Cayetana The Duchess Of Alba.

They say Ibiza is a preserve of the young, but nothing could be further from the truth. Ibiza is for everybody, especially the young of heart and spirit. It is for people who do not allow age or society perceptions affect their outlook on life. One of the many questions I get asked on the Blog and Tripadvisor is “Am I too old for Ibiza”. A person is never too old for Ibiza. Just go experience the island with an open mind and be free of constraint, that’s what Ibiza is about. One famous person who has made Ibiza her home and is the embodiment of the above spirit, is Ibiza’s very own adopted Royalty the remarkable, Duchess Of Alba, who will celebrate her 87th birthday in three weeks time. As tough as old nails, strong willed and formidable, she has courted controversy all her life. It is no wonder she calls Ibiza her home and is regularly seen relaxing on the island, where she has a Villa, perched on a cliff, facing the beautiful sunset on the west coast.

The Duchess and her new Husband Alfonso.

She was born in Liria Palace in 1926, and inherited the name, Dona María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes . She is a direct descendant of the Duke Of Alba, famous for defeating the peasant revolt of Flanders in 1328. Her Godmother was a Queen of Spain and she holds a Guinness Book Of Records entry, as the person with the most noble titles (40) recognised by an existing Government. She is much admired and loved in Spain, where she is referred to simply as, Cayetana. She is estimated to be worth in the region of €600million to €3.8Billion and is now married to husband number three. She has always sported a distinctive, grey Afro hairstyle, along with her famous ankle bracelets, that endeared her more to the hippie lifestyle of Ibiza, than to the upper echelons of Spanish Royalty. A Paris Hilton style socialite of her day, she lives life with a free and fun personality. Her second marriage to a Jesuit Priest, proved very controversial and her third, to a civil servant 24 years her junior in 2011, also made National Headlines. The marriage to Alfonso Díez Carabantes caused uproar among her children, who feared they would loose their vast inheritance. They tried unsuccessfully to block the marriage, but it was only until the Duchess released the contents of her will, where they were all listed as beneficiaries, that they relented in their campaign to force their mother not to marry her love.

The Duchess Celebrating Her Wedding Day

In her will Cayetana, bequeathed her Ibiza home, to her youngest and only daughter, Eugenia (who married a famous Spanish Matador). The press have referred to it as a “Palace in Ibiza” but its far from that. Its a nondescript building, close to Punta Galera, on the West Coast of an Island, that the Duchess always felt at home on. In Ibiza, the Duchess could be herself and live a low profile, simple life, uncommon to Royalty. Ibiza is said to be a refuge, for strong independent thinking women, due to the influence of Tanit, the Islands great Mother Earth Goddess, who is still a powerful underground force there. It is notable, that the Duchess left her Ibiza sanctuary to her only daughter, in the hope that it will continue the unique connection that the Duchess is said to have made with Ibiza. It is people like The Duchess, that embody the true spirit of Ibiza. One that is Independent, of strong character and determined. To be free of conventional constraints and just be happy to live life and enjoy it. We hope that the Duchess continues to do things her way and lives a long and happy life with her husband by her side, while sticking two fingers up to the establishment and Begrudgers.

Cayetana sadly passed away on November 20, 2014. May her indomitable soul rest in peace.