||Doña María de las Mercedes (de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Orléans) Bourbon was a member of aristocracy in Europe.|
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Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infanta of Spain, Countess of Barcelona (Spanish: Doña María de las Mercedes Cristina Genara Isabel Luisa Carolina Victoria y Todos los Santos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Orléans (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾi.a merˈθeðes]; 23 December 1910 – 2 January 2000) was the mother of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain from 1975 to 2014.
María was born in Madrid, daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infante of Spain, a grandson of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, and his second wife, Princess Louise of Orléans, daughter of Prince Philippe, Count of Paris, a pretender to the French throne. She was granted, at birth, the rank and precedence of an Infanta of Spain, although not the actual use of the title (she was, after all, technically, a Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies). Her family moved to Seville, when her father was made Military Captain General of the province. When the Second Spanish Republic forced them to exile, they lived in Cannes and later in Paris, when she studied art at the Louvre.
On 14 January 1935, she attended the wedding, in Rome, of Infanta Beatriz of Spain, daughter of King Alfonso XIII. Here she met her second cousin and future husband, the brother of the bride, the Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, fourth son and designated heir of Alfonso XIII of Spain. They married in Rome on 12 October 1935. When her husband took the royal title of Count of Barcelona in 1942, María gained the title of Countess of Barcelona.
In 1953, the Princess represented the Spanish Royal Family at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1976, one year after the monarchy was restored in Spain in the person of her son, Juan Carlos, they returned to Spain. She mediated between her son and her husband, estranged since Juan Carlos had been designated heir by Franco. In 1977, Juan renounced his rights in favour of their son, who officially allowed him to retain the title of Count of Barcelona.
She broke her hip in 1982 and the left femur in 1985, which forced her to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She became a widow in 1993.
She was a fervid fan of bull fighting and of the Andalusian culture. In 1995, her granddaughter Infanta Elena married in Seville in part because the Countess' love for the city.
She was the 1,171st Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 4 March 1929.
She died of a heart attack in the royal residence of La Mareta, in Lanzarote, where the royal family was to celebrate the New Year. She was buried with the honors of a Queen at the Royal Crypt of the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, near Madrid.
Doña María de las Mercedes is 29 degrees from Rosa Parks, 22 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 4 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.