Sunday, April 14

Plasencia, the Falcó’s favorite place for their weddings

That Isabelle Junot and Álvaro Falcó are going to get married this Saturday in Plasencia and not in any other place that they could surely afford can be explained with one word: tradition. Celebrating the wedding in the city of Extremadura where they have a palace is a family custom that the groom’s parents began thirty years ago. Specifically, the history of the Falcó weddings in the city of Jerte began on June 2, 1982, the date of the link between Fernando Falcó and Fernández de Córdoba and Marta Chávarri Figueroa.

She was then a 21-year-old student, known among the national high society of the time for being the daughter of Tomás Chávarri y del Rivero, the Spanish ambassador to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the granddaughter of the Marquises of Santo Floro. He was the Marquis of Cubas, one of the owners of the palace of the Marquis of Mirabel, a five-minute walk from the Plaza Mayor in Placentina and even less from the city’s two cathedrals. In the new one, it was the ceremony of Chávarri and Falcó, who then celebrated the banquet in that Renaissance palace built in the fifteenth century by Álvaro de Zúñiga, of the House of Zúñiga, which at some moments in the history of Spain became so important or more than that of Alba.

Fernando Falcó and Fernández de Córdoba and Marta Chávarri Figueroa, the day they got married. /


The property came into the hands of the Marquises of Cubas and Griñón thanks to Hilda Fernández de Córdova y Mariátegui, Marchioness of Mirabel, who received it as an inheritance. That last marquisate, that of Mirabel, is the one that has historically been linked to the ownership of the monument. Now its owner is Alejandra Falcó y Girod, daughter of Carlos Falcó and his first wife, Jeannine Girod, and one of the most recognizable faces among the guests at the wedding that will concentrate this weekend all the eyes of national pink journalism.

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Álvaro Falcó will not be able to emulate his parents by getting married in the Cathedral, because the temple has been closed to worship and visits since February. The reason is the work to fit it out as the venue for ‘The Ages of Man’, the Extremadura sacred art exhibition that will host the city from May to December. Until now, this show, which has been running for 25 editions, has only left Castilla y León to be held in Madrid, Antwerp and New York.

The menus

The young couple will marry in the palace and not in the Cathedral as his parents did, but they will repeat the script of the other Falcó weddings in terms of the venue for the banquet and the party. In that May just three decades ago, the wedding of Fernando Falcó and Marta Chávarri was a social event in Plasencia. The cover of HOY the following day collected three photos of the link and said that «the sacramental act was celebrated in the midst of an impressive crowd and expectation, witnessed by more than five hundred direct guests of both parties and many hundreds more from Plasencia that filled the cathedral precinct».

Sandra Falcó Girod and Jaime Carvajal Hoyos, at the entrance of the New Cathedral of Plasencia on May 30, 1998.

The list of attendees included the president of the Junta de Extremadura, the mayor of Plasencia and a representation of the Spain of noble titles: counts of Moriles, de Limpias and Yebes, marquises of Ardales and Abella, lords of Terry, of Bohórquez… The bride and groom had an escort and used a 1907 Hispano as their wedding car, a museum piece owned by RACE (Royal Automobile Club of Spain), whose president was precisely the groom.

Father José María Martín Patino officiated a ceremony in which the vocal group Juan Vázquez, from Plasencia, led by Delia Terrón Batista, took part. The banquet menu, probably exquisite, would not win a haute cuisine contest today. Andalusian gazpacho, consommé, glee eggs with york ham, Alfonso VIII veal saddle, neva bird breasts, wedding cake, strawberry sorbet and mignardises lemon sorbet were served, with wines and champagne by René Barbier, whose cellars were presided over by the Marquis of Vats. The preview published in HOY announced that after the meal there would be a «flamenco party, in which Los del Río, Enrique Montoya, Lola Flores and some other renowned artists in the country are expected to take part».

At the wedding of Sandra Falcó and Jaime Carvajal in 1998 were Prince Felipe and his sister Cristina with Iñaki Urdangarín, who were partying until almost four in the morning

17 years later, another wedding from the same saga was held in Plasencia, that of Sandra Falcó Girod and Jaime Carvajal Hoyos, and instead of those historical names of Spanish music, who set the scene for the hour of long glasses was a DJ. Also the menu was different. The dinner began with a salad of green beans, foie gras, truffles and ground criadillas, to continue with venison loins in red wine with garnish and a dessert palette, with raspberry mille-feuille, fresh cheese mousse and red fruits, and Chocolate truffle with raspberry. To wash down the dinner, wines from the Marqués de Griñón, Dominique de Valdepusa, and cava, a great reserve Marqués de Monistrol.

The bare chest of Inés Sastre

Those were other times. With other protagonists, some of them particularly topical just these days. This is the case of the two guests that everyone was looking for that day: the Infanta Cristina de Borbón and Iñaki Urdangarín, who had married seven months earlier. They arrived accompanied by the other champion of the applause that morning, the then Prince Felipe. The three were at the party at the Marqués de Mirabel palace until almost four in the morning, according to the detailed chronicle of the event signed by journalist Antonio Sánchez-Ocaña (ASO) in HOY.

He detailed that the couple used a 1926 Ford A convertible, that the bride wore a Lorenzo Caprile suit, and that among the guests were Blanca Suelves, Joannes Osorio, Marta Barroso, Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Pepe Barroso, the soccer player from Real Madrid and the Spanish National Team Manolo Sanchís and also Inés Saste, who unintentionally would end up acquiring such a leading role that even today she is one of the names most associated with that wedding.

Cristina de Borbón, between Iñaki Urdangarín and the then Prince Felipe, upon their arrival in Plasencia for the wedding of Sandra Falcó and Jaime Carvajal, on May 30, 1998. Together with them, the Marquis of Griñón. /


It was for a photo, the one taken by TODAY photographer Lorenzo Cordero, which showed her on her way to the Cathedral in a violet dress with a skirt, body, jacket and high heels. As it was windy that day – Plasencia has the first wind farm in Extremadura for a reason -, the model had to walk holding her headdress, and perhaps that gesture of her left arm helped her right breast to be in the air .

At that wedding someone was already invited who this weekend will be, perhaps, the most sought after among the guests. In May 1998, Tamara Falcó Preysler was 17 years old -she is now 41-, but she already pointed out what time would end up confirming. That self-confidence before the cameras and microphones, which have ended up being her professional habitat. «She drew attention -ASO wrote in HOY- the ease and freshness, typical of her age, shown by Tamara Falcó Preysler, to whom she lacked time to attend to how many cameras claimed her. Dressed in a showy gown of pale sea-green silk satin, the girl, radiant, spoke of the bride, her sister, with sympathy. And she even showed humor. ‘And what does your mother tell you’, a journalist blurted out when he saw her from a girl to a woman. ‘That skirt longer,’ she replied easily. This girl promises.

Tamara Falcó’s favorite

They now say that Álvaro Falcó Chávarri is Tamara Falcó Preysler’s favorite cousin. More Falcó: Cristina Matossian Falcó, protagonist of one of the last weddings celebrated in the palace of the Marquis of Mirabel, which hosted the cocktail as well as the food and the party after the wedding. On that occasion, the bride – a landscaper, like her husband, Fernando Martos – had her make-up and hair done at the Palace, from where she walked to the church of San Nicolás, which is less than a minute’s walk away and which, in fact, is View from the balconies of the historic building. The cocktail was held in the atrium of the palace and the food in different rooms, one of them the library.

May 2002, courtyard of the palace of the Marquis of Mirabel, during a wedding outside the Falcó family, during the period in which the monument could be rented to celebrate events. /


Weddings outside the Falcó family have also been held in those same premises, because in 2002, the owners of the place decided to open it to the celebration of private events, after paying the rent. Today, the palace of the Marquis of Mirabel can be visited, in exchange for a ticket of four euros, and among its main attractions are the patio and also the tower, which has one of the best views of Plasencia.

Probably there the bride and groom are photographed as newlyweds. Isabelle Junot is the eldest daughter of Carolina de Monaco’s first husband, Philippe Junot, and Nina Wendelboe-Larsen. She has been raised in different countries and speaks five languages: Spanish, English, French, Danish and Italian. Although she studied acting, she is dedicated to nutrition, through her own brand, Isa Healthy Live, which she markets mainly through the social network Instagram. Álvaro Falcó Chávarri has a degree in ADE (Business Administration and Management) from the Francisco de Vitoria University and a master’s degree in Corporate Communication from the IE Business School. His main professional field is marketing. The two have been in Plasencia for a few days, where this Saturday they will sign a new chapter for the Falcó family’s Extremaduran wedding book.

The famous photo of Inés Sastre with her chest exposed, at the wedding of Sandra Falcó and Jaime Carvajal, in 1998. /

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