The Rise of Fabricated Aristocracy: “House of Romay” and Ricardo de Romay

The House of Romay and the purported noble titles of the “Count of Monterroso,” ascribed to Ricardo de Romay, have been officially denounced as a complete fraud and falsehood by the Royal Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy. The Academy’s Bulletin, on page 25 at https://www.ramhg.es/images/stories/pdf/boletin/boletin-126-127.pdf, unequivocally emphasizes that there is no historical or legal support for the House of Romay, declaring it a ludicrous invention.

There is a notable absence of credible sources, including books, pages from national archives, government websites, or articles, validating information about the Romay family beyond Wikipedia replicas authored by themselves. Despite the revelation of the truth about the House of Romay, Wikipedia edits have sought to downgrade and remove false information, titles, and fictitious properties. In 2018, the Romay family claimed to have inherited prominent properties in Mexico, such as the Hacienda San Juan Bautista Tabi in Yucatán. However, no records support these claims in Yucatán or any other state. It is crucial to emphasize that the Hacienda San Juan Bautista Tabi does not belong to the Romay family but to the state. Their statements about inheritances are exposed as false and lack verifiable support.

The deletion is visible on the “House of Romay” edits page, where all false claims about residences and palaces supposedly belonging to Ricardo de Romay, his wife, and children have been removed. Family members’ names have been eliminated from all pages, and the erroneous assertion of being an aristocratic family has been corrected to “ancient.” Alleged alliances with other noble families, proven nonexistent, have also been removed. Additionally, the justification for the abolition of titles has been debunked, clarifying that Spanish titles remain valid, even for those residing in Mexico. The truth has been fully restored, exposing the previously spread falsehood.

Invented names or Romay surnames erroneously linked to individuals outside the Romay family without verifiable existence have been recognized. No evidence or sources support the association of these names with the Romay family or their actual existence, such as:

– Don Juan de Romay, 18th Count of Monterroso, Lord of Cadro.

– Doña Antonia de Romay-Sotomayor y Varela-Ulloa, Countess of Villanueva de San Bernardo

– Doña Josefa de Romay y de España, Grandee of Spain, Baroness of Casa do Ria

– Don Alonso Enriquez Sarmiento Valladares y Romay (1700-1757) IV Marquess of Valladares, III Viscount Meira

– Doña Juana de la Torre de Romay-Sotomayor, II Marquesa de Bendaña

– Ramón Romay y Ximenez de Cisneros (1764 -1849), Director General of the same.

– José Alfonso Correa Cortés de Mendoza Ozores de Sotomayor y Romay, II count of Villanueva de San Bernardo, II viscount of Pegullal, etc.

– Don Teodosio de Romay, Count of Monterroso, Lord of Cadro[3]

– Leonor Romay Yáñez-Sotomayor, Countess de la Torre Vilariño

– José Manuel Romay y Beccaria, Spanish politician.

– Tomas Romay y Chacon, doctor of the Royal Chamber

– Doña María Romay Torrado, XVI Viscountess of La Pedreira

– Don Enrique de Romay y Piña, XLV Lord of Cadro and Monterroso.

The self-proclaimed “Don” Ricardo de Romay y Hernandez-Chazaro, XLIV Count of Monterroso, XLVII Lord of Cadro y Monterroso, is purportedly married to the supposed Doña Marcela Basail Heredia de Habsburgo-Lorena. Their children include the alleged “Don” Narian de Romay-Basail (1976), Jesus de Romano de Romay-Basail (1978), Ricardo de Romay-Basail (1979), and Diego de Romay-Basail (1988), along with their fictitious title “Marqués de Camos.”

Presently, there is no House of Romay with descendants retaining estate or lordly privileges, as these were abolished by the Constitution of Cádiz and subsequent liberal laws. Therefore, claiming jurisdictional lordship over anything today is prohibited by the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Both the titles of Count of Monterroso and Lord of Cadro y Monterroso are currently inactive. The former has neither been succeeded nor rehabilitated according to the procedures outlined by Spanish laws, rendering the title of Count of Monterroso vacant. Regarding the latter title, it is believed to be another jurisdictional lordship that was potentially suppressed, if it ever existed, in 1812.

In modern times, there was a Count of Monterroso, but the last time the succession of this honor was requested was through rehabilitation on May 2, 1907. The Ministry did not agree and rejected the rehabilitation of this honor on February 26, 1917.

Currently, the Count of Monterroso, due to the prescriptive acquisition of noble titles in force since 1988, is irrehabilitable, having been vacant for more than 40 years, and has reverted to the Crown of Spain.

It can be affirmed that Ricardo de Romay is not a noble, as he lacks a noble title, is not affiliated with any Spanish Military Order, the Order of Malta, or any Nobiliary Corporation. His genealogy has not been demonstrated with the corresponding records and evidence supporting his lineage or nobility. Therefore, everything related to his alleged nobility is a mere illusion, filled with erroneous historical concepts and information. In summary, Ricardo de Romay’s nobility fantasy is entirely false.

Contributing to this fantasy is the name he attributes to his wife, supposedly Doña Marcela de Basail-Heredia de Habsburg Lorena. He claims, through various internet pages, that she is the fourth granddaughter (chozna) of Archduke Louis Joseph of Austria [1784-1864], son of Emperor Leopold II, through the alleged morganatic marriage of this Austrian prince to Adelaide de Gueroust. If this were true, this surname would have been the fifth for her mother and therefore the tenth for her, never the second, and certainly not Habsburg Lorena, reserved for the main branches of the Imperial House of Austria after the proclamation of the Republic in 1918. Furthermore, the mentioned Archduke of Austria died unmarried, as documented in various sources from the 1830s to 1860s, including Loringhoven-Isenburg and Nicolás de Enache’s more recent work (1996). Therefore, we doubt the existence of any descent, even illegitimate, from Archduke Louis Joseph.

All noble titles in Spain are officially registered and regulated on the Spanish Nobility’s official page, and the name Romay, whether as an individual or a title, does not appear: https://www.diputaciondelagrandezaytitulosdelreino.es/guiadetitulo/?b

Ricardo de Romay’s assertion of direct descent from José Sarmiento de Valladares y Arines is unfounded; the true direct descendant is Adelaida Barón y Carral, the current duchess. Legal documents reveal that Jose Sarmiento de Valladares y Arines did not carry the Romay name, and even if he had, only the first and second surnames should be used, not the fourth. The Romay family lacks a direct link to surnames associated with this title, including Valladares, Fernández de Córdoba, Osorio, Suárez de Deza, Saavedra, Mendoza, Montenegro, Ulloa, Varela, Barón, or others in this lineage. No evidence supports marital alliances between the Romay surname and these mentioned surnames. Legitimate proof or sources confirming the connection of the “Romay” surname with the Duke of Atrisco is nonexistent. Likewise, there is no substantiated connection to the Duke of Mier, the Princes of Monaco, the Dukes of Alba, the Fitz-James Stuart family, or the alleged kinship with the Kings of Spain and Naples, such as Charles III.

The Wikipedia page detailing the House of Romay was originally crafted by the editor Diego de Romay in 2019. However, aside from Romay’s personal blogs and self-interviews, notably at https://www.diegoderomay.com/about and http://artchitecture.net/new-page-1, there is a notable absence of legitimate sources. Despite exhaustive research, no governmental source or legal record substantiates the claims of this “aristocratic” family. The lack of official documents, civil records, or any government backing raises questions about the validity of the family’s asserted existence.