EIGHTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD Alphonse de Bourbon, who claimed to be the grandson of Spain’s King Alfonso XIII, was reportedly hit by a rubbish lorry and killed in San Diego, California.
He was allegedly rummaging in a rubbish container to find discarded goods which he allegedly took to the homeless, and was killed when the dustcart reversed into the container having failed to notice him.
He claimed to be the son of Alfonso de Borbon y Battenberg, the first child of King Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, who was their heir to the throne until he abdicated in 1933 after falling in love with a Cuban woman in Switzerland.
Local residents said he was “one of the most interesting characters” of the wealthy area of San Diego and was known as the ‘Count’ or the ‘Prince’.
He had moved there in 1975 and told people that he was born in Switzerland and his father died in a car accident in Miami in 1938.
He also claimed to have lived in Paris, Germany and New York, where he said he had been an interpreter for the United Nations.
He always carried a photo of King Alfonso XIII, to show how much he resembled him.
He was also famous for attending high society galas without an invitation, convincing clients to buy him meals and sitting on a bench making flattering comments to young women.
“His health had been poor in the past two years” locals said, “but he always found something nice to say to people to get their spirits up”.