Breaking News: Infanta Pilar of Spain, older sister of King Juan Carlos, has died

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Infanta Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz died at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid, Spain on January 8, 2020, at the age of 83. She had been ill with colon cancer, had surgery in February 2019, and had undergone chemotherapy.  Infanta Pilar was admitted to the hospital three days before her death. She was the elder sister of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria and Hernani and the aunt of King Felipe VI of Spain.
Born in 1936, Infanta Pilar was the eldest child of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona (son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Because the Spanish monarchy was in exile after the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed and the exile continued after Generalísimo Francisco Franco took power, Pilar’s family lived in France, Italy, and Portugal. In 1969, General Franco, Spain’s ruler, formally named Pilar’s brother Juan Carlos as his successor, giving him the newly created title ‘The Prince of Spain’. Franco died in 1975 and Juan Carlos was proclaimed King.
In 1967, Infanta Pilar married Luis Gómez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada. The marriage was controversial because Luis was not royal and Pilar had to renounce her rights of succession to the Spanish throne. The couple had five children. Luis died of lymphatic cancer in 1991.

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