María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y Grevigné (Kirkpatrick-Grevignee) (1794 - 1879)

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Nicknames: "Maria Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick Grevignee", "Countess of Montijo"
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
Death: Died in Carabanchel, near Madrid, Spain
Occupation: Condesa de Montijo
Managed by: Carlos Bunge Molina y Vedia
Last Updated:

About María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y Grevigné (Kirkpatrick-Grevignee)

María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y de Grevigné, Countess of Montijo (February 24, 1794 in Malaga - November 22, 1879 in Carabanchel) was the mother of Eugénie, the empress of the French.

Dona Manuela was born the daughter of an expatriate Scotsman, William Kirkpatrick, a wine merchant and Consul of the United States of America in Malaga, Spain and his Flemish wife, Dona Francesca Grivegnée whose sister Catherine, married the French diplomat, Mattieu de Lesseps.She was brilliant vivacious and talented. In 1817 Maria Manuela married Don Cipriano de Palafox y Portocarrero (1785 - 1839), Count de Teba, and later Count de Montijo, Marquis de Algava and Duke of Peñaranda, a grandee of Spain, a Bonapartist and veteran of the Napoleonic Wars.They had two daughters, and a son, Paco who died young. María Francisca de Sales, generally known as Paca (1825-1860), who inherited most of the family honours, and Eugenie, born one year later. In the 1830s Manuela and the girls moved to Paris for their education. There she renewed her association with George William Frederick Villiers, later Earl of Clarendon who is rumoured to have been her lover. Manuela also continued her friendship with Prosper Mérimée whom she had met in Spain and who took great interest in the education of the girls. Manuela was Mérimée's source for the story of Carmen. In 1837, Manuela moved briefly to England for further education of her daughters, but soon returned to Paris. After the death of her husband, and perhaps the disappointment of Villier's marriage to an English lady, Manuela engaged in an extensive social life and pursued her ambition to find suitable husbands for her daughters. In 1844 Paca became the wife of Jacobo Luis FitzJames Stuart Ventimiglia Álvarez de Toledo Beaumont y Navarra, VIII. Duke of Berwick, VIII. Earl of Tinmouth, VIII. Baron Bosworth, VIII. Duke of Liria and Xérica, XV. Duke of Alba de Tormes (1821 -1881), one of the richest men in Europe. Eugenie did even better. Guided by her mother and Mérimée, she married Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.

Manuela lived long enough to see the rise and fall of the Second French Empire.

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Maria Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick Grevignee, Countess of Montijo's Timeline

February 24, 1794
Málaga, Spain
Age 24
January 29, 1825
Age 30
May 5, 1826
Age 32
Granada, AL, España
November 22, 1879
Age 85
Carabanchel, near Madrid, Spain