Isabel of Spain

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Isabella Ferdinanda de Bourbon

Isabella Ferdinanda de Bourbon (born May 18, 1821 in Madrid , † May 9, 1897 in Paris ) was a Spanish infanta .


Isabella Ferdinanda de Bourbon was a daughter of Francisco de Paula de Bourbón , a son of King Charles IV , and Princess Luisa Carlota of Naples-Sicily .

At the age of 16 she fled with her riding instructor Ignatius de Gurowski (1812–1888), a Polish count and brother of the author Adam de Gurowski (1805–1866) from the Paris boarding school Couvent des Oiseaux to Brussels - to the horror of the Belgian aristocracy. The couple married in Dover, England in 1841 and initially lived in seclusion in Brussels.

When her brother Francis of Assisi married his cousin, the Spanish Queen Isabella II , in 1846 , the Belgian nobility could no longer ignore the Infanta Isabel. However, their dazzling appearances repeatedly provided a topic of conversation.

When the Belgian Queen Louise of Orléans , wife of King Leopold I, died in 1850, the Infanta Isabel became the first lady at the Belgian royal court.

In 1854 she returned to Spain with her family.


Isabel de Bourbon officially gave birth to eight children. Unofficially, there should have been nine children. A daughter, who was apparently born around 1851/1852, is said to have been left behind in a Belgian foster family. The expectation of this child is said to have caused unrest, both at the Belgian royal court and at Ignatius de Gurowski, who claimed that the child was not from him, but from King Leopold I.

From the age of 8 this girl grew a. a. in the Belgian Chateau de Jannée, where she enjoyed a privileged upbringing. When she was 16 years old, the “foster father” sought contact with her birth parents - but without success.

The children of Isabella Fernanda of Bourbon Spain:

  • María Luisa Carlotta Isabel Gurowsky y Bourbon (1842 in Brussels -1877 in Madrid ), married to Vicente Bertrán de Lis y Derret, with descendants.
  • Carlos Antonio Gurowsky y Bourbon (1846 in Brussels - 1846 in Brussels) probably died of a spinal dislocation.
  • María Isabel Gurowsky y de Borbón (1847–1925) first married to Charles Allen-Perkins, with offspring. After his death she married José María Díaz-Martín y Torneria. The second marriage was childless.
  • Fernando Gurowsky y de Borbón, I marqués de Bondad Real (1848–1878), was not married.
  • Carlos Gurowsky y de Borbón (1854–1856), died in childhood.
  • Augusto Gurowsky y de Borbón (Madrid, 1855)
  • Luis Gurowsky y de Borbón (Madrid, 1856)
  • María Cristina Gurowsky y de Borbón (1858/1859 - 20th century)