Ena (1887–1969)

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Ena (1887–1969)

Queen of Spain. Name variations: Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg; Victoria Eugenia; Victoria of Battenberg. Born Victoria Eugenia Julia Ena on October 24, 1887, at Balmoral Castle, Grampian, Scotland; died on April 15, 1969, in Lausanne, Switzerland; daughter of Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg and Princess Beatrice of England (1857–1944, daughter of Queen Victoria); married Alphonso XIII (1886–1941), king of Spain (r. 1886–1931), in May 1906; children: Alfonso or Alphonso (1907–1938, whose hemophilia forced his abdication and resulted in his death in a motor accident); Jaime, duke of Segovia (1908–1933); Beatriz of Spain (b. 1909); son (1910–1910); Maria Cristina (1911–1996); John Bourbon (b. 1913), count of Barcelona (father of Juan Carlos I, king of Spain);

Gonzalo (1914–1934, who also suffered from hemophilia and also died as the result of a motor accident).

There was a bomb threat in May 1906 when Princess Ena, granddaughter of Queen Victoria , prepared to marry King Alphonso XIII of Spain. Even so, the marriage took place in Madrid as scheduled. But as the wedding procession wound through the streets on the way to the palace following the service, an anarchist tossed an explosive from above onto the street. Twenty people were killed, 60 wounded. The newlyweds were littered with broken glass, while Ena's gown was covered in the blood of the entourage's horses and footmen.

The devastating public tragedy was a portent of private tragedies to come. Two of Princess Ena's sons were born with hemophilia, a disease that had been passed on by their maternal grandmother, Princess Beatrice of England . Another of Ena's sons was seriously deaf and a fourth was stillborn. (Another famous granddaughter of Victoria, Alexandra Feodorovna , the Empress of Russia, passed on the disease of hemophilia to her son.) Both Alexandra and Ena shared another fate: dethronement by insurrection. In Spain, a republican revolution drove Ena and Alphonso out of the country into a life of exile, and the couple eventually separated. Ena died in 1969.