Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier

Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier
Infanta Luisa Fernanda
Duchess of Montpensier
Infanta Luisa Fernanda
Spouse Prince Antoine d'Orléans, Duke of Montpnesier
Infanta María Isabel, Countess of Paris
María de las Mercedes, Queen of Spain
Infante Antonio, Duke of Galliera
House House of Bourbon
Father Ferdinand VII of Spain
Mother Princess Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies
Born 30 January 1832(1832-01-30)
Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain
Died 2 February 1897(1897-02-02) (aged 65)
San Telmo Palace, Seville, Spain
Burial 7 February 1897(1897-02-07)
Infantes Pantheon, Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Religion Roman Catholicism

Infanta María Luisa Fernanda of Spain (30 January 1832 – 2 February 1897) was Infanta of Spain and Duchess of Montpensier. She was the youngest daughter of king Ferdinand VII of Spain and his fourth wife Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, the queen-regent, who was also his niece.



Luisa Fernanda in 1847


When her elder sister Isabella II of Spain succeeded to the throne, Infanta Luisa Fernanda was heiress-presumptive to the crown between 1833 and 1851, when Isabella's oldest surviving daughter was born.


Isabella had been engaged to their first cousin Francis, Duke of Cádiz, who was known to be homosexual and rumored impotent. Their kinsman, king Louis Philippe of France calculated that no children would be born from Isabella's marriage, and planned the crown of Spain to eventually devolve to his own grandchildren. For this purpose, Luisa Fernanda was engaged to Antoine, Duke of Montpensier (1824–90), the youngest son of king Louis Philippe, who also was Luisa's mother's first cousin.

Luisa Fernanda, only 14 years old, and Duke Antoine, 22, had their nuptials on 10 October 1846 as a double wedding with Isabella and Francis', and young Antoine was elevated to the rank of an Infante of Spain. The couple moved to Paris and later to Sevilla.

The relationship between Isabella and her sister was tense, due to Antoine's conspiracies against the queen.[1]

Antoine's father was deposed in 1848. The same year, the then 16-year-old Luisa Fernanda gave birth to their first child, Maria Isabel. After Isabella was deposed, the family went to exile. Luisa returned to Sevilla years later, already widowed, where she died.[1] She is buried at Escorial.


Infanta Luisa Fernanda with her husband Duke of Montpensier and four of their children

Luisa Fernanda and Antoine had nine children, but only five reached adulthood.[2]

  • Infanta Maria Isabel (1848–1919), who married her first cousin Philippe, comte de Paris (1838–94), the French claimant, and became known as Marie Isabelle, comtesse de Paris. She had several children.
  • Infanta Maria Amelia (1851–70).
  • Infanta Maria Cristina (1852–79). After her younger sister Mercedes died, she was engaged to Alfonso XII, five years her junior, but she died before the wedding.
  • infanta Maria de la Regla (1856–61).
  • Infante Fernando (1859–73).
  • Infanta Maria de las Mercedes (1860–78), otherwise Princess Marie des Graces d'Orleans-Montpensier, who married her first cousin Alfonso XII and is historically known as Mercedes of Orleans, queen of Spain. No children.
  • Infante Felipe Raimundo Maria (1862–64)
  • Infante Antonio (1866–1930), became Duke of Galliera in Italy. He married his first cousin Infanta Eulalia of Spain (1864–1958), daughter of Isabella II, and had two sons:
Royal styles of
HRH Infanta Luisa Fernanda
Lesser Royal Arms of Spain (1700-1868 and 1874-1930).svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
    • Infante Alfonso (1886–1975), 5th Duke of Galliera (1930–37), who married Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and had three sons, though only the oldest one left issue. General of the Spanish Air Force.
    • Infante Luís (1888–1945), who married Marie Charlotte Say (1857–1943). No issue.
  • Infante Luis Maria Felipe Antonio (1867–74)


Of all her children, just Marie Isabelle de Paris and Antonio di Galliera left issue. Through Antonio, the now non-royal line of dukes of Galliera continues. Alfonso's grandchildren lost royal status because of non-dynastic marriages. The current Duke of Galliera is Alfonso's great-grandson, Don Alfonso Francesco de Orléans-Borbón y Ferarra-Pignatelli.[2]

Arms of alliance of Infanta Luisa Fernanda and her husband.

Through Marie Isabelle, she became great-grandmother of king Manuel II of Portugal, Luís Filipe, Duke of Braganza, Dukes Amedeo II of Aosta and Aimone of Spoleto, Princess Dolores Czartoryski, Princess Esperanza of Orleans-Braganza, Countess Mercedes of Barcelona (king Juan Carlos' mother), and Henri, comte de Paris.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

  • 30 January 1832 – 10 October 1846: Her Royal Highness Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain
  • 10 October 1846 – 4 February 1890: Her Royal Highness Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier
  • 4 February 1890 – 2 February 1897: Her Royal Highness Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Dowager Duchess of Montpensier

The Duchess's complete style, after her marriage, was: Su Alteza Real la Serenísma y Egregia Señora Infanta Doña Luisa Fernanda de Borbón y Borbón, Duquesa de Montpensier (in English: Her Royal Highness the Most Serene and Egregius Lady Infanta Doña Luisa Feranada de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier).



  1. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b HRH Infanta Doña Luisa Fernanda and her descenants
Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 30 January 1832 Died: 2 February 1897
Spanish royalty
Preceded by
Isabella, Princess of Asturias
later became Queen Isabella II
Heir to the Throne
as heiress presumptive
29 September 1833 –20 December 1851
Succeeded by
Isabella, Princess of Asturias

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