A Royal Warrant Holders Appointment Sign to the King of Spain, 1910
A Royal Warrant Holders Appointment Sign to the King of Spain, 1910
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A Royal Warrant Holders Appointment Sign to the King of Spain, 1910

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51cm (20in) x 44cm (17.3in)

Reverse glass enamel and gilt painted escutcheon-shaped panel bearing the royal arms of Spain as borne by King Alfonso XIII. British purveyors to Alfonso XIII included the Savile Row tailors Huntsman; Johns & Pegg and Henry Poole. Contained in brass bound frame.

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Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) was King of Spain from his birth, his father having died the year before. Alfonso's mother, Maria Christina of Austria, served as regent until he assumed full powers on his sixteenth birthday in 1902. His upbringing and public image were closely linked to the military estate, often presenting himself as a soldier-king. His marriage into the British royal family and was facilitated to some extent by Edward VII. However his wedding to Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg in 1906 was marked by a regicide attempt, from which he escaped unharmed.

During the First World War, Alfonso won widespread acclaim for his international humanitarian work which began with a simple request from a French woman for news of her husband, and later developed into aid and repatriation for tens of thousands of prisoners of war of many nationalities. In 1923 a military coup d'état won his acquiescence. From there it was a decade long slide to the municipal elections of April 1931 – which was understood as a plebiscite on maintaining the monarchy or declaring a republic. He abdicated the same year.