February 6, 1964
Princess Irene of the Netherland's "romance and her conversion to Roman Catholicism" has led to a constitutional crisis, reports United Press International. The Dutch cabinet "held two emergency meetings tonight," but Premier Marijnen refused to comment, although another Government official said "the crisis is far from over."
Today's events were "triggered" when Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard attempted to fly to Spain to visit their 24-year-old daughter, who is second in line to the throne.
Princess Irene is "believed hiding in a convent" in Spain.
The Dutch cabinet opposed the trip to Spain. The plane carrying the Queen and her husband returning to the Netherlands after landing in in Paris. Earlier in the day, Palace officials had announced that Queen Juliana and her husband were en route to Madrid. But only Prince Bernhard was seen at Orly Airport and Queen Juliana's "standard remained at full staff over the royal palace" at the Hague, indicating that she was in residence.
Princess Irene presumably became a Roman Catholic "out of love for an unidentified Spanish nobleman, whom she was to marry." Earlier this week, Queen Juliana announced on radio that "there would be no engagement." In the last 300 years, no member of the Dutch Royal Family has converted to the Roman Catholic church, and Irene's "conversion produced the palace crisis."