Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma has granted his two daughters Italian titles in his capacity as titular Duke of Parma and Piacenza. He granted the titles last Friday after the mass in the Steccata Basilic in Parma during a meeting of the ancient orders of knighthood of the former duchies of Parma and Piacenza.
His eldest daughter Princess Luisa Irene was granted the title of “Marquise of Castell’Arquato”, which was named for a small medieval town. His youngest daughter Princess Cecilia was granted the title of “Countess of Berceto”, also named for a small town in the duchy.
The mayors of both towns were invited to the ceremony, and this Saturday, Prince Carlos and Princess Annemarie will take their daughters to Castell’Arquato for a first meeting.
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. The Duke of Parma also has a son, who as the heir apparent carries the title Hereditary Prince of Parma. He also has an illegitimate son from a previous relationship with Brigitte Klynstra who has claimed the title of Prince under Dutch law.
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.