Duchess of Alba, Planning Marriage, Relinquishes Fortune, Art Collection

Goya's Mourning Portrait of the Duchess of Alba, which is sometimes referred to as "The Black Duchess," is on view in Washington Heights at the Hispanic Society of America.

Spain’s wealthy Duchess of Alba, 85, who is believed to have the most noble titles of any living person, has distributed her vast fortune and art collection to her six children in order to marry a 60-year-old civil servant, Reuters reports.

The twice-widowed duchess, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, is attempting to prove to her family that her suitor, Alfonso Diez, is not interested in her sizable real-estate, art collection and wealth, which is believed to stand at between 600 million and 3.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion). Her children have reportedly urged her to call off the marriage.

The duchess’s art collection includes works by masters such as Velazquez, Goya and Rubens. According to Time, her eldest son, Carlos, has been given control of her Liria Palace in Madrid, where the duchess was born, and which is rich with works by El Greco and Rembrandt.

For New Yorkers interested in partaking in some of the duchess’s history, a remarkable portrait of one of her ancestors, the late-18th-century Duchess of Alba, is in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America in Washington Heights. Duchess of Alba, Planning Marriage, Relinquishes Fortune, Art Collection