Biography of Alfonso XII - Archontology
Alfonso XII

Alfonso XII

b. 28 Nov 1857, Madrid
d. 25 Nov 1885, Madrid

Title: Por la gracia de Dios, Rey constitucional de España (By the Grace of God, Constitutional King of Spain)
Term: 31 Dec 1874 - 25 Nov 1885
Chronology: 29 Dec 1874, proclaimed King of Spain by the military at Sagunto, Provincia de Valencia; gradual recognition in other parts of Spain followed on 29 Dec 1874, 30 Dec 1874 and 31 Dec 1874 [1]
31 Dec 1874, accession is finally asserted with the installation of the Ministerio-Regencia (Ministry-Regency) established in the name of Alfonso XII, pending his assuming office and deriving its authority from a royal instruction of 22 Aug 1873 issued in exile [2]
9 Jan 1875, landed in Barcelona [3]
14 Jan 1875, arrived in Madrid [4]
25 Nov 1885, died [5]
Names/titles: Baptized (7 Dec 1857): Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio de Borbón y de Borbón; name Pelayo added after confirmation at Covadonga, Asturias (28 Aug 1858); styled Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias) [1857-1874]

Born within the marriage of Queen Isabel II and Francisco de Asís María Fernando de Borbón y de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, though his biological paternity was questioned as his father was believed to have been homosexual; moved to France with his family after the Revolution of 1868; received education at the Theresianum, a college for young nobles in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (1870-1873); proclaimed king in exile when his mother abdicated in his favor in Paris (25 Jun 1870), but he continued to use the style Príncipe de Asturias; was enrolled in the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, England (1873-1874); issued a manifiesto (1 Dec 1874), drafted by Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, outlining how he would reign; was proclaimed as King of Spain (29 Dec 1874) by General Arsenio Martínez Campos y Antón in charge of the troops at Sagunto, Valencia; the proclamation was supported by the army and politicians in Madrid, and culminated in creation of the Ministerio-Regencia (Ministry-Regency) chaired by Cánovas (31 Dec 1874); returned to Spain on 9 Jan 1875 and made his entry into Madrid on 14 Jan 1875; participated in the battles of the Third Carlist War (1872-1876); enacted the Constitution of 1876, which laid foundations for constitutional monarchy in Spain; survived two attempts of assassination (1878, 1879); after premature death of his first wife, he married María Cristina of Austria (29 Nov 1879); ruled under strong influence of Cánovas, whose conservatism cost some popularity of the young king; died of tuberculosis in the age of twenty-eight. Biography source: [6]

[1] "De la Revolución a la Restauración", by Salvador Bermúdez de Castro y O'Lawlor, marqués de Lema (Madrid: Editorial Voluntad, 1927). Vol. II. PP. 761-772.
[2] Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 31 de Diciembre de 1874. Núm. 365. P. 843.
[3] Gaceta de Madrid, domingo 10 de Enero de 1875. Núm. 10. P. 83.
[4] Gaceta de Madrid, viernes 15 de Enero de 1875. Núm. 15. P. 130.
[5] Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 26 de Noviembre de 1885. Núm. 330. P. 665.
[6] Enciclopedia de Historia de España. Diccionario biográfico. (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1991).