His Excellency, The Most Honourable Don Carlos Gereda de Borbón,
Marqués de Almazán,
49th Prince and Grand Master
The Grand Master was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, where his parents lived after the Spanish Civil War, looking after a country estate they had inherited. At an early age he returned to his native Spain before being sent to Ladycross Preparatory School in Sussex, England and from there he progressed to Downside Abbey, a Benedictine Public School. After completing his education at Downside he returned to Madrid to read Industrial Engineering at University.
The Grand Master’s title, of Almazán was granted in 1575 by King Philip II of Spain to Francisco Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Count of Monteagudo de Mendoza. His position within the Borbón family is established from the line of the Duke of Santa Elena, his grandfather, second in rank to the Duke of Seville, his cousin, both of whom are descendants of Charles IV of Spain, and Henry, Duke of Seville. This branch is considered second in nobility only to the Spanish Royal Family.
In 1975 he began a career as a commercial development entrepreneur. This career path provided him with the opportunity to travel the world, from the Far East to South America and Central Europe.
He and his wife, Blanche, a direct descendant of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, lived in Buenos Aires from 1979 to 1986, where they established an Oil Services Company which is still in operation today. The Grand Master is currently involved in establishing a Museum of Science and Leisure in Malaga, Spain, which he hopes will be the most important of its kind in the Mediterranean.
His hobbies include astronomy, classic cars and classical music. Don Carlos and his wife organise “at home” concerts for talented young Spanish pianists and chamber music ensembles. He is a member of the Council of the Nobility Corps of Asturias and is a full member of the Academy of Genealogy, Nobility & Arms of Alfonso XIII. He is also an honorary member of the Trunk House of The Twelve Lineages of Soria.
The Grand Master’s involvement with the Order has always been very close to his heart, given that his grandfather and great-grandfather were both members, and in 2007 it was with a great source of pride that he was received into the Order as a member of the Grand Priory of Spain. Indeed the House of Borbón has provided many distinguished members of the Order.
Don Carlos has received many honours including:
Knight of Justice of the Sacred Military Order of St George. (Crown of the Two Sicilies).
Grand Cross of Justice of the Royal Confraternity of St Teotonio.
Grand Cordon of the Dragon of Annam (Vietnam)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of The Eagle of Georgia
The Order of Queen Tamar of Georgia
Grand Collar El Halil Afriqui (Egypt)
Grand Cross of the Holy Trinity (Ethiopia)
Grand Cross with Collar of the Emblem of the Ancient Cavalry & Devotion of St Michael the Miraculous (Georgia)
Both the Grand Master and his wife are strong supporters of ecumenism and it is his express desire to widen our Christian duties to those in need, especially in the Holy Land.