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Duchess of Alba's daughter pulls out of wedding at the last minute

05 OCTOBER 2011

There's been a last-minute setback for the bride in Spain's wedding of the year.

The day before the Duchess of Alba's big day, and when things were running smoothly, she was hit with the news that her only daughter Eugenia Martinez de Irujo won't be there when she marries civil servant Alfonso Diez .

A short press release from the House of Alba has confirmed that she has chickenpox and a very high fever.

 

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She was diagnosed with the illness on Tuesday morning, when she was already at the Dueñas Palace in Seville to attend the wedding.

By Wednesday she had been admitted to Madrid's Ruber hospital.

And unfortunately it's unlikely her brother Jacobo will be there either when their 85-year-old mother marries Alfonso, who is 24 years her junior.

The duchess' decision to marry for the third time – she's outlived two husbands –  has not been without controversy.

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart criticised Jacobo's wife in a typically fiery outburst saying she was jealous of her happiness.

 

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Not that this will affect the colourful aristocrat as the rest of her large family, including four more sons are already gathered. Eugenia's ex-husband, bullfighter Francisco Rivera, (right) will also be present.

Since his 2002 divorce, he has stayed close to the bride – who still thinks of him as a son-in-law. Also in the wedding party is Cayetana's surgeon, Doctor Trujillo.

Her eldest son Carlos will act as Padrino – the Spanish equivalent of the father of the bride.

Cayetana's best friend Carmen Tello is the Madrina – something between the mother of the groom and a chief witness.

Outside the duchess' sumptuous 16th-century estate, supporters of the match began celebrating on the morning of the wedding.

Some had donned flamboyant Andalucian dress while others wore white curly wigs in an affectionate tribute to her distinctive hairstyle.

More on the Duchess of Alba

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