The old King:

Alfonso Carlos I

(1931-1936)

 

Don Alfonso de Borbon y Austria-Este was born in London on 12 September 1849. His parents were the Infante Don Juan, later Don Juan III and Doña Maria Beatriz de Austria-Este and his godfather his uncle King Don Carlos VI. He was given the names Alfonso Carlos Fernando José Juan Pío.

He shared all the vicissitudes of exile with his brother Don Carlos who later would become Carlos VII . At age 19 he decided that he needed to acquire military training and joined the Papal forces. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1869. In 1870, as a lieutenant in the Pontifical Volunteers he defended the Pian gate at the Vatican against the advance of Victor Emanuel of Savoy’s army; with only a hundred men he checked the advance of a fifteen thousand man force. Given the order to surrender, he refused to turn over his sword which had belonged to his illustrious grandfather King Carlos V and escaped to Toulon in a French naval ship in order to rejoin his brother who was King of Spain at the time.

In April of 1871, in Bavaria, he married his cousin Doña Maria de las Nieves de Braganza.

During the 1872-76 war he was appointed commanding general of the Royal Army of Catalonia by his brother and distinguished himself at Alpens leading his Carlist Volunteers and sharing the hard life of front line service with his wife.

In the Great War the Infante Don Carlos took on important humanitarian functions helping war wounded and prisoners.

At age 81 he took on the heavy burden of the Spanish Crown from his nephew Don Jaime III taking on the dynastic name of Alfonso Carlos I in order not to offend the susceptibilities of his relative, the deposed Don Alfonso XIII.

On 24 June 1934 he defined the essential principles of Traditionalism as follows:

1. Religious unity

2. Traditional monarchy, which is Catholic, moderate, federative, hereditary and legitimate.

3. The acknowledgment of society as an harmonious collection of bodies arranged in order of the importance of its objectives.

4. The restoration of all the regions and their laws, privileges, exemptions, which are compatible and inseparable from the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation.

5. The strengthening of the monarchy moderated by its Councils and Parliaments, as the authentic instrument of the will of the nation.

6. The acknowledgment of its dynastic legitimacy and exercise of its power.

Thus, he intelligently established a doctrine incompatible with the liberal principles espoused by Don Alfonso XIII who hoped to inherit Carlist legitimacy at the death of the King, according to the conversations with Don Jaime which as we have mentioned took place shortly before his demise. The old King made a grave mistake when he chose his successor and gave him the title of Regent, because by so doing he did not name anyone who could take up the banner of Carlism as legitimate King of Spain. He established a Regency in the person of a nephew of his wife’s, Don Javier de Borbón Parma, whose intrigues and personal ambitions have been hindrances from which the Traditional Communion has suffered until very recently.

Carlism was then joined with General Franco’s National Movement with the full consent of King Don Alfonso Carlos who died in an auto accident in Vienna on 28 September 1936.

Upon his death, Carlist traditionalism split with a majority supporting the candidacy to the Crown of the Regent Don Javier de Borbón-Parma, however the dynasty was to survive in the person of Archduke Don Carlos de Austria-Este y Borbón.

 

 

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