Alfonso XII of Spain

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Alfonso XII (born Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo) (Madrid, 28 November 1857 – El Pardo, 25 November 1885) was king of Spain, reigning from 1875 to 1885, after a coup d'état restored the monarchy and ended the ephemeral First Spanish Republic.

Alfonso was the son of Isabella II of Spain, and allegedly, Francisco de Asís de Borbón, her King Consort. His true biological paternity is uncertain but speculation that Enrique Puig y Moltó, a captain of the guard or an American dental student was his biological father. His legal paternity is not uncertain though: his mother was married to her (presumed homosexual) cousin Francisco de Asís de Borbón, the King Consort of Spain, at the time of Alfonso's conception and birth and presented Alfonzo at his baptism which signified the fact that Alfonzo was his son.

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In exile

When Queen Isabella and her husband were forced to leave Spain by the Revolution of 1868, Alfonso accompanied them to Paris. From there, he was sent to the Theresianum at Vienna to continue his studies. On 25 June 1870, he was recalled to Paris, where his mother abdicated in his favour, in the presence of a number of Spanish nobles who had tied their fortunes to that of the exiled queen. He assumed the title of Alfonso XII, for although no King of united Spain had borne the name "Alfonso XI", the Spanish monarchy was regarded as continuous with the more ancient monarchy represented by the eleven kings of Kingdom of Asturias, León and Castile, also named Alfonso.

Shortly afterwards, Alfonso proceeded to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom in order to continue his military studies. While there, he issued, on 1 December 1874, in reply to a birthday greeting from his followers, a manifesto proclaiming himself the sole representative of the Spanish monarchy. At the end of that year, when Marshal Serrano left Madrid to take command of the northern army in the Carlist War, Brigadier Martínez Campos, who had long been working more or less openly for the king, led some battalions of the central army to Sagunto, rallied to his own flag the troops sent against him, and entered Valencia in the king's name. Thereupon the president of the council resigned, and his power was transferred to the king's plenipotentiary and adviser, Antonio Cánovas.

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