Grandson of Spain's richest woman gets wed at glam ceremony in Madrid

Europe’s first society wedding in 18 months The Count of Osorno, grandson of Spain’s richest woman, gets married to real estate heiress at Duke of Alba’s Liria Palace in Madrid after the easing of Covid restrictions

  • Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Solis wed his fiancee Belen Corsini in a glamorous ceremony in Madrid today 
  • The couple’s union sees two of Spain’s wealthiest families, the Albas and Corsinis, join together in matrimony
  • Event marked the biggest society wedding of last 18 months, as pandemic crippled socialites’ plans across EU 

The grandson of Spain’s wealthiest woman has tied the knot today in a move that will see two of the country’s richest families merge as one.

Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Solís, the Count of Osorno, wed his fiancee Belén Corsini in a glamorous ceremony at Liria Palace, in Madrid this afternoon.

Their union sees two of Spain’s wealthiest families, the Albas and the Corsinis, join together til’ death do them part. 

Belén is the great-granddaughter of Carlos Corsini Senespleda, engineer and founder of the construction and public works company Corsan, which was sold for 325 million euros in 2004. 

The Count is the youngest son of the 19th Duke of Alba, who inherited an estimated £2.2billion worth after the late Duchess of Alba passed away in November 2014.

Spanish socialites, celebrities and other high profile individuals all turned out for the couple’s big day, which was only publicly announced last September.

The event marked the biggest society wedding of the last 18 months after scores of aristocrats across Europe were forced to put plans for their lavish nuptials on hold due to the pandemic. 

Newly wed: Rarely pictured couple Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Solís, the Count of Osorno, wed his fiancee Belén Corsini at the Liria Palace in Madrid today (File picture undated)

A concentrating Fernando Fitz-James Stuart and radiant Sofia Palazuelo arrive at the couple’s wedding this afternoon

Breathtaking venue: The happy newly wed couple were joined in holy matrimony at Liria Palace in Madrid, which is the family seat of the Duke of Alba

Sofia Palazuelo lets out a smile from underneath a mask at the couple’s stunning wedding which was held at Liria Palace, in Madrid

Alejandra Corsini (right) and Alejandro Munoz are dressed to the nines as they arrive for the family affair wedding, the first society gathering in the last 18 months

María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva (left) and Alfonso Diez walk out of the chapel after their wedding in October 2011. It was the Spanish billionaire’s third wedding

The newly wed couple were joined in holy matrimony today after three years of dating, and announcing their plans back in September.

Spain’s looser Covid-19 restrictions meant up to 300 guests could dance the afternoon away at today’s indoor ceremony, with up to eight people per table.

A handful of Spain’s biggest names flocked to the must-see event, including the Count’s older brother Fernando Fitz-James Stuart and his wife Sofia Palazuelo, who wed in 2018.

When the Duke of Huéscar married Ms Palazuelo at the same estate in 2018, there were 750 guests including Queen Sofia of Spain.

Hundreds of people lined the streets and took pictures of those arriving, including the Duke’s niece, Brianda Fitz-James Stuart.

Belen’s family were also in attendance, with Alejandra Corsini and Alejandro Munoz celebrating the family affair in the Spanish capital. 

The event marked the biggest society wedding of the last 18 months, after the Covid-19 pandemic crippled socialites’ plans for lavish ceremonies across Europe.

The newly wed couple spent lockdown at the family’s 18th century estate Liria Palace in Madrid, with the Count’s father and uncle.

Belén, who manages family businesses, is the granddaughter of Jacobo Corsini Marquina and the daughter of Juan Carlos Corsini and Mónica de Lacalle Rubio. 

The Corsini Muñoz family are descendants of the engineer Carlos Corsini Senespleda, founder of the company Corsán construction company.

Belén then is a descendant of one of Spain’s most valuable companies of the last century.

Brianda Fitz-James Stuart (L), Duke of Alba’s niece, arrives to attend the wedding ceremony of Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, Duke of Alba’s youngest son, and Belen Corsini

Enrique Solíis (left) and Alejandra Dominguez are pictured before the glamorous ceremony in the Spanish capital today

Ines Domecq (left) is pictured with other guests arriving in anticipation of the union of two of Spain’s wealthiest families


The twice-widowed duchess first married aged 21 in 1947 to fellow aristocrat Luis Martinez de Irujo in a wedding on a scale to rival that of Britain’s Princess Elizabeth later that year.

The marriage, to Don Pedro Luis Martines de Irujo, son of the Duke of Sotomayor, was described by the New York Times as ‘Spain’s most elaborate social event since the end of the monarchy’.

One thousand guests attended the formal banquet while free meals were served to another thousand needy locals.

Wearing a pearl and diamond crown, she rode to Seville Cathedral in a horse-drawn carriage with thousands of well-wishers lining the streets to cheer her. The couple had six children.

The duchess, who favoured an eccentric clothing style, sporting beaded anklets and fishnet tights well into her eighties, married former Catholic priest Jesus Aguirre Ortiz de Zarate six years after the death of her first husband in 1972.

The marriage scandalised Spanish high society because she was marrying a former Jesuit priest, Jesus Aguirre, who was 11 years younger than her and had been her confessor. 

Jesus Aguirre died in 2001. Her courtship with dashing civil servant Alfonso Diez then gripped the nation, aroused disapproval from Queen Sofia and was openly opposed by her six children.

Before tying the knot with 61-year-old Diez in 2011, the duchess divided her fortune between her offspring to silence their protests.

The couple’s union became the first family wedding since 2018, when Carlos’ elder brother Don Fernando Juan Fitz-James-Stuart y Solís-Beaumont, to use his full name, tied the knot with girlfriend Sofía Palazuelo in a lavish ceremony at his family home.

Following the ceremony the newly weds hosted an aperitivo and long lunch on the same estate serving beer from the family’s own brewery La Casa de Alba.

They performed their first dance to a waltz before their guests joined them on the dance floor and partied until the early hours.

It is no surprise that the wedding was a lavish affair with the groom being the grandson of the late Duchess of Alba, or María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, to give her the full name.

A delighted and well dressed priest carries a bag and cracks a smile from beneath his mask as he arrives at the couple’s wedding

Jacobo Martinez de Irujo (pictured) arrives by car ahead of the grand ceremony at the Liria Palace in Madrid held earlier today

Adriana Marín and Luis Martínez de Irujo arrive at the lavish ceremony which was held in the Spanish capital earlier today and marked the biggest society wedding in 18 months

Ines Domecq smiles and poses for pictures as the Albas and the Corsinis were joined together in holy matrimony in Madrid

The Count of Osorno came into serious wealth after the death of his grandmother, María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva , seven years ago.

Worth an estimated £2.2billion, the Spanish duchess was one of Europe’s wealthiest aristocrats when she passed away in November 2014 at her Seville residence, Duenas Palace.

Friends, relatives and well-wishers paid their respects to the duchess, also known as ‘Cayetana’, after she died following a battle with pneumonia.

Her husband Alfonso Diez, who was 24 years her junior, is thought not to have received any of her fortune, which included an impressive property portfolio, 50,000 pieces of artwork and 18,000 rare books, after he signed a document renouncing any claim to her wealth prior to their marriage in October 2011.

Instead, the Duchess – who is a direct royal descent from King James II of England – left her entire estate to her six children, with them each receiving a palace, as well as thousands of acres of land. Her eight grandchildren are also said to have inherited a substantial chunk of her estate. 

A relative of Winston Churchill, the duchess shared toys with England’s future Queen Elizabeth while living in England as a girl.

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