Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime

Infante Alfonso Carlos
Duke of San Jaime and of Anjou
Born (1849-09-12)12 September 1849
London, United Kingdom
Died 29 September 1936(1936-09-29) (aged 87)
Vienna, Austria
Burial Puchheim Castle
Spouse Infanta Maria das Neves of Portugal
Full name
Alfonso Carlos Fernando José Juan Pío
Father Juan, Count of Montizón
Mother Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este

Alfonso Carlos, Infante of Spain, Duke of San Jaime (Alfonso Carlos Fernando José Juan Pío; London, 12 September 1849 Vienna, 29 September 1936) was the Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain under the name Alfonso Carlos I (though some Carlists who supported Alfonso XIII as his heir later referred to him as Alfonso XII) and the Legitimist claimant to the throne of France under the name Charles XII.

Early life

Alfonso Carlos was the second son of Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Montizón and Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este. Since his parents separated when he was young, he and his elder brother were raised in Modena under the tutelage of his maternal uncle Duke Francis V of Modena.

Military career

In 1868 Alfonso Carlos joined the Papal Zouaves which had been formed to defend the Papal States from the army of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1869 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In September 1870 he fought for the pope during the Capture of Rome where he defended the Porta Pia. When he was ordered to surrender, he refused to give up his sword which had belonged to his grandfather Carlos V. He escaped to Toulon in a French naval ship.

In 1872 Alfonso Carlos joined the armies of his older brother Carlos, Duke of Madrid, in the Third Carlist War in Spain. He was appointed commanding general of the Royal Army of Catalonia and distinguished himself at the Battle of Alpens in July 1873 and the siege of Cuenca in July 1874. In spite of these successes, however, the Carlists eventually lost the war which was over by February 1876.

Campaigner against duelling

Alfonso Carlos spent most of the rest of his life in Austria where he owned castles at Puchheim and at Ebenzweier near Altmünster, and a house in the Theresianumgasse in Vienna. He devoted himself to the abolition of duelling. In order to gain popular support, he wrote a book on the topic in French (translated into German), and several journal articles in English. He used his wide social contacts to encourage the establishment of anti-duelling leagues in the German Empire (with his wife's uncle Charles, 6th Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, as President), France, Austria, Italy (under the patronage of King Victor Emmanuel II), Hungary, Belgium, and Spain (with King Alfonso XIII as Honorary President).

Claimant to Spanish and French thrones

Infante Alfonso Carlos and his wife Maria das Neves of Portugal.

On October 2, 1931, at the age of 82, Alfonso Carlos succeeded his nephew Jaime, Duke of Madrid as Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain and legitimist claimant to the throne of France. He issued several manifestos to his Spanish followers including one in August 1932[1] and another in June 1934.[2] He affirmed that he would be "succeeded by whoever follows me according to the Salic law and accepts our fundamental proposition of fueros-regional rights". Since many Carlists believed that Alfonso Carlos' heir presumptive according to the Salic law, the deposed King Alfonso XIII of Spain, did not hold to traditional principles, Alfonso Carlos designated his wife's nephew Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma as Regent of the Carlist movement.

When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Alfonso Carlos instructed his Carlist followers to cooperate with the Nationalists under the command of General Francisco Franco.

On September 28, 1936, Alfonso Carlos was hit by a military truck as he crossed a street in Vienna. He died the next day. His body was buried in the chapel of his castle at Puchheim.

The obituary for Alfonso Carlos in The Times described him as "a great gentleman ... ; the very picture of distinction in his looks, there was in him a rare combination of uprightness, simplicity, and kindliness; and through it all there ran a vein of deep, unostentatious religious feeling."[3]

Alfonso Carlos was the last male male-line descendant of Infante Carlos, Count of Molina. With his death the position of senior male descendant of King Charles IV of Spain passed to the deposed King Alfonso XIII of Spain.


On April 26, 1871, at Kleinheubach in Bavaria, Alfonso Carlos married Infanta Maria das Neves of Portugal, a daughter of King Miguel of Portugal and Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. They had no children. Maria das Neves accompanied Alfonso Carlos on many of his military campaigns in Spain.




  1. "A Romantic Manifesto: Carlist Pretender Will Not Unite Monarchists of Spain", The New York Times (September 4, 1932): E3.
  2. "The Old King: Alfonso Carlos I (1931-1936)"
  3. "Don Alfonso Carlos: The Renaissance of Carlism", The Times (September 30, 1936): 7.

Further reading

Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 12 September 1849 Died: 29 September 1936
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Jaime III
(Jacques I)
King of Spain
2 October 1931 – 29 September 1936
Succeeded by
Xavier, Duke of Parma, Alfonso XIII of Spain or Archduke Karl Pius of Austria, Prince of Tuscany
King of France and Navarre
2 October 1931 – 29 September 1936
Succeeded by
Alphonse I
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