History’s Horniest King

Alfonso XIII of Spain had endless affairs, tons of illegitimate children (in addition to seven with his wife) and a sideline in commissioning pornography for his own private consumption
History’s Horniest King

There have been some very horny kings over the centuries. Edward VII of England, who ruled from 1901 to 1910, is a definite contender — his philandering earned him the nicknames “Dirty Bertie” and “Edward the Caresser.” He had affairs with dozens of well-known upper-class women and famous actresses and was a regular at countless Parisian brothels. He spent so much time at one particular establishment, Le Chabanais, that he had a custom-made sex chair to accommodate himself and two paid companions.

However, Alfonso XIII of Spain may have him beaten, in part due to his commitment to solo horniness — Edward VII travelled to Paris to indulge himself, while Alfonso was more than happy to take matters into his own hands. Alfonso XIII is both the only royal to have ever been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the only royal to have a “Pornographic Cinema” tab on his Wikipedia page.

Born in 1886, Alfonso was king from birth as his father had died shortly after he was conceived. His existence was unusual from the get-go — immediately after his birth he was presented to the prime minister naked on a silver tray; he was featured as a child as a character in stories about the Spanish version of the Tooth Fairy (Ratón Pérez); and he was extraordinarily inbred.

Alfonso was a member of the House of Bourbon, which had broken off from the famously inbred Habsburgs. Lots of uncles marrying nieces and that kind of thing, to keep the wealth and titles in the family. If you think of your family tree, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on, the number doubling each generation. Eleven generations back, this gets to 1,024 people. In Alfonso’s case? 111. That’s a lot of repeats, a lot of dirty uncles.

But being inbred — and, once you realize he’s inbred, looking pretty inbred — didn’t stop him from putting himself out there. He sired his first illegitimate child at 19, with Mélanie Gaufridy de Dortan, a mother of four (one of whom was later engaged to The Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) married to a famous horticulturalist. This took place while Alfonso planned his wedding to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, granddaughter of Queen Victoria (and niece of the aforementioned Dirty Bertie). Alfonso’s mother had doubts about the union, as Victoria Eugenie had hemophilia in her family and a 50 percent chance of passing it on to her children. The wedding itself was interrupted by a bomb flung through a window — the king and queen were unharmed, but 30 civilians were killed. 

Alfonso had seven legitimate children with his wife between 1907 and 1914, and at least another five illegitimate ones with various companions. Two of his legitimate sons did in fact inherit hemophilia, which is credited as causing distance between king and queen, but given that he’d knocked up another woman while prepping the wedding, he probably wasn’t planning to be an enormously faithful husband. Also, given his absurd inbred-ness, he was hardly in a position to be criticizing anyone for their genetics.

But it was his solo exploits that really cement Alfonso as history’s randiest royal. A century before things like OnlyFans made custom pornography available to anyone, the king had a sideline in commissioning adult films for his own private consumption. 

As Jesús Izquierdo, historian and professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, explained to Spanish newspaper El Pais, “He knew that his association with this type of cinema could damage his image, so he used the Count of Romanones as an intermediary.” Romanones in turn dealt with the Barcelona production company Royal Films, set up in 1915 by the brothers Ramón and Ricardo de Baños specifically to supply pornographic films to the royal household. Alfonso would suggest ideas for plots and storylines, and had as much input into casting the lead actresses as he could — of course he did, he was the king.

The resulting films would then be screened — sometimes for Alfonso alone, sometimes for groups of his friends. The king, as described by the Guardian, had “a passion for women with enormous breasts.” 

There were at least 70 films made, most of which have been lost to time or were destroyed. Only three of the films Alfonso had made are known to have survived, and are kept in the Valencia Film Library: The Confessor is about a priest having sex with his parishioners; Ladies’ Office is about a doctor having sex with his patients; and The Minister is about a woman offering sex to a priest if he will defend her husband.

“Curiously, they are all based on power relations between men and women,” Chiqui Carabante, director of a satirical play about the king, told Spanish news site Kiratas. For all that Alfonso’s habit is, and was, easy to laugh at, it was also demonstrative of how different his life was from those of his subjects. Spain was a dramatic place in the 1920s. Alfonso had been keen to expand Spain’s reach in Africa, leading to an unsuccessful war in Morocco, and the public were largely turning against the monarchy. While Alfonso was jerking it to busty lesbians, people were burning Spanish flags in the streets of Barcelona. As it happened, Alfonso ended up dethroned after a republican election victory, and lived out the last decade of his life as an absurdly wealthy former king.

“While Alfonso shared his pornographic productions with his cronies on his forays, a social unrest was brewing in Spain that would eventually lead to the proclamation of the Second Republic and a forced departure (from Morocco),” wrote Carabante.

Would 20th-century Spain have fared differently if Alfonso had been less horny, or someone had given him a magazine or something? Probably not — his wedding was bombed by anti-monarchists, of course, and both the failure of the fledgling Spanish empire in Africa and the growing dissatisfaction among the Spanish populace were ongoing issues much more complex than “rich jerk jerks off.” In other words, the seeds of the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco were planted long before Alfonso got into big naturals. 

History took its course while a horny, inbred king just did what horny, inbred kings do.

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