Author Topic: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic  (Read 5437 times)

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Offline <k>

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Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« on: May 13, 2011, 08:42:55 PM »
Alfonso XIII of Spain is one of a select band of monarchs whose numismatic portraits show him from childhood onwards.

According to Wikipedia:

"The posthumous son of Alfonso XII of Spain, he was proclaimed King at his birth in 1886. He reigned from 1886-1931. His mother, Queen Maria Christina, was appointed regent during his minority. In 1902, on attaining his 16th year, the King assumed control of the state."

The Spanish-American War of 1898 saw Spain lose some of her overseas possessions to the USA: Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines. We can see Alfonso on some of the coins of Puerto Rico and the Philippines, but I assume Cuba must have used Spanish homeland coins during that time.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 08:56:26 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 08:45:08 PM »
Here are some of Alfonso's portraits from his childhood.

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 08:46:12 PM »
Here he is as a young man in 1903 and 1910.

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 08:47:47 PM »
From Wikipedia:

During the First World War, because of his family connections with both sides and the division of popular opinion, Spain remained neutral. The King ran an office for captives from the Palacio de Oriente, which leveraged the Spanish diplomatic and military network abroad to intercede for thousands of prisoners-of-war, receiving and answering letters from Europe. However, he became gravely ill during the 1918 flu pandemic and, since Spain was neutral and thus under no wartime censorship restrictions, his illness and subsequent recovery were covered worldwide, giving the false impression (in the absence of real news from anywhere else) that Spain was the most-affected area. This ultimately led to the pandemic getting the nickname "the Spanish Flu."

Alfonso was a promoter of tourism in Spain. The problems with the lodging of his wedding guests prompted the construction of the luxury Hotel Palace in Madrid. He also supported the creation of a network of state-run lodges (Parador) in historic buildings of Spain. His fondness for the sport of football led to the patronage of several "Royal" ("Real" in Spanish) football clubs such as Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, and Real Unión.

In the early 1930s, as most of the western world, Spain fell into economic and political chaos. Alfonso XIII appointed General Dámaso Berenguer, one of Primo de Rivera's opponents, to govern. But the monarch had discredited himself by siding with the dictatorship. Social revolution fermented in Catalonia. In April 1931, General José Sanjurjo informed the king that he could not count on the loyalty of the armed forces. Alfonso abdicated on 14 April 1931, ushering in the Second Republic

When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, he fled and left Spain, but did not abdicate the throne. He settled eventually in Rome where he lived in the Grand Hotel.

Once the Spanish Civil War broke out, Alfonso made it clear he favoured the military uprising against the Popular Front government, but General Francisco Franco in September 1936 declared that the Nationalists would never accept Alfonso as King (the supporters of the rival Carlist pretender made up an important part of the Franco Army).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 08:55:46 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 08:49:38 PM »
On 15 January 1941, Alfonso XIII abdicated his rights to the Spanish throne in favour of his third (of four), but second-surviving, son Juan, father of the current King, Juan Carlos. He died in Rome a month-and-a-half later.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 01:25:25 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 09:01:40 PM »
During the Spanish Civil War, many of Franco's Nationalist supporters were staunch monarchists. Only a minority of them were Alfonsists; the majority were Carlists. Franco himself had a low opinion of Alfonso, and the Carlists held him in low esteem because he had fled the throne.

Franco ruled as in effect a regent and would allow no monarch to take the throne during his lifetime. He did, however, groom the grandson of Alfonso XIII, Juan Carlos, to ascend the throne after his (Franco's) death.

See the related topic: General Franco, "el caudillo", and a Spanish enigma.

Offline Ukrainii Pyat

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 03:24:38 AM »
Very fascinating presentation, love the coins.  I have seen sets of Alfonso's coins titled "Watch Alfonso Grow Up" where they had one of each of the designs. 
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Offline villa66

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2011, 05:18:39 AM »
A very nice selection of coins...the age progression really is something to see.

If I could, I’d like to add this passage from an 1899 book by Gilson Willets, Rulers of the World at Home:

“Alfonso XIII, of Spain, recently celebrated his thirteenth birthday...This bright, intelligent, but sad-looking boy-King was born under a star or christened under a name which can hardly be termed lucky. None of the friends of his house were pleased to learn that the name of Alfonso XIII had been given him, because...all thirteens are believed to be unlucky in everything and everywhere. The name was chosen for him by his royal mother as a delicate compliment to his deceased father and to his godfather, Pope Leo XIII.”

 :) v.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 05:28:26 AM »
I disagree with that.  While some societies do see 13 as unlucky, I bet there are some, if not a lot,  that do not.  Personally, I consider 13 to be a personal lucky number but then I do tend to go against the stream in many ways.  3, 4, 7, 13, 22, 36, 40, 55, 74, 78, 87….all numbers I like.  The best for me are 55 and 74   ;)

Dale

because...all thirteens are believed to be unlucky in everything and everywhere.
 :) v.

Offline villa66

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 06:23:24 AM »
I disagree with that.  While some societies do see 13 as unlucky, I bet there are some, if not a lot,  that do not....

Quite true. In the U.S., for instance, we are often superstitious about the number 13, at the same time we traditionally consider ourselves quite lucky to be descended from the 13 colonies, strike a coinage and print a currency riddled with 13’s, and live under a 13-stripe flag that we feel pretty good about most days.

But I note the words that I quoted were not my own, nor my own opinion. Like anyone cares(!). So let’s get back to this Spanish monarch, and coffeetime’s excellent post.

I’d like to repeat this passage from an 1899 book by Gilson Willets, Rulers of the World at Home, but more completely, so there is less opportunity to misunderstand it:

“Alfonso XIII, of Spain, recently celebrated his thirteenth birthday...This bright, intelligent, but sad-looking boy-King was born under a star or christened under a name which can hardly be termed lucky. None of the friends of his house were pleased to learn that the name of Alfonso XIII had been given him, because all Spaniards are superstitious, and all thirteens are believed to be unlucky in everything and everywhere. The name was chosen for him by his royal mother as a delicate compliment to his deceased father and to his godfather, Pope Leo XIII.”

I wonder how accurate this was? For starters, I discount the notion that "all Spaniards" were superstitious, while I'm prepared to think that in 1899 many more might have been than are now. So was Alfonso's "XIII" widely considered to be  unlucky?

 :) v.

Offline <k>

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Re: Alfonso XIII of Spain: from Empire to Republic
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2011, 10:57:38 AM »
I'd never given any thought to the number 13. True enough, not everyone in a given country will be superstitious. And as mentioned, not all cultures regard the number 13 as unlucky. But whether Alfonso had been the 13th or some other number, none of this could plausibly have changed his destiny into an unlucky one. The quotation cited by villa66 is intriguing, but ultimately it is not proof of the undesirability of the number 13.