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Concern grows over health of Spain’s Duchess of Alba

The 88-year-old aristocrat is unconscious and suffering from pneumonia

The Duchess of Alba leaves a Madrid restaurant with husband Alfonso Díez.
The Duchess of Alba leaves a Madrid restaurant with husband Alfonso Díez. EUROPA PRESS

Spain’s Duchess of Alba is unconscious and seriously ill with pneumonia, which she contracted on Sunday.

The 88-year-old head of the House of Alba – a society figure known for challenging conventions – is currently surrounded by her children and husband in her room at the Dueñas Palace in Seville, where she was taken from hospital on Tuesday night on the express wishes of her family.

“She is very ill, we are all praying for her,” said Carmen Tello, one of her best friends and one of the few people who have been allowed access to her room.

The duchess is under the care of the same medical personnel who treated her during the three days she spent at Seville’s Clínica de Sagrado Corazón, according to a statement by the Quirón hospital group.

The breathing problems resulting from the pneumonia and her already weak heart are what most concern medics, who did not hide the gravity of her situation and also noted her advanced age.

The duchess’s health has notably worsened over the last two years and over the last few months she has only left the Dueñas Palace, where she moved after marrying third husband Alfonso Díez three years ago, on a few occasions.