The court in The Hague has denied the appeal of Prince Carlos, Duke of Parma against his illegitimate son’s request to change his name to “de Bourbon de Parme”. With this decision the court holds up the earlier decision made by the Dutch Secretary of Security and Justice.
The Duke of Parma is the son of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma. Princess Irene lost her succession rights in the Netherlands when she married the Catholic Duke of Parma as she did not request permission from the government.
Her elder sister became Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1980. Princess Irene and her husband had four children together, Carlos (the current Duke of Parma), Margarita, Jaime and Carolina. The marriage ended in divorce in 1981 and Princess Irene and her children relocated to the Netherlands. The Duke of Parma title is not recognised in the Netherlands and he is considered a pretender to the defunct throne of Parma.
In 1996 by royal order the four children of Princess Irene were included into the Dutch nobility and given the title Prince(ss) of Bourbon-Parma with Royal Highness as style of address. The title can be inherited in the male line.
Hugo Klynstra turned 18 earlier this year and took the opportunity to request a change in last name as is his right by Dutch law. Any biological child with a known and proven father can request the surname from the father.
This request can be made from the age of 18 until the age of 22. If such a request is not made the current surname is considered permanent. His paternity was established by a court ruling shortly after birth and in agreement between both parents his birth was registered without the name of the father.
The Duke of Parma has claimed it was ‘an independent decision’ on the part of Brigitte Klynstra to become a mother. The Dutch Nobility law from 1994 offers illegitimate children of nobility a right to the title that goes along with the last name. He will now become His Royal Highness Prince Hugo Roderik Sybren of Bourbon- Parma. Before 1994 Hugo could have only requested his father’s last name as marriage was still a requirement for the acquirement of a title by any children.
Hugo Klynstra will not become a pretender to the defunct throne of Parma after his father’s death. Succession to the Duchy of Parma does not fall under Dutch law and thus is not affected by any change in Hugo’s title. The Duke of Parma has not made any further comments.
The Duke of Parma last chance to stop the name change is an appeal to the Council of State.