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SPAIN: Redhead’s Exit

2 minute read

For years, redhaired, two-fisted Luisa Maria, Duchess of Valencia, had been the passionate leader of Avanzadilla Monarquica, most active faction among Spanish monarchists. Conservative royalists called her too “noisy” and undiplomatic. Time & again, Franco’s police fined or jailed her. She was so used to being arrested that she kept a “prison kit” always in readiness containing toilet articles and a pair of silk pajamas.

The handsome, 34-year-old Duchess, arrested again last February on charges of conspiring against the security of the state, was acquitted at a trial two weeks ago (TIME, June 26). Last week, she formally announced that she was giving up her political crusade. On doctors’ orders she would undergo a long rest and treatment “to recover from ailments caused by imprisonment.” From his Lisbon exile, the Spanish pretender, Don Juan, had himself urged his faithful follower to withdraw from the fight for the sake of her health. The Duchess had made her decision even before her last trial, she said, but she had kept it to herself so that no one would assume that she was “bowing to injustice or trying to obtain the sympathy of the court.”

Spain’s political scene would be a duller place without Luisa’s fiery manifestoes, Spain’s prison a duller place without her silk pajamas.

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