Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Alfonso XII., King of Spain
ALFONSO XII. (Alfonso Francesco de Assisi Ferdinando Pio Juan Maria de la Concepcion Gregorio, &c.), King of Spain, eldest son of the ex-Queen Isabella II., was born Nov. 28, 1857. When his mother was driven from the throne by the revolution of 1868, he accompanied her to Paris, where he resided with her for some time, but subsequently he went to Austria, in order to prosecute his studies in the Theresianum, or nobleman's academy, at Vienna, to which he was admitted Jan. 20, 1872. He remained there three months. On June 25, 1870, Queen Isabella formally abdicated her right to the throne of Spain in favour of her son. but no open steps were taken at that time to secure for him the position which this abdication left open to him. His pretensions were, however, opposed by his cousin, the eldest son of the Duke of Montpensier, and his aunt the Infanta Luisa, but as so many pretenders were calculated to complicate matters, the claim of Louis Philippe's grandson was ultimately waived in favour of the heir of Isabella. Early in 1874 the Prince of the Asturias, as he was then styled, visited this country, was entered as a student at the Military College at Sandhurst, and witnessed the autumn manœuvres at Aldershot, Dartmoor, and other places in the fall of the year. On Dec. 29, 1874, General Martinez Campos proclaimed him King of Spain in Valencia, and a few days later Alfonso, who had gone over to Paris in order to spend the Jour de l'An with his mother, left France for Spain, arriving at Madrid Jan. 14, 1875. He was most enthusiastically received. On Feb. 16, 1876, he departed from Madrid to take the command of the troops operating against the Carlists, and on the 20th of the following month he returned in triumph to the capital at the head of 25,000 men, having subdued the Carlist insurrection. In the same year the ex-Queen Isabella returned to Spain, and was received by her son at Santander (July 29). King Alfonso married on Jan. 23, 1878, at Madrid, his cousin the Princess Maria de las Mercedes, Infanta of Spain, daughter of the Duc de Montpensier. (She was born June 24, 1860). The ex-Queen Isabella was much opposed to this union, and to mark her disapproval she left Spain and went to Paris before the marriage ceremony took place. Queen Mercedes died on June 26, 1878. King Alfonso married secondly on Nov. 29, 1879 Maria Christina daughter of the late Archduke Charles Ferdinand of Austria. (She was born July, 21, 1858). On Oct. 25, 1878, King Alfonso was fired at in Madrid by Juan Moncasi, a workman, but escaped unhurt. On Dec. 30, 1879, as the King and Queen were driving in an open carriage through the palace gates at Madrid, a youth named Francisco Otero Gonzalez Igans fired two pistol shots at the royal pair, one passing between them, and the other through an attendant's hat; but fortunately without doing further damage. Otero was tried in Feb. 1880, and sentenced to death. King Alfonso was invested with the Order of the Garter, at Madrid, by the Marquis of Northampton, Oct. 11, 1881. Queen Christina has given birth to two daughters—Maria de las Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias (born Sept. 12, 1880), and the Infanta Maria Teresa Isabel, born Nov. 12, 1882.