As we await Princess Eugenie's royal wedding at St George’s Chapel in England on Friday, our attention has been captured by the romance of another couple tying the knot in regal style. In the aristocratic wedding of the year, the 28-year-old Duke of Huescar, Fernando Fitz-James Stuart, and his beautiful bride Sofia Palazuelo married on Saturday at his 18th century family estate, the Liria Palace in Madrid, in front of a royal and society guest list which included Queen Sofia of Spain and quirky fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada. The beautiful bride, who said her vows in the Palace's private chapel, has now joined one of Europe’s most historic families and is in line to be the Duchess of Alba – a title known around the world because of the groom’s famous late grandmother!
Duke of Huescar, Fernando Fitz-James Stuart married Sofia Palazuelo Photo: Instagram/@365_bodas
The billionaire Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, was a flamboyant eccentric who held more titles than anyone else in the world – five times a duchess she was also eight times a marchioness, 18 times a countess, 14 times a Spanish grandee and once a viscountess. The Duchess made headlines in 2011 at age 85 when she married civil servant Alfonso Diez, 25 years her junior, and flamenco danced barefoot at the wedding that was held at her palace in Seville. (Groom Fernando’s parents are the Duchess' son the current Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart and Matilde Solis.)
For the big day on Saturday, the groom wore his dashing red uniform of the Royal Cavalry Armory of Seville, and, in an echo of Meghan Markle's minimalist royal wedding dress, radiant bride Sofia opted for a simple, clean-lined gown. Designed by Sofia's aunt, wedding dress designer Teresa Palazuelo, the dress featured short sleeves, an A-line skirt and a long cape which draped from the shoulders and cascaded into a train. She opted out of a tiara from the Alba family vault and did not wear a veil – instead she accessorized with a chic feather hair adornment by Teresa Briz, who formerly worked for royal milliner Philip Treacy.
The pair said "I do" at the the Liria Palace in Madrid Photo: Instagram/@espigas_de_trigo
After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with their guests on the grounds of Liria, where they were surrounded by the Palace's lush landscaped gardens, complete with 18th century fountain, inspired by Versailles.
Now the future Duchess of Alba, Sofia is the daughter of architect and real estate mogul Fernando Palazuelo and gallery curator Sofía Barroso. She met her husband Fernando while both were students at Madrid's College for International Studies (CIS). They two were first pictured together in 2015, about two years into their romance.