Carlos, Baron de San Pablo

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Carlos Baron de San Pablo
Spouse(s) Princess Yvetta of Valkenbourg (m. 1924; her death 1946)
Margarita da Silva (m. 1949; his death 1970)
Royal House Montillet
Father Prince Juan María of Mantua
Mother Princess Marina del Viretta
Born 1 December 1895
Cavaletta Palace, Mantua
Issue Margarita de Montillet y San Pablo
Died 10 September 1970 (Aged 75)
Port-Réall, Alexandria
Buried Prince's Crypt, Basilica on the Rock, Mantua

Carlos, Baron de San Pablo (Carlos Donato Juan Xavier Cristiano María; 1 December 1895, Cavaletta Palace, Mantua - 10 September 1970, Port-Real, Alexandria) was the second son of Prince Juan María of Mantua and Princess Marina del Viretta and one time heir apparent to the throne of Mantua. He lost his succession rights and was expelled from the House of Montillet following his marriage to Margarita da Silva in 1949. He spent much of his adult life in exile and died in Port-Réal, Alexandria in 1970.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

He was born Prince Carlos Donato Juan Xavier Cristiano María on 1 December 1895 in the Blue Suite of the Cavaletta Palace, Mantua as the second son of Prince Juan María of Mantua (1863 - 1925) and his wife Princess Marina del Viretta (1870 - 1943). At the time of his birth, his uncle Prince Fabio IV was reigning Sovereign Prince of Mantua though he was widowed and had no legitimate issue. It was therefore expected that he would be succeeded by Carlos' father which entitled the young prince to privileges he may not have had if he had not been third in the line of succession. Carlos' education was limited and as was traditional at the time, he served with the Imperial Alexandrian Armed Forces from the age of 18 until the age of 25 by which time his father had succeeded his uncle as Sovereign Prince. He returned to Mantua to take up a small programme of royal duties for which he received a small appanage. To mark his engagement to Princess Yvetta of Valkenbourg in 1923, he was created Baron de San Pablo. In 1925, his elder brother succeeded their father as Sovereign Prince and Carlos became Hereditary Prince. He did not expect to retain this position, believing that his brother would one day have a son but this was not the case. Due to strict salic law governing the succession to the Mantuan throne, Carlos' nieces had no succession rights and therefore, Carlos was expected to succeed his brother Amalio III if no legitimate male issue was produced.

First Marriage[edit | edit source]

On 4 September 1923, Carlos married Yvetta of Valkenbourg at the Basilica on the Rock. She was the daughter of Grand Duke Felix II. The couple had no children. Carlos and Yvetta's marriage was said to be a happy one, though the Prince later confessed that his relationship with Margarita da Silva began in 1943. In an interview given shortly before his death and not released until 1995, he said, "We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary but we did so as friends who understood our differences. Not having children of our own was disappointing and placed a sadness over us". On 6 November 1946, Princess Yvetta boarded a hired light aircraft to fly to Valkenbourg. Shortly after departing from Mantua's makeshift runway along the Bay of Mantua, the aircraft's engine exploded killing Yvetta, her lady in waiting Clothide LeCroy, the pilot and co-pilot. According to Carlos' daughter Margarita, Carlos immediately left his private villa in Mantua and moved into her mother's suite at the Hotel Palmeras. This has never been confirmed. Following Yvetta's funeral, Carlos left Mantua to live in Port-Real, a move which greatly concerned the Mantuan Chief Minister. Carlos returned in 1948.

The Coat of Arms used by Carlos between 1923 and 1950.

Second Marriage and Exile[edit | edit source]

In 1949, Carlos invited his brother (now Sovereign Prince) to dine with him privately at the Villa Yvetta. He asked Prince Amalio if he would be willing to grant him permission to marry Margarita da Silva. In his interview released in 1995, Carlos said "My brother was very much aware of my relationship with the Baroness and therefore it should not have been a surprise but it did seem to leave him a little stunned". Prince Amalio told Prince Carlos that he would need to seek government advice. Margarita da Silva claimed to be the daughter of a wealthy shipping merchant and had altered details of her background on several occasions. Born in 1910, she was 15 years younger than the Prince and had already been married and divorced. Prince Carlos claimed that da Silva was not divorced but rather her marriage had not been legal as it had only been conducted as a religious ceremony without a civic ceremony which the law required in Mantua. Therefore, da Silva should be regarded as a spinster and though not his equal, he was certain that the National Council could change the house laws to allow for such a marriage. However, the government insisted that whilst the law in Mantua did require a civic ceremony to contract a lawful marriage, da Silva was a citizen of the Costa Verde and under that jurisdiction, was considered to have been legally married in 1932 and divorced in 1938. Permission was therefore refused.

Carlos' second wife, Margarita da Silva.

At first, Carlos offered to marry Margarita morganatically which would (he suggested) allow him to take up his position as Sovereign Prince if required, however he had no heirs and there was a fear that the House of Montillet would become extinct as a morganatic marriage would remove any children the couple had from the line of succession automatically. With these avenues exhausted, Carlos asked his brother to consider the possibility of allowing him to marry Margarita when Princess Fabiola turned 21. He suggested that in this way, he could still serve as Regent if required but he would be free to marry in the future which would allow the National Council time to consider amending the succession laws in favour of his niece. Prince Amalio asked his brother to wait for a period of 6 months so that he could put this proposal to the Royal Council and the government to determine how likely their support would be. Carlos agreed but within 2 months, he left Mantua for Alexandria where he married Margarita da Silva on 7 July 1949.

Carlos was expelled from the royal house on 10 July 1949. In a proclamation issued from the Cavaletta Palace, Prince Amalio made no comment on the situation other than to issue 'A Decree on the Status of Carlos de Montillet'. The Decree stripped Carlos of his title 'Prince of Mantua' and the style of 'Serene Highness'. The decree made only reference to the Prince's new wife in so far as to deprive her of any royal rank or title but this did not apply to the Barony of San Pablo which Carlos was allowed to keep and could share with his wife. For the time being, the decree said, Carlos was forbidden from using the name of the princely house, neither were any children born to the marriage entitled to use the name 'Montillet'. His Mantuan orders were also removed. Whilst not formally exiled (as Amalio could have insisted upon), Carlos agreed to go into exile voluntarily. He bought an apartment in Port Real and was allowed to remove his share of the inheritance paid to him upon the death of his father though he was no longer entitled to any appanage from the state. In 1950, the house laws were amended to allow for female succession and in 1978, Princess Fabiola succeeded her father as Head of the House of Montillet.

Later Life[edit | edit source]

Carlos' Monogram, 1949 - 1970.

In 1950, the Baroness de San Pablo gave birth to a daughter. She was named Margarita and was registered in Alexandria with the surname 'da Silva'. There was no contact between Carlos and his family in Mantua between 1950 and 1967. A reunion was affected in 1968 when Carlos' sister Princess Mafalda died and Carlos was allowed to return to Mantua for the funeral mass. 4 months later, a decree was issued allowing Carlos to use the surname 'Montillet' if he so wished. The decree also allowed his daughter to use the surname, though no mention was made of any titles for her. This changed in 1985 some fifteen years after Carlos' death when the law was changed to allow females to inherit titles and estates from their fathers. Margarita therefore became 2nd Baroness de San Pablo. Two years after the second decree was issued, Carlos returned to Mantua for the last time in May 1970 to visit his sister Fabiola. He did not meet with his older brother at this time but he did take tea with his niece. He did not attend the weddings of either of his nieces but was invited to do so. Speaking to journalists upon his arrival, he said "I am here as a private citizen visiting my sister. I have no wish to comment on ancient history". Carlos visited the grave of his first wife at the Prince's Crypt at the Basilica on the Rock before leaving for his apartment in Port-Réal. Two days later, he had a minor stroke and was left paralysed and confined to bed for the rest of his life. He died on 10 September 1970 at the age of 75.

According to his will, Carlos left his entire fortune to his only daughter Margarita. He did not make provision for his second wife. He asked that he be buried alongside his first wife and parents in the Prince's Crypt which Prince Amalio accepted. A small private funeral service was held on 18 September 1970 at the Church of the Blessed Virgin near to Carlos' former villa. Against the wishes of his wife and daughter, he was not cremated but was buried according to his wishes. This led to a court case brought against the Princely Family by Carlos' wife in 1974. She wanted assurance that she could be buried alongside her husband and if this assurance could not be given, she wished to exhume his body for burial in Alexandria. The case was dismissed. Margarita gave an interview shortly before her death in 1994 in which she claimed that she was bankrupt and that despite several pleas for financial assistance from the Princely Family, her letters had been ignored. Her daughter initially supported her mother's claims but in 2005 said that this wasn't the case and that her father had ensured that his daughter would provide for his wife in his will. When Margarita died, she was buried alongside Carlos in the Prince's Crypt at the Basilica on the Rock.

Titles and Styles from Birth to Death[edit | edit source]

The San Pablo coat of arms, used by Carlos from 1950 until his death.
  • 1 December 1895 - 1 April 1923: His Serene Highness Prince Carlos of Mantua
  • 1 April 1923 - 22 October 1925: His Serene Highness Prince Carlos, Baron de San Pablo
  • 22 October 1925 - 10 July 1949: His Serene Highness The Hereditary Prince of Mantua, Baron de San Pablo
  • 10 July 1949 - 10 September 1970: Carlos, Baron de San Pablo

Honours & Decorations[edit | edit source]

National Honours[edit | edit source]

Decorations[edit | edit source]

Whilst Carlos was stripped of his Mantuan orders, he was entitled to keep the royal anniversary medals he had been given throughout his early life. However he was not granted the Silver Jubilee Medal of Prince Amalio III given to all members of the Princely House in 1950 to commemorate Prince Amalio III's 25 years on the throne. After 1949, Carlos gave up wearing his remaining decorations and at formal events only wore the enamel badge featuring his coat of arms which all Mantuan peers are entitled to.