In the summer of 2017, the defunct



published a report on

the life in the palace

of Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía.

The post claimed that the sisters read Stevenson and Carroll,

watch Kurosawa movies

, enjoy alternative theater, and are

fluent in English.

The curiosities of that report became a trending topic and monopolized pages in the press.

Some media described his tastes as "unusual" and "unexpected".

Public opinion did not seem to believe that the heiress, who was then almost 12 years old (in a few days she will be 15), and her sister enjoyed reading classics of youth literature or speaking a second language.

In the 20s of the last century, exactly one hundred years ago, there were two other Spanish princesses who aroused the curiosity of the public and journalists.

They were the infantas

Beatriz and María Cristina de Borbón y Battenberg

, the daughters of the kings Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia.

At the age of Leonor and Sofía, Baby and Crista, as they were called, spoke perfectly English, French and German and were fluent in sign language, which they learned to communicate with their deaf-mute brother, the infant Jaime.

They lived

their youth stigmatized by the hemophilia

suffered by two of their brothers, Prince Alfonso and the infant Gonzalo, and that they themselves could carry.

Victoria Eugenia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England,

introduced the disease

to the Spanish Royal Family and knew that it would be difficult for her daughters to have royal marriages.

That did not affect the infantas, since they never wanted to be queens.

In fact, Beatriz's first great love was Miguel Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, one of the dictator's handsome sons, and

Cristina refused to marry King Leopoldo of Belgium.

Beatriz (Baby) and Cristina (Crista).

They received

exceptional training

for their time.

They never went to school

, but they had daily classes in the palace and were examined by the King.

A British teacher gave them Mathematics, Geometry, Astronomy and Natural Sciences and another French gave them lessons in Geography, History, Language and Literature.

The Gallic governess recognized that history was not worth teaching them, because they knew more than she. 

They learned to play the piano with the famous Polish soloist Carolina Peczenik, and to dance with Miss Marguerite Vacani, the dance teacher of the Queen of England and her sister, Princess Margaret.

In addition, they

were great Amazons

, excellent golf and tennis players, and enthusiastic rowers and athletes (they performed gymnastics daily with their father on one of the terraces of the Royal Palace and when it rained they did it in the Throne Room).

They also knew how to ski, hunt, sail, type ... 

The daughters of Alfonso XIII, as girls.

A century ago, Palacio reported profusely on its activities.

This is how they became

the friendly face of the reign

of Alfonso XIII, an unstable and turbulent period, marked by the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.

The two grew up regardless of the political vicissitudes that made their father's crown shake and that are still in force today: independence movement, republicanism, the economic and political crisis, accusations of corruption ...

They lived closely the ins and outs of some of the great events that marked the history of the 20th century: the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War ... But they always assured that

the hardest moment of their lives was leaving Spain

, the morning of April 15, 1931. Then, Baby and Crista were 21 and 19 years old, respectively.

When they had the opportunity to return, after the restoration of the monarchy at the hand of their nephew, King Juan Carlos, they had already spent almost half a century in exile and were grandmothers.

The two married Italians.

Beatriz with

Prince Alessandro Torlonia

, a member of an ancient dynasty of Roman bankers and grandfather of Alessandro Lequio;

and Cristina, with

Count Enrico Marone-Cinzano

, the king of vermouth. 

They were the last in their family to die.

And although they were marked by exile and tragedy, they

never complained


Baby and Crista, the daughters of Alfonso XIII narrates, finally, their novel lives.

(Excerpt from the introduction to Baby y Crista, Alfonso XIII's daughters, which will go on sale on October 28 edited by La Esfera de los Libros)

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • LOC

MoneyManuel Lao, symbol of the wealth of Matadepera (Barcelona): the town with the highest 'per capita' income in Spain

Music Marta Sánchez, on the lyrics to the Spanish anthem: "It's one of the most beautiful things I've done in my career"

Politics Kanye West makes public his tax return and his fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars

See links of interest

  • Last minute

  • TV programming

  • Spanish translator

  • 2020 calendar

  • Movies Today

  • Topics

  • Alcorcón - Mallorca

  • Brighton and Hove Albion - West Bromwich Albion

  • Bayer 04 Leverkusen - FC Augsburg

  • Milan - Rome

  • Levante - Celta de Vigo