Luís Fernando de Orleans y Borbón

Prince Luis Fernando
Infante of Spain
Reign 5 November 1888 – 9 October 1924
Born (1888-11-05)5 November 1888
Madrid, Spain
Died 20 June 1945(1945-06-20) (aged 56)
Paris, France
Burial Eglise du Coeur Immaculé de Marie
Spouse Marie Constance Charlotte Say (1930–1943)
Full name
Luis Fernando María Zacarías
House Orléans-Galliera
Father Infante Antonio, Duke of Galliera
Mother Infanta Eulalia of Spain
Religion Roman Catholicism

Luis Fernando de Orleans y Borbón, Infante of Spain (November 5, 1888 – June 20, 1945) was a Spanish prince who lost his title.


Early life and education

Luis Fernando was born at Madrid, the younger son of Infante Infante Antonio, Duke of Galliera and of his wife, Infanta Eulalia of Spain. He was baptised with the names Luis Fernando María Zacarías; the name Zacarías is in honour of Saint Zechariah on whose feast day Luis Fernando was born. In 1899 Luis Fernando and his older brother Alfonso were sent to England to be educated by the Jesuits at Beaumont College.[1] They remained there until 1904. Elisabeth de Gramont, Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre, who chronicled various aspects of Parisian life in her four-volume memoirs, wrote about him: "The Infante was certainly the most divertingly cynical little creature who ever amused Paris. Slim, pallid, round- and restless-eyed like a bird, sullen looking, with lovely hands like those of a Coëllo Infanta, he promenaded his lubricous little royal person from drawing-room to awful bouges and then, ingratiatingly and affectionately, he would sink like an abandoned child at the feet of some ‘Good Dame’ and lament his lot."[2]

Marriage rumors and exile

On July 17, 1914, The New York Times reported the marriage of Luis Fernando to Beatrice Harrington.[3] The newspaper was mistaken, however; the groom was actually Don Luis de Borbón, Duke of Ansola.

In October 1924 Luis Fernando was expelled from France.[4] He was purportedly involved in the trade of illegal drugs. In response King Alfonso XIII of Spain deprived him of his privileges as an Infante of Spain.

Unable to reside either in Spain or France, Luis Fernando moved to Lisbon. In March 1926 he was arrested at the Portuguese-Spanish border disguised as a woman.[5] Some smuggled goods were found in his possession, but no drugs. In 1927 he allegedly travelled to Italy in the company of Portuguese homosexual poet António Botto.[6]

In 1929 it was reported that Luis Fernando was engaged to Mabelle Gilman Corey, a Broadway actress and the former wife of William E. Corey, a steel magnate.[7] The marriage never took place.


In July 1930 an engagement was announced between Luis Fernando and Marie Constance Charlotte Say (August 25, 1857, Verrières-le-Buisson - July 15, 1943, Paris), grand daughter of Louis Auguste Say and widow of Prince Henri Amédée de Broglie and the owner of the Château de Chaumont.[8] Luis Fernando was 41 years old, while Marie was 72 years old.

Marie’s nephew, François de Cossé, 11th Duke of Brissac, brought a lawsuit on behalf of her family before the Tribunal de grande instance of the Seine to try to stop the wedding.[9] He claimed that his aunt was mentally incompetent. Marie claimed that she had thought about the marriage twelve years ago, but had delayed on account of her grandchildren. The court determined that a nephew had no legal right to oppose the marriage of an aunt.[10] It appointed a commission of three doctors to investigate Marie’s mental state and confirmed a judicial administrator appointed on July 7 to manage Marie’s estate.

On September 19, 1930, Luis Fernando and Marie married in a civil ceremony in a London registry office.[11] On October 4, 1930, they were married in a religious ceremony in the Cathedral of San Siro in Sanremo on the Italian Riviera.[12] They had no children. After their wedding Luis Fernando and Marie lived in Sanremo in a house given to Luis Fernando by his mother.[13] In February 1935 Luis Fernando was again expelled from France.[14] He had been arrested in a vice squad raid.

Luis Fernando’s wife Marie died in 1943.[15] He spent the next two years in a Paris nursing home where he died in 1945.[16] He is buried at the Eglise du Coeur Immaculé de Marie, 51bis rue de la Pompe, in Paris.

Titles and styles



  1. Bernardo Rodríguez Caparrini, "A Catholic Public School in the Making", Paedagogica Historica 39 (December 2003): 743.
  2. Elisabeth de Gramont, Years of Plenty, translated by Florence and Victor Llona, New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1931, p. 114.
  3. "Prince Weds a Commoner", The New York Times (July 17, 1914): 4.
  4. "A Spanish Prince’s Bad Conduct", The Times (October 11, 1924): 9; "Alfonso Strips Prince Louis of Rights of Infante of Spain", The New York Times (October 11, 1924): 17; "Expelled", Time (October 20, 1924).
  5. "Seize Spanish Prince Disguised as Woman", The New York Times (March 26, 1926): 6.
  6. António Botto, Canções e Outros Poemas, Quasi Edições, Vila Nova de Famalicão, 2008, p. 14
  7. "Louis Ferdinand of Royal Family", The New York Times (June 23, 1945): 13.
  8. "Princess Who Wed at 73 of Long Line", The New York Times (September 28, 1930): N5
  9. "Proposed Marriage of a French Princess", The Times (July 26, 1930): 11; "Princess, 73, Pleads for Right to Be Happy", The New York Times (July 26, 1930): 4.
  10. "Proposed Marriage of a French Princess", The Times (July 28, 1930): 11; "Aged French Princess Wins Right to Marry", The New York Times (July 27, 1930): 14.
  11. "Princess, 73, Weds Prince, 41, in London", The New York Times (September 20, 1930): 11.
  12. "Royal Couple Wed Again", The New York Times (October 5, 1930): 29.
  13. "Princess, 73, Weds Prince, 41, in London", The New York Times (September 20, 1930): 11.
  14. "France Ousts a Prince", The New York Times (February 17, 1935): 8.
  15. "Marie, Bourbon-Orleans", The New York Times (July 18, 1943): 34.
  16. "Louis Ferdinand of Royal Family", The New York Times (June 23, 1945): 13.

Further reading

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