid.[5]

Carlos then launched a professional specialization in financial law and banking.[5] After his father's death in 1964 he also managed his family's large agricultural holdings in Spain.


Infante Carlos was one of two claimants of the dignity of Head of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies. The other claimant was his second cousin Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro. Infante Carlos was also one of two claimants to the Grand Magistery of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George; the other claimant is Carlo, Duke of Castro.

Infante Carlos was the senior male-line descendant of Ferdinand IV and III of Naples and Sicily (Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) and as such "first born legitimate heir of the Farnese" (primogenito legittimo farnesiano), as Ferdinand was designated by his father, King Charles III of Spain, on 16 October 1759 (ten days after abdicating the Two Sicilies Crown). Although Ferdinand had two elder brothers, his eldest brother was mentally impaired and deemed unfit to inherit any crown; his next eldest brother, meanwhile, was his father's heir to the crown of Spain; treaty provisions prevented the union of the crowns of Spain, Naples and Sicily on the head of one person.

Titles and honors


Prince Carlos was created an Infante of Spain by King Juan Carlos I of Spain by Royal Decree 2412 dated 16 December 1994 as the "representative of a line linked historically to the Spanish Crown".[9]


Protector of the Real Cuerpo de la Nobleza of Madrid, Maestrante of Sevilla, Zaragoza, Granada, Valencia and Ronda,[15] Member of the Real Cuerpo de la Nobleza of Catalonia, Member of the Cofradía del Santo Cáliz of Valencia, and Patron-President of the Foundation of the Military Order's Hospital of Santiago de Cuenca (Patrono-Presidente de la Fundación de las Ordenes Militares Hospital de Santiago de Cuenca). Infante Carlos was also President of the Spanish Foundation of the United World College,[16] President of the Patronato of the Naval Museum, President of the Spanish Confederation of Foundations,[17] President of the Iberoamerican Confederation of Foundations,[18] President of the Foundation of San Benito de Alcántara,[19] and President of the Foundation for the Protection of Nature (Fundación Fondo para la Protección de la Naturaleza). He died on 5 October 2015 at the age of 77, in his finca "La Toledana", in Retuerta del Bullaque.[20]

Under the traditional succession laws of the Kingdom of Navarre, Carlos's mother Infanta Alicia, born a Princess of Bourbon-Parma, was the claimant to that throne, which was formally united with the Kingdom of France in the seventeenth century. She was also the closest known genealogical representative of King Edward the Confessor, and the direct genealogical representative of King David I of Scotland.[21]




  1. ^ Hola
  2. ^ a b Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser Band XV. "Spanien". C.A. Starke, Limburg an der Lahn, 1997, pp. 103–105. (German). ISBN 3-7980-0814-0.
  3. ^ Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 523–525, 527. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  4. ^ "Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, único Infante de España por expreso deseo del rey Juan Carlos". ¡Hola! (in Spanish). 6 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Montjouvent, Philippe de. Le Comte de Paris et sa Descendance. Editions du Chaney, 1998, Charenton, pp. 251–261, 264–265, 270–272. (French). ISBN 2-913211-00-3.
  6. ^ a b c d Powell, Charles (1996). Juan Carlos of Spain. Oxford, UK: MacMillan Press, St. Antony's Series. pp. 50–51, 221–222. ISBN 0-333-54726-8.
  7. ^ [1] Orden Constantiniana de San Jorge
  8. ^ I. Theotokas; G. Harlaftis (2009). Leadership in World Shipping: Greek Family Firms in International Business. Springer. p. 243–246. ISBN 9780230233539. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  9. ^ Royal Decree 2412/1994 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  10. ^ée-Prince-of-Bourbon-Two-Sicilies-The-Infante-Don-Carlos.jpg [dead link]
  11. ^ "Del Imperio a la Unión Europea: La huella de Otto de Habsburgo en el siglo XX. Escrito por Ramón Pérez-Maura"
  12. ^ "Presidentes del Real Consejo de las Ordenes Militares".
  13. ^ "Orden de Alcantara. Galeria de imagenes".
  14. ^ Acović, Dragomir (2012). Slava i čast: Odlikovanja među Srbima, Srbi među odlikovanjima. Belgrade: Službeni Glasnik. p. 604.
  15. ^ Maestranza de Caballeria
  16. ^ Fundación Comité Español de Colegios del Mundo Unido
  17. ^ Asociacion de Fundaciones
  18. ^ Confederación Iberoamericana de Fundaciones
  19. ^ Fundación San Benito de Alcántara
  20. ^ Muere el infante Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, primo y amigo de Juan Carlos I
  21. ^ "Descent of the Infanta Alicia, Senior Representative of King David I of Scotland and senior known representative of King Edward the Confessor (English)". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2009. The Constantinian Order, magazine
Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria House of Bourbon-Two SiciliesCadet branch of the House of BourbonBorn: 16 January 1938 Died: 5 October 2015 Preceded byAlfonso — TITULAR — King of the Two Sicilies 1964–2015Reason for succession failure:Italian unification under the House of Savoy Succeeded byPedro