Carmen Martínez-Bordiú

María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, 2nd Duchess of Franco, GE (born 26 February 1951), commonly known as simply Carmen Martínez-Bordiú, is a Spanish aristocrat and social figure. With the inheritance of hereditary noble titles being to changed to absolute primogeniture under Spanish law in 2006, she preceded her younger brother and with the death of her mother in 2017 Carmen became the 2nd Duchess of Franco. The succession of the title was officially confirmed in July 2018.[1]

Carmen Martínez-Bordiú
Duchess of Franco
Tenure4 July 2018 – present
PredecessorCarmen Franco
Born (1951-02-26) 26 February 1951 (age 70)
Madrid, Spain
(m. 1972; div. 1982)

Jean-Marie Rossi
(m. 1984; div. 1995)

José Campos García
(m. 2006)
IssueFrancisco de Asís, Duke of Bourbon
Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou
María Cynthia Rossi
María del Carmen Esperanza Alejandra de la Santísima Trinidad
FatherCristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde
MotherCarmen Franco, 1st Duchess of Franco

Birth and youthEdit

She was born in the Palacio Real de El Pardo in Madrid and is the daughter of Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde, and Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco Grandee of Spain. Her maternal grandparents were the fascist dictator caudillo Francisco Franco, the Spanish Head of State, and Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás Grandee of Spain. Her paternal grandparents were José María Martínez y Ortega (1890–1970) and María de la O Bordiú y Bascarán, 7th Countess of Argillo (1896–1980). Carmen was the first grandchild of General Franco. She was born in the Palacio del Pardo, an ancient palace of the Spanish Royal Family, used as a residence of the president after the declaration of the Spanish Republic, and turned into a republican military site during the Civil war that broke out after Franco's upheaval. The palace was their family residence from 1940 when the Spanish Civil War ended and Gen. Franco became the Spanish Head of State. She has six siblings: María de la O (Mariola), Francisco (Francis), María del Mar (Merry), José Cristóbal (Cristóbal), María de Aránzazu (Arantxa), and Jaime Felipe (Jaime).[citation needed]

First marriageEdit

Carmen was married on 8 March 1972 in the Chapel of the Palace of El Pardo in Madrid when she was 21 years old to Prince Alfonso, Duke of Anjou, son of Infante Jaime of Spain, Duke of Segovia and grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. General Franco named Alfonso Duke of Cadiz and made him a Royal Highness, making Carmen a princess.

The Duke of Anjou and Cádiz and Carmen had two sons:

Gen. Franco died on 20 November 1975 and the family lost their political power. Alfonso and Carmen separated in 1979, received a civil divorce 1982 and an annulment in 1986. Alfonso was given custody of their sons.

Second marriage and family tragediesEdit

After separating from the Duke of Anjou, Carmen lived with a Frenchman, Jean-Marie Rossi (b. Paris, 18 November 1930, 20 years her senior), divorced from Barbara Hottinguer, by whom he had twin daughters Mathilda and Marella in 1971, and a son Frederick, and in Rueil-Malmaison on 11 December 1984 she married him civilly. She was already around five months pregnant by this time, and by the time the child was born, she and her new husband would witness the death of one child each. In February, Carmen's son, Francisco de Asís, died in a car accident. Only weeks later, Rossi's daughter, Mathilda, died in a boating accident. Carmen then gave birth to her last child, María Cynthia Francisca Matilda Rossi, in Paris on 28 April 1985, barely four months after her wedding.[2]

In January 1989, Carmen's first husband died in a skiing accident in Colorado. He had custody of their son, Prince Louis Alphonse, and Carmen became involved in a legal battle with her former mother-in-law for custody of the young boy. She lost the battle and her mother-in-law gained custody. Carmen and her second husband Rossi separated in 1994 and divorced in 1995. She then lived with an Italian man, Roberto Federici, but the relationship ended in 2004. Rossi married a third time to José Campos García, without issue.

Third marriage and first grandchildrenEdit

On 18 June 2006 in Cazalla de la Sierra, Seville, she married a third time to a Spaniard, José Campos García (born in Santander, 13 years her junior). She became a grandmother on 6 March 2007 with the birth of granddaughter Eugenia. In 2006, she was a contestant on "Mira quién baila!" ("Look Who's Dancing!"), the Spanish version of "Strictly Come Dancing". On 28 May 2010, Carmen had twin grandsons, Luis and Alfonso. Another grandson, Henri, followed on 1 February 2019.


References and notesEdit

  1. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado: no. 161, p. 67519, 4 July 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ María Cynthia Francisca Matilda Rossi (in Spanish)
  • Hola magazine website article (in Spanish)
  • 20 Minutos article (in Spanish)
  • José Apezarena, Luis Alfonso de Borbón: Un príncipe a la espera, Plaza & Janés, 2007. (in Spanish)
  • Barrientos, Paloma (2006). Carmen Martínez-Bordiú : a mi manera (in Spanish). Madrid: Ediciones B. pp. 285, [14] p. : il., 23 cm. ISBN 978-84-666-2982-9. OCLC 85893891.
  • Barrientos, Paloma (1994). Carmen Rossi : "la nieta" : biografía. Primer plano. (in Spanish). Barcelona: Ediciones B. pp. 204 p. 24 cm. ISBN 84-406-4746-8. OCLC 434241356.
  • Marc Dem, Le duc d'Anjou m'a dit - La vie de l'aîné des Bourbons, Perrin, Paris, 1989. ISBN 2-262-00725-X (in French)
  • Zavala, José M. (José María) (2008). El Borbón non grato : la vida silenciada y la muerte violenta del duque de Cadiz (in Spanish). Barcelona: Altera. pp. 438 p., [32] p. of plates : col. ill., facsims., 25 cm. ISBN 978-84-96840-38-6.
  • Peñafiel, Jaime. La nieta y el General : tres bodas y un funeral (in Spanish). Madrid: EdicionesTemas de Hoy. pp. 255 p. : ill. (some col.), 24 cm. ISBN 978-84-8460-609-3.
Carmen Martínez-Bordiú
Born: 26 February 1951
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Carmen Franco y Polo
Duchess of Franco