Juan de Borbón

Juan de Borbón y Battenberg was one of the men who came to occupy the position of head of the royal house of Spain , as an aspirant to the throne of the country. Also known as the “Count of Barcelona”, he never managed to become a king, but nevertheless, he played a role of great importance in the history of the Spanish country.

Personal information

  • When was he born: 06/20/1913
  • Where he was born: Real Sitio de San Ildefonso, Spain
  • When he died: 04/01/1993
  • Where he died: Pamplona, ​​Spain

Who was Juan de Borbón?

Juan de Borbón was the head of the Royal House of Spain while in exile. A man who decided to set aside all his official rights to be able to cede the position to his son, King Juan Carlos I , maintaining his title as count.

  • What did Juan de Borbón do
  • Biography of Juan de Borbón
  • Death
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Which dynasty did he belong to
  • Relationship with Franco
  • Importance of Juan de Borbón
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities
  • Presence in popular culture

What did Juan de Borbón do

Juan de Borbón was a man who, helped by his father Alfonso XIII, wanted to join the rebellious side that fought against the government that had been established during the Second Republic . He tried to establish contacts with the government of Burgos and for this reason, he was recommended to go into exile , an act that he decided to carry out immediately. After the resignation of Alfonso XIII as the head of the Spanish Royal Household, Juan de Borbón held the position as a candidate to the throne of the country, a title that he took on March 8, 1941, with which he accepted the title of Count of Barcelona , a title that was typical of the Spanish kings.

Biography of Juan de Borbón

Juan de Borbon y Battenberg was born on June 20 of the year 1913 in the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso . As a child, he had to stop studying after the events related to the proclamation of the Republic in 1931. Then, he continued his training in the United Kingdom Marine Guard . In 1927, his father appointed him as a knight of the order of the Golden Fleece .

Juan de Borbón was not actually destined to inherit the crown but his older brother had renounced it to be able to marry a woman who was not royalty and his brother Jaime was deaf and mute, this situation made him the depositary of all the dynasty rights .


Juan de Borbón died on April 1, 1993 due to laryngeal cancer . Before his death, he had lived in exile for a total of forty years and renounced all his dynastic rights in 1977 in favor of his son. After his death, he received all the honors of head of state .

Physical characteristics

Juan de Borbon was a man tall , of white skin , his jaw prominent typical of his family and his nose a little big. He had tattoos on his two arms which were oriental dragons which he had done when he was a sailor . The one on his right arm had Indian origin while the one on his left arm had Chinese motifs . The two tattoos were handcrafted and took over six thousand punctures to finalize.


He was a very seductive man with everyone around him, this in the sense that he knew, through his personality, to be liked by the public . He had good dialogue skills and had some trouble making his feelings public. He was smart , cautious , got along with everyone, respected everyone equally.


His father was Alfonso XIII and his mother, Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg .


He met his future wife at a party which was prepared by Victor Emmanuel III of Italy before his sister, the Infanta Beatriz, married. He married Princess María de las Mercedes de Borbón-Dos Sicilias who was known in Spain as Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Orleans, the ceremony took place in Rome on October 12, 1935.


Together with his wife he had a total of four children who were:

  • Juan Carlos I of Spain who was born on January 5, 1938.
  • Infante Alfonso of Spain who was born on October 3, 1941 and died on March 29, 1956.
  • Infanta Pilar , Duchess of Badajoz born on July 30, 1936.
  • Infanta Margarita , Duchess of Soria whose date of birth was March 6, 1939.

Which dynasty did he belong to

Juan de Borbón belonged to the Royal House of Bourbon, to the Capetian dynasty .

Relationship with Franco

Juan de Borbón gave his support to the Franco regime during the first years of it and in fact sent him a congratulation for his victory, however, he replied that he remembered the two attempts that Juan had made to fight against the rebel side. . At the beginning of 1941 , Juan de Borbón tried to seek support from Nazi Germany in order to restore the monarchy. However, a representative from Germany, Ribbentrop , replied that his country was not interested in the proposal but that they would maintain good relations in spite of this .

Given this, Juan de Borbón continued trying to obtain support and Ambassador Von Stohrer informed the German government that Juan had decided to declare himself in favor of Germany and that he would not access the throne through the English. However, Juan de Borbón refused on this occasion. In 1942 , he decided to make his aspirations public for the first time to occupy the throne of Spain and that is how the estrangement with Franco began.

Importance of Juan de Borbón

Juan de Borbón was important for Spain because he managed to place, through the first Manifesto , an important democratic symbolism in the country that would help enrich and expand the entire panorama of anti – Francoism . He was a man who always acted using full dynastic legitimacy . Thanks to him, his son and heir managed to give historical continuity to the monarchy and decisively helped to reinstate it in Spain.


Some of his most recognized phrases are mentioned below:

  • I have always had Spain in mind, always! I think my parents started talking to me about Spain from the cradle.
  • A Bourbon cries only in bed.
  • It was goodbye to childhood, to a carefree world full of family warmth. I had to overcome this difficult stage alone.
  • My father had a deep sense of royalty. I saw in me not only a son, but the heir of a dynasty.
  • The mistreatment of women deeply hurts and outrages us and denigrates us as a society.
  • An international code for the environment is now unavoidable.
  • The parliamentary monarchy that sustains the Constitution has led to the longest period of instability and prosperity in democracy experienced by Spain.
  • You cannot monopolize patriotism .
  • If we stick together, we will have won the future.
  • The country is not helped with thoughtless and dead-end actions.


Some curiosities of Juan de Borbón are mentioned below:

  • When he was in Switzerland as a child and his family was in Portugal, Queen Victoria Eugenia took care of him.
  • When he lived in Portugal, he ate pineapple every day because it was a cheap fruit, so he took a hobby.
  • His studies depended on the agreements his father made with General Franco .
  • He practiced judo until he was very old.
  • He liked to go skiing and also listen to music on the radio.

Presence in popular culture

His story can be found in various books in popular culture. Some of them are the following:

  • Don Juan de Borbón by Julio Aróstegui
  • Don Juan de Borbón, greatness and servitude of duty of Victor Salmador.
  • Don Juan, shipwrecked from his destiny by José García Abad.
  • Don Juan de Borbón, characters of the twentieth century .

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