09/01/2011 07:06 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Duchess Of Alba: I'm Still In Control Of My Own Fortune

Text by Associated Press

MADRID— One of Spain's richest women, who is set to marry for a third time at 85, acknowledges she had to overcome opposition among her children to the wedding but insists she still controls her immense wealth.

In her first comments on the wedding announced last week, the Duchess of Alba told Hola! magazine it was not outside pressure that made her divide some of her riches among her six children before the marriage.
"I made the share-out because I wanted to. Nobody pressured me," she told the magazine. "Anyway, as long as I am alive everything remains in my hands."

The duchess divided up much of her wealth among her children in July, assigning castles, palaces and other property of the 500-year-old House of Alba that they will inherit upon her death.

Spain's media reported the family is satisfied with the decision and within weeks the duchess had announced plans to wed 60-year-old civil servant Alfonso Diez, who she first met more than 30 years ago but only began dating three years ago when they met at a cinema.

In this week's edition of the magazine, she said that agreement "was a little difficult to obtain" but she had been determined.

"I achieved (my objective) of trying to persuade each one," she told the magazine. "I am not a person who lets herself be managed: I have my own ideas and I try to convert them into reality."

The duchess, whose wealth is estimated between euro600 million and euro3.5 billion ($867 million and $5 billion), told Hola! the wedding would be a small affair and would take place in a chapel at her Duenas Palace in Seville in October. A date has yet to be set.

The duchess, who is regularly featured in Spain's gossip pages and magazines, is a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill. Her full name is Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva.