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Spain's justice ministry has begun the administrative formalities that will convert Carmen Martínez-Bordiú, the granddaughter of the Spanish dictator, into the Duchess of Franco. Even though major centrist and left-wing political parties (PSOE and Izquierda Unida) have repeatedly demanded the suppression of this title, all indications are that by the end of this year, the granddaughter of Spain's notorious fascist ruler Francisco Franco will obtain this title, according to the Cadena Ser radio network.

The title of Duchess of Franco was granted to the wife of the dictator by king Juan Carlos I in 1975, but noble titles are not automatically passed on from parents to children. Spain's justice ministry is the body in charge of approving such successions and, in the case of the dictator's granddaughter, the Spanish government has given the thumbs up.

Following the mandatory month-long wait after the Spanish state gazette's publication of the request to inherit the title, no other relative of the dictator has come forward to contest the title, which, consequently, will be officially passed on to Martínez-Bordiu.

The concession of honours is a competence of the king, Felipe VI, according to article 62 of Spain's constitution. However, this competence is subject to the law, so that the final and practical decision is exclusively in the hands of the Spanish government.

According to expert Marcial Martelo de la Maza, nobility does not currently have any real advantages, with titles being symbolic and honorific, "a special recognition for politicians, business leaders, scientists, sportspeople or figures in the cultural world". Among dukes thus honoured are personalities such as painter Salvador Dalí, writer Camilo José Cela, football coach Vicente del Bosque and scientist Valentín Fuster. For this reason, the PSOE and Izquierda Unida political parties consider that the dictator's granddaughter is not deserving of the duchy, but they have not managed to stop the process.