Eugénie de Montijo

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Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick, 16th Countess of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales; 5 May 1826 – 11 July 1920), known as Eugénie de Montijo, was the last Empress consort of the French from 1853 to 1871 as the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.



The last Empress of the French was born in Granada, Spain, to Don Cipriano de Palafox y Portocarrero (1785–1839), 9th Count of Montijo Grandee of Spain, 14th Marquis of Ardales, 17th Marquess of Moya, 13th Marquis of la Algaba, 15th Count of Teba, 8th Count of Fuentidueña and ?th Count of Ablitas[1], and his half-Scottish, quarter-Belgian, quarter-Spanish wife (m. 15 December 1817), María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y de Grevigné (24 February 1794 – 22 November 1879), a daughter of the Scots-born William Kirkpatrick of Closbourn (1764–1837), who became U. S. Consul to Málaga and later was a wholesale wine merchant, and his wife Marie Françoise de Grevignée (b. 1769), daughter of Liège-born Henri, Baron de Grevignée (baptised Notre-Dame-aux-Fonts, Liège, 2 June 1744) and wife (m. Málaga, 1766) Spanish-born doña Francisca Antonia Gallegos (1751–1853).

Eugenia's older sister, María Francisca de Sales de Palafox Portocarrero y Kirkpatrick, also known as Paca (1825–1860), who inherited most of the family honours and was 12th Duchess of Peñaranda Grandee of Spain and 9th Countess of Montijo, title later ceded to her sister, married the Duke of Alba in 1849. Until her own marriage in 1853, Eugénie variously used the titles of Countess of Teba or Countess of Montijo, but some family titles were legally inherited by her elder sister, through which they passed to the House of Alba. After the death of her father Eugenia became the 9th Countess of Teba, and is named as such in the Almanach de Gotha (1901 edition). After Eugenia's demise all titles of the Montijo family came to the Fitz-Jameses (the Dukes of Alba and Berwick).

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