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The first royal dies of coronavirus

On Thursday, Princess Marie-Thérèse of Bourbon-Parma died in Paris of COVID-19 at the age of 86. Princess Marie-Thérèse of Bourbon-Parma becomes the first royal, albeit from a non-reigning family, to die from the coronavirus pandemic. The news of her death came late on Thursday evening as announced by her brother, Prince Sixte Henri of Bourbon-Parma.

Together with a photograph of him and his sister, Prince Sixte Henri published the following message on his Facebook page: “HE. Don Sixto Enrique de Borbón states that on the afternoon of this Thursday, March 26, 2020, his sister María Teresa de Borbon-Parma & Borbon-Busset, became a victim of the coronavirus COVID-19. She died in Paris at the age of eighty-six.”

Princess Marie-Thérèse of Bourbon-Parma was born in Paris on 28 July 1933 as the third child and second daughter of Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and his wife Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset. As a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma, a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family, Princess Marie-Thérèse was the niece of Empress Zita of Austria and Prince Felix of Luxembourg. The late Queen Anne of Romania was a first cousin of Princess Marie-Thérèse.

Princess Marie-Thérèse’s father Prince Xavier became the Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain in the 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s, Princess Marie-Thérèse supported her brother in his fight to liberalize the Spanish Carlist party. In May 1981, the Princess became a Spanish citizen, and she resided in the country for many years. Eventually, she relocated to France where she died on Thursday.

The Princess was a skilled and dedicated academic. She spent large parts of her life on her education and she obtained two doctorates, one in Sociology and one in Hispanic Sciences. She dedicated her entire life to her career as a professor of sociology at the University in Madrid. The Princess never married and had no children.

The Princess is the first royal to die of the coronavirus that now engulfs the world. The Prince of Wales and Prince Albert of Monaco are among the royals who are infected.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.