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An Inspirational Wedding Failure

SPAIN | Thursday, 28 August 2014 | Views [856]

It’s not every day you marry your cousin. It’s also not every day that your wedding day turns out to be a complete disaster. But such was the fate of Queen Isabella II of Spain. Oh the things you learn on walking tours. 

Crowned at the age of twelve, Isabella turned down every proposal because she was in love with her cousin, Francisco de Asís de Borbón, who she eventually married. While most wedding days and nights are typically full of happiness and bliss, this was not the case for Queen Isabella.

On her wedding night, she discovered that her new husband was in fact, not at all interested in women, but rather men. Her heart was irreparably broken, and since divorce was only legalized in Spain a mere 33 years ago, she had few options. So she did what most women in her situation would do: she kicked him out. Out of her room, out of the palace, out of the city of Madrid. Fortunately for Madrid, Isabella’s second love proved to be much more fruitful.

The arts in Madrid up to that point were mainly funded by churches, which only supported arts with some sort of religious undertone or purpose. Dissatisfied with such limitations on the arts, Isabella founded the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre), which was finished in 1850. The theatre has 15 stories (8 above ground/7 below), one of the most advanced staging systems in the world, and has served as an essential contributor to the now vibrant arts and theatre community in Madrid. It currently hosts operas, recitals, ballets, and provides various tours of the interior.

Unrequited love does not always have such a positive result, and as a lover of all things theatre, I’m thankful her tragedy found a creative outlet. So thanks Francisco, for being such a jerk, and for driving Isabella into the arms of something much more valuable. Bravo! 


Tags: arts, madrid, opera, spain, teatro real, theatre, wedding


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