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11. - Alfonso XIII (1886 - 1941)

Alfonso XIII and Victoria EugeniaAlfonso XIII was born in the Royal Palace in 1886, son of Alfonso XII, who had already died, and Maria Cristina of Habsburgo-Lorena. So he became King at the very moment he was born although his mother reigned in his name until 1902. He was educatedAntonio Maura to become a king and a soldier. He was the first king that visited many countries. When he was in Paris, the President of the Republic and Alfonso XIII were victims of a terrorist attack, but were not hurt. Alfonso´s calmness impressed the French very much as he just tried to calm everybody and wanted to know if anybody was hurt.
When he started his reign the conservative Canovas was substituted by Antonio Maura and the liberal Sagasta by Jose Canalejas.
During World War I Spain was neutral. This favoured some areas like trading and economic Jose Canalejasgrowth, but there were also many social conflicts. In this period Spain was mainly an agricultural and mining country, with Catalonia playing a principal role in its industrial development. Over 60% of the population could not read or write. Over 30000 Spaniards emigrated to Latin America. About 10% of the inhabitants went to Madrid or Barcelona looking for work. Even though Alfonso tried to be a King who looked after all these problems, he did not succeed.
In 1923 a coup d´ état by Miguel Primo de Rivera tried to solve all these problems by force with the approval of the King. At first this coup was well received. By 1925 the warAlfonso XIII and Miguel Primo de Ribera against Morocco had finished, the social conflicts decreased and public works developed.
In 1930 the King tried to reestablish the constitutional order but the socialist, republican and nationalist parties were against the King. In the local elections of 1931 the socialists and republicans won, so that the King decided to leave the country in an attempt to avoid a civil war. The Second Republic was proclaimed.
Alfonso XIII lived in Rome until his death in 1941. He is buried in the Monastery of El Escorial.Victoria Eugenia, Maria Cristina,Alfonso,Gonzalo,Juan,Jaime and Beatriz
He married Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg, niece of Edward VII, in 1906. They had six children. Victoria Eugenia suffered from hemophilia, an illness that women transfer but men suffer. His first born son, Alfonso, suffered from hemophilia and renounced his rights to become king, Jaime was deaf-and-dumb and also renounced. Gonzalo was also hemophilic, so Juan was to be the next King.
It seems that when they married, both Alfonso and Victoria Eugenia, were in love. But Alfonso had grown up thinking that he was entitled to have whatever he wanted. When his children were born with hemophilia, he made his wife responsible for that although it is thought that he knew about the illness before they gotCarmen Ruiz de Moragas married.
The King also had a son with the French Mélanie de Gauffridy de Dortan, an aristocrat, and a son and a daughter with the Spanish actress Carmen Ruiz Moragas.
On the day of their marriage, when returning from the church, the newly-weds suffered a terrorist attack. Although the royal couple was not hurt, there were many victims. All this happened in front of number 88 of the Calle Mayor and today a sculpture in memory of the victims can be seen.

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