The Nonexistent King

Carlos IX



In keeping with a strict application of the Revised Code of Spanish Law, Cora y Lira picked the eldest brother of Don Carlos VIII, Don Leopoldo de Habsburgo y Borbón to accept the succession to the Crown of Spain, as King H.M. King Leopoldo I. Following the death of Carlos VIII his secretary tried to put an end to the enormous confusion reigning within ranks of the Traditionalist Communion now reduced by the many defections to the"Javierist" and "Juanist" factions..

Don Leopoldo was born in Zagreb in 1897. He first married Baroness de Wolfenau and divorced her. He emigrated to the United States and started a new life, became a naturalized citizen taking the name Leopold Lorraine and marrying an American woman. He had no intention, and the idea of taking on his birth-given royal responsibilities never crossed his mind. He declined Cora y Lira’s invitation pointing out to the general that the Head of the Family was without a doubt the Archduke Anton, who moreover ensured the succession with two legitimate male children born of a princess of royal Roumanian blood.

In order to support this candidature, Don Leopoldo wrote the Archduke on 10 November 1956 begging him to accept the succession of the legitimate Kings of Spain, and pointing out that Cora y Lira had not received a reply to his constant requests which was damaging to the Cause.(Note 1.) Don Anton finally accepted, since he had, upon the death of Don Carlos VIII, proclaimed himself the standard-bearer of legitimacy. In concurrence with Cora, he took on the dynastic name of Carlos IX, as all the personalities of the Movement had agreed that Antón or Antonio was not a suitable name in Spain with which to name the King.

Carlos IX, fifth Duke of Madrid was born in Vienna on 20 May 1901 and on 26 July 1931 married Princess Ileana of Roumania in Sinaia who gave him two heirs eligible to assume the succession. The Archduke, however, did not have great political ambitions nor was he greatly interested in the problems besetting Spain. His acceptance of the succession had been forced by circumstances and soon he became indifferent to the obligations for which he was responsible as legitimate King.

Aided by small group faithful to the late King’s memory, Cora y Lira continued to bear on his shoulders the burden of the Carlos Octavian (Note 2.) Traditionalist Communion. The proclamation of Don Javier declaring himself traditional King had been generally carried out during the period and according to the Count of Melgar several Carlist personalities had recognized Don Juan, Count of Barcelona (Note 3.) as successor to Don Alfonso Carlos I,(Note 4.) pretending thus to be complying with the wishes of Don Jaime as stated in the so-called Pact of Fontainebleau between the Carlist King and Don Alfonso XIII

(Note 5.) The foregoing coupled with the personality of Carlos IX resulted in the virtual demise of genuine Carlos Octavianism. It was further aggravated by the lack of economic and human resources and by the lack of political activity. In spite of it all, the Carlist Communion refused to give up. It published propaganda booklets and tracts under the exalted pen of Cora y Lira. Unfortunately Carlos IX’s past did not lend itself well to an image-enhancing propaganda campaiagn similar to that undertaken by the Javierists with Don Hugo, now miraculously rebaptized Carlos Hugo, after an expensive public relations drive.(Note 6.) Archduke Antón Habsburg had been one of the few princes who had fought the War in Hitler’s forces. He had first served as a colonel in the Luftwaffe as a combat pilot and later as commanding officer of the flighttraining school. Interestingly, Carlos IX had undergone his own flight training in Spain at the Naval Airdrome of Llobregat and graduated as a naval pilot. In the early sixties to have fought on the German side in the War was no longer anything of which to be proud, in fact it was becoming downright unfashionable inview of the total victory of the democratic forces and the Archduke tried to hide his record. The propaganda tracts expounded: "In our day General Franco rose up against Communism and for that reason the Traditionalist Communion helped the Generalissimo by supplying him with men, thinking only of the Fatherland but never forgetting its principles and its King. Franco saved Spain from Communism and opened the way for a traditional monarchy. This can never be denied and will be recognized by History." These arguments did not help the general public to undersdtand the Traditionalist position as public opinion in those days favored the Javierist(Note 7.)brand of Carlism which was already decidedly democratic and anti-Franco.

Militant Carlism languished until Carlos IX, was given a heaven-sent opportunity to renounce his rights when both his sons married morganatically, the Archduke Esteban, the eldest, with Jerrine Soper in 1954 and Domingo in 1960 with Engel von Voss in Houston, Texas. Continuation of the dynasty was now an impossibility since neither of the male heirs of Don Carlos IX could aspire to the headship of the Carlist Communion without seriously affecting traditional doctrine. The matrimonial policy which heretofore had made the Habsburgs powerful had become the Achilles heel of traditional Carlism.


Note 1. See article by F. Manuel de la Herras Borrero. "El Archiduque Carlos de Habsburgo-Lorena y de Borbón" in Historia y Vida No.180 Barcelona, Madrid March 1983; as well as "La Casa Real Española" Page 277 by Juan Balansó.

Note 2. Carlosoctavismo=according to Carlos VIII

Note 3. On 12 October 1957 to be exact

Note 4. Conde de Melgar, "El noble fin de la escisión dinástica". Cuadernos de Política e Historia. Madrid 1964.

Note 5. Melchor Ferrer. Breve Historia de legitimismo español. Ed. Montejurra. Madrid 1958.

Note 6. Javier Lagardin. "El último pretendiente. Ed. El Ruedo Ibérico. Paris 1976.

Note 7. idem


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