In the early hours of August 19, news reached me of the sad passing of a good friend, Marco de Hohenlohe-Langenburg y Medina, 19th Duke of Medinaceli, Head of the Premier Noble House of Spain.
Marco was born in Madrid on March 8, 1962. He was the firstborn son of Prince Maximilian of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and of his wife doña Ana de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, IX Countess of Ofalia and XIII Marchioness of Navahermosa. Doña Ana happened to be the eldest of four children of doña Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Córdoba, XVIII Duchess of Medinaceli. In due course, doña Ana gave birth to two further children, Pablo and Flavia, both of whom survive their brother.
Marco, who was divorced from Sandra Schmidt-Polex, with whom he fathered two children (Victoria and Alex), succeeded his grandmother as Duke of Medinaceli in 2013, his mother having predeceased her mother.
Since his succession to the famed dukedom, Marco settled at the magnificent Casa de Pilatos, the palace in Seville that the Medinacelis have called home for centuries. Just a few months ago, I emailed Marco some XIX century photos that I purchased at auction of the Casa de Pilatos. He was thrilled with them for being head of the Medinaceli Foundation was a position in which he took immense pride.
Marco was diagnosed with cancer some time ago. This illness sent him to the hospital throughout the last year. Every time he valiantly recovered, he was back at home as soon as possible and reinitiated his daily routine of going out to breakfast, talking with local friends and reading the newspaper. He always seemed quite content, even though life had sent him countless challenges. Unfortunately, treatment failed to save Marco and in the end he was unable to overcome this challenge as he had defeated so many others in his, at times, difficult and tragic life.
I will miss our weekly emails and Facebook chats, as well as his postings from beautiful Sevilla, where he was so very happy. Marco had enormous potential and his early death is a sad event in the history of his dynasty, as well as a loss to those who loved and knew him.
Doña Victoria Eugenia de Hohenlohe-Langenburg y Schmidt-Polex will succeed her father as XX Duchess of Medinaceli once she requests recognition as legitimate heir to the title and countless others in her family’s possession.
Marco, dear friend, we will miss your laugh and unique sense of humor, as well as your irreverent jokes!
May You Rest in Peace...