The Duchess of Alba owns more titles than the Queen, has a fortune estimated at £3billion, and is said to be able to cross her country from north to south without leaving her estates.
As Spain”s most famous aristocrat, the socialite”s vast wealth is preceded only by her colossal reputation as a woman who has lived life to the fullest; she has outlived two husbands, remarried at the grand age of 85, and counts Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise as acquaintances.
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The Duchess, known as Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, shows no intention of slowing down even as she turns 87.
Her birthday falls on 28 March and is likely to be spent celebrating at Las Dueñas Palace – her 16th-century Renaissance estate which sprawls over 9,542 square metres of land in Seville.
It was there she defied her critics and married civil servant Alfonso Diez, 25 years her junior, in October 2011. That celebration ended with an energetic jig that would tax people half her age.
Here, we celebrate the octogenarian who still reigns as Spain”s premier aristocrat.
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