SPAIN’S Infanta Pilar de Borbón, Duchess of Badajoz, died this morning (Wednesday) in Madrid at the age of 83 at the Ruber International Clinic in Madrid.
The elder sister of the King Emeritus Juan Carlos and aunt of King Felipe VI, was admitted urgently on January 5th, coinciding with the monarch’s birthday. Although details of her condition weren’t confirmed, she had been receiving treatment for cancer for several months.
Maria del Pilar de Borbon was born on July 30th 1936 in Cannes, France, the first child of Juan, Count of Barcelona and his wife, Maria de las Mercedes. She lived most of her early years in exile from Spain – her grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, had been forced to flee with his family before she was born.
She married Luis Gomez-Acebo in May 1967, renouncing all her rights to the then still defunct Spanish throne to do so. They had five children together.
Her brother succeeded as King Juan Carlos in November 1975, on the death of the Fascist dictator Francisco Franco and later made her an Infanta with the title of HRH.
In May 2019, she confirmed that she was being treated for colon cancer. She was admitted to the Ruber Clinic on Madrid on January 5th 2020, King Juan Carlos’ 82nd birthday.
The aunt of King Philip VI, whose full name is María del Pilar Alfonsa Juana Victoria Luisa Ignacia de Todos lo Santos de Borbón y Borbón, has died surrounded by her loved ones. During this morning, her family and friends came to the Ruber Clinic to say their last goodbye to Doña Pilar. Her sister Margarita de Borbón, Queen Emeritus Sofía de Grecia, her children Bruno Gómez-Acebo and Fernando Gómez-Acebo, her niece María Zurita and her daughter-in-law, Andrea Pascual, are just some of the faces that were seen at the entrance to the medical centre.
The last one to say goodbye was Don Juan Carlos. With a serious look on his face, he arrived at the clinic minutes before the sad ending of his sister.
A life dedicated to others
The last time she appeared in public was last November, at the opening of the New Future charity bazaar in Madrid. Doña Pi, as she was popularly known, had always been known for her solidarity and for dedicating her life to others.
Her strength and natural elegance as a woman hid a human and simple facet.
She leaves five children.