- Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
Infante Juan Count of Barcelona Spouse Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Issue Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria
Full name Juan Carlos Teresa Silvestre Alfonso House House of Bourbon Father Alfonso XIII of Spain Mother Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg Born 20 June 1913
San Ildefonso, Spain
Died 1 April 1993(aged 79) Burial San Lorenzo del Escorial Religion Roman Catholicism
The Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona (Juan Carlos Teresa Silvestre Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg; English: John Charles Therese Sylvester Alphonse of Bourbon and Battenberg) (20 June 1913 – 1 April 1993), was the third surviving son and designated heir of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the monarch replaced by the Second Spanish Republic, and father of King Juan Carlos I, under whom a constitutional monarchy was restored. As King, he would have been Juan III of Spain.
Early life and marriage
Juan was born at the Palace of San Ildefonso. His father was forced into exile when the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931. Owing to the renunciations of his brothers Alfonso of Spain, Prince of Asturias, and Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, Infante Juan was thus next in line to the Spanish throne. He thus received the title Prince of Asturias when he was serving with the Royal Navy in Bombay.
In March 1935 he passed his naval exams in gunnery and navigation, which would have entitled him to become a lieutenant in the Royal Navy if he gave up his Spanish nationality. This, however, he refused to do.
He met his future wife at a party hosted by Victor Emmanuel III of Italy on the day before his sister (Infanta Beatriz) was to be married. He married Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1910–2000), known in Spain as Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón Dos-Sicilias y Orleans, in Rome on 12 October 1935. On her marriage, she gained the title of Countess of Barcelona.
Just before the birth of the Infante Juan Carlos, the Count of Barcelona decided to go hunting, with the doctor telling him and his wife that the future king would not be born for weeks. When he was told of the birth he drove to the hospital so quickly that he broke an axle spring.
They had four children:
- Infanta Pilar, 1st Duchess of Badajoz (born 1936)
- Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (born 1938)
- Infanta Margarita, 1st Duchess of Soria, 2nd Duchess of Hernani (born 1939)
- Infante Alfonso of Spain (Alfonso Cristino Teresa Angelo Francisco de Asis y Todos los Santos) (1941–1956)
Claim to the Spanish throne
Juan became heir-apparent to the Spanish throne after the renunciations of his two older brothers, Alfonso and Jaime, both in 1933. To assert his claim to the throne, after his father's death he used the title of Count of Barcelona, a sovereign title associated with the Spanish crown.
In 1936, his father sent him to enter Spain and participate in the uprising but, near the French border, General Mola arrested him and sent him back.
When General Francisco Franco declared Spain to be a kingdom in 1947, he characterised it as a reinstitution. However, Franco was afraid that Don Juan would turn out to be too liberal and roll back the Falangist state. As a result, in 1969 Franco passed over Juan, who would have been King if the monarchy had continued uninterrupted, in favour of his son Juan Carlos, who Franco believed would be more likely to continue the Francoist State after his death. Juan Carlos later surprised many by his support of democratising Spain. Franco and the Count of Barcelona did not have a good relationship, with the Count constantly pressing Franco to restore the monarchy. Relations soured further when Juan called Franco an "illegitimate usurper", while Franco claimed he had a stronger claim to rule Spain than did Juan.
The Count of Barcelona formally renounced his rights to the Crown eight years after being displaced as recognized heir to the throne by Franco, and two years after his son Juan Carlos had become King. In return, his son officially granted him the title of Count of Barcelona, which he had claimed for so long.
He was buried as Juan III (John III of Spain), with honours due a King, in the Royal Crypt of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, near Madrid. His wife survived him for seven years.
His mother was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and he was therefore a second cousin to Edward VIII and George VI.
Coats of arms
Heraldry of Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona Royal Coat of Arms of Spain
Version of 1931
Used as Pretender and Head of the Royal House.
Lesser Royal Coat of Arms of Spain
Also used by Don Juan as Pretender.
Arms after the renunciation of the Throne
AncestorsInfante Juan, Count of BarcelonaCadet branch of the Capetian dynastyBorn: 20 June 1913 Died: 1 April 1993
Spanish nobility Preceded by
Count of Barcelona
Titles in pretence Preceded by
— TITULAR —
King of Spain
Reason for succession failure:
Gave up on pretension in
favour of his son
Carlist claimants to the Spanish throne Senior Carlists Majority claimants Spanish Royal claimants Legitimist claimants Habsburg claimantsCarlos VIII (1936-1953) · Carlos IX (1953-1961) · Francisco I (1961-1975) · Domingo I (1975-present) Infantes of SpainThe generations indicate descent from Charles I, under whom the crowns of Castile and Aragon were united, forming the Kingdom of Spain. Previously, the title Infante had been largely used in the different realms. 1st Generation 2nd Generation 3rd Generation 4th Generation 5th Generationnone 6th Generationnone 7th Generation 8th Generation 9th Generation 10th Generation 11th Generation 12th Generation 13th Generation 14th Generation 15th Generation 16th Generationnone*title granted by Royal Decree
**consort to an Infanta who was naturalized as a Spanish Infante
The Bourbons of Spain Philip V of SpainSpouse(s)ChildrenLouis I of Spain* • Felipe of Spain* • Felipe of Spain* • Ferdinand VI of Spain* • Charles III of Spain* • Francisco of Spain* • Mariana Víctoria, Queen of Portugal* • Philip, Duke of Parma* • Maria Teresa Rafaela, Dauphine of France* • Luis, Count of Chinchón* • Maria Antonietta, Queen of Sardinia*SiblingsGrandchildrenMaría Isabel Antonia • María Josefa Antonieta • María Isabel Ana • María Josefa Carmela • Maria Luisa, Holy Roman Empress • Felipe, Duke of Calabria • Charles IV of Spain • María Teresa • Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies • Infante Gabriel of Spain • Ana María • Antonio Pascual • Francisco Javier • Isabella Maria, Archduchess of Austria • Ferdinand, Duke of Parma • Maria Luisa, Queen of Spain • Luis, Count of Chinchón • Maria Teresa, Countess of Chinchón • María Luisa, Duchess of San Fernando de Quiroga Louis I of SpainSpouse(s)HSH Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans Ferdinand VI of SpainSpouse(s) Charles III of SpainSpouse(s)ChildrenGrandchildrenCarlos Clemente • Charlotte, Queen of Portugal • Maria Luisa • Maria Amalia • Carlos Domingo • Maria Louisa, Duchess of Lucca • Carlos Francisco • Felipe Francisco • Ferdinand VII of Spain • Carlos, Count of Molina • Maria Isabella, Queen of the Two Sicilies • Maria Teresa • Felipe Maria • Francisco de Paula • Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress* • Luisa, Grand Duchess of Tuscany* • Carlo* • Maria Ana* • Francis I of the Two Sicilies* • Maria Christina, Queen of Sardinia* • Maria Cristina Amelia* • Carlo* • Giuseppe* • Maria Amalia, Queen of the French* • Maria Cristina* • Maria Antonia, Princess of Asturias* • Maria Clothilde* • Maria Enrichetta* • Carlo* • Leopold, Prince of Salerno* • Alberto* • Maria Isabella*Great grandchildrenCarlos, Count of Montemolin • Juan, Count of Montizón • Fernando • Isabella II of Spain • Maria Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier • Francisco de Asis • Isabel • Francis, Duke of Cádiz • Henry, Duke of Seville • Luisa, Duchess of Moscoso • Duarte Felipe • Josefina • Teresa • Fernando • Maria Cristina, Infanta of Portugal • Amelia Philippina, Princess Adalbert of Bavaria • Charles IV of SpainSpouse(s)HRH Princess Maria Luisa of ParmaChildrenCarlos Clemente • Charlotte, Queen of Portugal • Maria Luisa • Maria Amalia • Carlos Domingo • Maria Louisa, Duchess of Lucca • Carlos Francisco • Felipe Francisco • Ferdinand VII of Spain • Carlos, Count of Molina • Maria Isabella, Queen of the Two Sicilies • Maria Teresa • Felipe Maria • Francisco de PaulaGrandchildrenCarlos, Count of Montemolin • Juan, Count of Montizón • Fernando • Isabella II of Spain • Maria Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier • Francisco de Asis • Isabel • Francis, Duke of Cádiz • Henry, Duke of Seville • Luisa, Duchess of Moscoso • Duarte Felipe • Josefina • Teresa • Fernando • Maria Cristina, Infanta of Portugal • Amelia Philippina, Princess Adalbert of Bavaria Ferdinand VII of SpainSpouse(s)Children Isabella II of SpainSpouse(s)Children Alfonso XII of SpainSpouse(s)ChildrenGrandchildrenAlfonso, Duke of Calabria* • Fernando, Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies • Isabella Alfonsa, Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies • Alfonso, Prince of Asturias • Jaime, Duke of Segovia • Beatriz, Princess of Civitella-Cesi • Ferdinand • Maria Cristina, Countess of Marone • Juan, Count of Barcelona • GonzaloGreat grandchildren Alfonso XIII of SpainSpouse(s)ChildrenGrandchildren Juan Carlos I of SpainSpouse(s)ChildrenGrandchildren
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