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Datum objave: 05.05.2019

Only daughter of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies, aged 91

her memoir Franco, my father, published in 2008.

Only daughter of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies, aged 91

The only daughter of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, María del Carmen Franco y Polo, died this Friday at her home in Madrid from terminal cancer at age 91, according to her grandson Luis Alfonso de Borbón and her official biographer, the journalist Nieves Herrero. In a message on the social media platform Instagram, Alfonso de Borbon announced “God has taken Man [her nickname] (RIP) but she has not gone: she will be forever in my heart.”

Marìa del Carmen Franco y Polo was born in Oviedo on September 18, 1926, two and half years into the marriage of her parents, María del Carmen and the dictator Franco. She studied for her high school leaving exam with a tutor but never took the official exams. She had a peripatetic childhood as her father moved to different military bases across Spain. When Franco was named chief of the Madrid Central Command in 1935, the family moved to the Spanish capital but a few months later they moved again to the Canary Islands out of fear of a possible assassination attempt. There she lived a quiet life which she was never to entirely abandon.

At home, Carmen was called Nenuca and was also known as Morita. Her father adored her and there was mutual love and affection, according to her statements to North American historian Stanley Payne and journalist Jesús Palacios which were recorded in a her memoir Franco, my father, published in 2008.

In July 1936, Franco staged a coup – a move that would usher in the Spanish Civil War and lead to a 36-year-long dictatorship. From this point on, Nenuca would be known in public as Carmencita. On the day of the uprising, Franco, fearing for the life of his wife and child, sent them both on the German ship Waldi from Las Palmas to the French port of Le Havre. They stayed in France until September, where she was known as María Teresa Martínez-Valdés.

When she returned to Spain, after living a short time in two palaces, one in Salamanca and another in Burgos, the family moved to Madrid, taking up residence first in the Viñuelas castle and later in the El Prado palace where she lived from March 1940 until the death of Franco in 1975.

In April 1950, Carmen married Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, marquis of Villaverde, with whom she had seven children.

This past summer, the daughter of Franco announced she had terminal cancer. She continued in her role as the honorary president of the National Francisco Franco Foundation, created to praise the dictator who took power in 1936 after the Civil War and ruled Spain until his death.

In long conversations with her biographer Herrero, Carmencita refused to judge her father: “When they tell me he was a dictator I don't deny it but I don't like it, because it's normally said to me as an insult. But to me it doesn't sound so bad.” Up until last year, when she attended a mass in memory of her father, attendees gave the fascist salute outside the church in plain sight of the people of Madrid.

While Carmencita remained away from the media spotlight in the past year, in November 2015, in tribute to the 40th anniversary of the death of Francisco Franco, she weighed in on the controversy over whether Franco's remains should be moved from the vast Valle de los Caídos site near Madrid: “I think that the dead should be left in peace, where they are,” she said.

During her last months, Carmen Franco has been surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

With the death of María del Carmen Franco Polo, who was duchess of Franco (a title given to her by King Juan Carlos) and a Grandee of Spain, there are questions about who will inherit the family businesses and properties, many of which are in the name of Franco's sole heir. There are estimates the family fortune could be more than €500 million. The question of whether, or to whom, her titles will be passed is also to be settled.

The Franco family millions

 On November 20, 1975, the Francos lost their hold on power but held on to something even more important: their wealth. Following the death of the dictator and the dismantling of the system he built, his once-sought-after relatives became social lepers. It was the worst thing that could happen to one in a country that favored social arrivistes. Struck hard by the sudden loss of privileges, some members of the Franco clan felt victimized; others faded discreetly into the background, and a few individuals took on the role of provocateurs, unable to admit to themselves that democracy was treating them infinitely better than Franco had ever treated democracy.

Until the day she died, Franco's widow Carmen Polo received a pension that was higher than the salaries of the Spanish prime ministers Adolfo Suárez and Felipe González. Her only daughter and her son-in-law were able to use their diplomatic passport until it expired in 1986. King Juan Carlos I awarded them with a new title of nobility: the duchy of Franco. The tax agency never investigated their accounts. They were not forced into exile, nor was their fortune seized, as it was in the case of the Dominican dictator Leónidas Trujillo after his assassination in 1961. Not even the assets that Franco had received as a head of state and, in good faith, should have reverted to the state, were ever claimed by Spain's new rulers. In contrast to the fate of Pinochet's descendants, who were prosecuted for misappropriation of funds in 2007, nobody ever bothered the Francos - not even when they toyed with the extreme right and headed public acts of nostalgia every November 20. The Francos slipped through one of the cracks left open by the desire for national reconciliation that defined Spain's transition to democracy.

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Francisco Franco Bahamonde[a] (/ˈfræŋkoʊ/; Spanish: [fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko];

4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general and politician who ruled over Spain as a military dictator from 1939, after the nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. This period in Spanish history is commonly known as Francoist Spain.

Carmen Polo, 1st Lady of Meirás,_1st_Lady_of_Meirás

María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás, Grandee of Spain (11 June 1900 – 6 February 1988) was the wife of General and caudillo Francisco Franco.

She played an important role in Francoist Spain, playing an especially major role in the election of Carlos Arias Navarro (when her husband was already ill) and in censoring the press. She was, undoubtedly, the most influential woman in Francoist Spain. She was nicknamed as la Collares ('the one with the necklaces') in Spain  

She was the daughter of Felipe Polo y Flórez de Vereterra (1860–1926), a wealthy lawyer in Oviedo, and Ramona Martínez-Valdés y Martínez-Valdés (1870–8 February 1914), paternal granddaughter of Claudio Polo-Vereterra y Astudillo and wife Bonifacia Flórez and sister of María Isabel (married to José María Sanchíz y Sancho), Felipe and Ramona (Zita) (married in Oviedo on 6 February 1932 to Ramón Serrano Súñer). Her aunt Isabel Polo-Vereterra y Flórez married her relative Luis Vereterra y Estrada. Her great-grandparents were Telésforo Polo y Briz and Isabel Astudillo

Her constant smile, pearl necklaces, the wedding's postponement became the inspiration for a verse of "La Madelón":[citation needed]"... el comandante Franco es un gran militar que aplazó su boda para ir a luchar..."[citation needed]("...Commander Franco is a great soldier who postponed his wedding to go to war..."). It was two years before Franco returned to Oviedo.

When he returned, ready to marry, the death of Rafael de Valenzuela, successor to José Millán Astray as commander of the Spanish Legion, intervened. Franco was offered Valenzuela's command, and promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel. His ambition was too great to resist the opportunity, and he left for Morocco on 18 July 1923, making this promise to his fiancée: "This year we will be married, above all else. If I do not die in combat, I will return to you." Having become Spain's most decorated soldier, Franco was eventually given a leave of forty days, and royal permission to marry. The wedding took place on 22 October 1923, in the church of San Juan el Real of Oviedo. Franco's best man was King Alfonso XIII, represented by General Antonio Losada, military governor of Asturias. Serving as maid of honour was Isabel Polo, Carmen's aunt. The witnesses were the Marquis de la Vega de Anzo, and Franco's brothers, Nicolás and Ramón. Franco did not invite his father, Nicolás Franco, whom he had never forgiven for leaving his mother and living in Madrid with another woman.

La cara de la collares # Iconos

Carmen Polo y Francisco Franco. Europa Press, 1968

El destino no dispuso un palacio cualquiera, sino el del Pardo, residencia del otrora “comandancito” y de “carmencita”, uno militar recio la otra una chica bien de Oviedo; al él nunca le volvieron a llamar así, sino generalísimo, a ella el sobrenombre le acompañaría siempre.

        La verdad es que cuesta imaginar al visionario y belicoso estratega embobado a la puerta del colegio donde doña Carmen se encontraba interna, que la cita fuera a la hora de la comunión diaria y que el espía y aspirante lo hiciera desde la calle a pie de reja y vestido tal cual, con el mismo uniforme militar con el que el africanista se paseaba a caballo por las calles ovetenses muy a disgusto de su futuro suegro. Que el campo de batalla no es recomendable para quien aspire a llevarse la mano de una hija, que un militar bravucón  es lo más parecido a un torero en peligro las 24 horas del día, y no le faltaba razón a don Felipe Polo, padre de la dama, liberal poco ilustrado quien veía en el aspirante consorte poca cosa para dar su brazo a torcer. No contaba el progenitor  con la guerra de África y los continuos ascensos de su yerno convertirían al de Ferrol en el militar de moda;  un 22 de octubre de 1923 la pareja contraía matrimonio en la iglesia de Sanjuan del Real de Oviedo, Francisco Franco era el militar del momento.

     Lo del alzamiento, el adiós a la República , la cruzada, el nacionalcatolicismo y el totalitarismo implacable vendría  más tarde, antes , Carmen Polo (1900, Oviedo-1988, Madrid)  vigilaría las hazañas de su marido desde la frontera, por si acaso, por si los toros venían bravos y apuntaban alguna cornada. Para regresar victoriosa junto a él, convertido éste en generalísimo y  ella en primera dama; la cuasi reina ansiaba el monárquico Palacio Real pero se tuvo que confirmar con el del Pardo. Lo de los sablazos a anticuarios y joyeros llegarían más tarde, con el desempeño  del cargo, a la señora le gustaban las joyas,  el sentir y vivir regio, rodearse de objetos con legado. Dicen las malas, o perjudicadas lenguas, que allá por donde iba, la dama, conocedora de la mercancía, reclamaba tal o cual alhaja, cuyo destino apuntaba siempre en dirección a Palacio, y el de la factura también. Pero he ahí el milagro, que ésta nunca llegaba, porque este país, aunque pobre, fracturado y mal alimentado, sabía ser generoso con quien se lo merecía.

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