Sunday, February 9, 2014

Princess Irene renounces rights to the throne for the Prince she loves

all images: Marlene A. Eilers-Koenig Collection

February 9, 1964

Princess Irene of the Netherlands renounced her rights to the Dutch throne, according to the Associated Press.  She will live in exile rather than give up marriage to the man of her heart, a Roman Catholic Spanish prince.

Her fiancé, Prince Carlos-Hugo of Bourbon-Parma was with Princess Irene when she made her decision shortly after midnight at the Soestdijk Palace in the Hague.

Dutch Premier Victor Marijnen made the announcement to the public, providing the "solution of the crisis and the climax of the most dramatic royal romance since Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936" for the woman he loved.

The meeting between the Premier and Queen Juliana, her husband, Prince Bernhard and Princess Irene and Prince Carlos lasted for a "harrowing" five hours as they sought to find a "solution to the romance that rocked the throne of the Netherlands."

Dutch radio broke its "rigid Sabbath silence" for the first time since the 1953 disastrous floods to break the news.

Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard said: "We rejoice ourselves fullheartedly in her happiness and that of her future husband and our best wishes will always accompany them."

Although Princess Irene will live abroad after her marriage, she said "the Netherlands will always keep the same dear place in my heart."

The couple are expected to live in Paris after their wedding.  Prince Carlos was born in Paris. The wedding will take place in Madrid in April or May.

Premier Marijnen also released a statement: "The Princess let it be known to the Government that it is her wish that no bill to grant her consent for her future marriage will be submitted to the States General. On the basis of the above circumstances, the Government decided not to promote submission to such a bill.

"Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands have stated that they have completely approved of the engagement."

He also emphasized that "Her Royal Highness, Princess Irene, will after her marriage, settle with her husband abroad."

The 24-year-old Princess is "tall and a thoroughly independent person."  She spent some time with her mother, the Queen, on her statement to the Dutch people about her decision.

"In recent weeks many guesses have been made about my plans for the future.  I regret that I was not earlier in a position to remove the uncertainty arising from this and the tensions arising from it.  Wholeheartedly, I hope that you will accept from me that serious reasons of a private nature thwarted me.

"My mother said her in her radio speech of Feb. 4 that I told her that afternoon an engagement in which I had been rejoicing would not go through.  Fortunately, I can tell you now that the difficulties have been completely removed.

"I am glad to announce my engagement to Prince Don Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma, Duke of Madrid.  Our intention is to marry in the foreseeable time.  I will not continue to live here. I should not think this would imply a farewell.  I have had here a happy6 youth in my parental home and I have also so often and so strongly experienced your love that I am not only grateful for it but can assure you that I gladly will be quite often in the future among you because the Netherlands will always take up the same dear spot in my heart."

After Irene's statement was made public, her parents issued a message: "We would like to add what our daughter Irene  has told you that we are both overjoyed at the happiness of her and her future husband and that our very best wishes will always accompany them."


juan said...

Carlos Hugo could be a prince but he was not a Spanish prince. In Spain nobody knew him, maybe a very small group of Carlist, but most Spanish people didn´t know him. It is very difficult to say you are Spanish when your parents, grandparents and even your great-grantparents weren´t Spanish. He got Spanish citizenship in 1979 and after that he made peace with Spanish Royal Family and abandoned his claim to the Throne, he was invited to Zarzuela Palace to meet King Juan Carlos. In 2003 again resumed his claims to the Throne and started again to use Carlist titles but it was a nonsense.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

He was described as a Spanish prince by the media at the time largely because he lived in Spain, and because he was becoming more active in Carlist issues. That is how he was seen at the time, in 1964. If he and his family were not living in Madrid at the time, and were living in France, there might not have been an issue of renouncement. However, Carlos made it clear that he had political aspirations IN SPAIN which is why, in English, he was described as a Spanish prince.

juan said...

I don´t doubt he was a very smart man, he was a professor in an American university and he could be a wonderful King, but he wasn´t a Prince of Spain, how he pretended to be, he became Spanish for naturalisation in 1979, and after that of course he got the same right of any Spanish but his claims to the Throne were a nonsense.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Juan the story is from 1964, not 1979 What happened afterward is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with this story. In 1964, Carlos lived in Spain, considered him a Spanish prince because he was a Carlist claimant and he took on the cause. In 1952, Xavier adopted the mantle of carlism, by staking his claim to the throne. In 57, he named Carlos Hugo as Prince of Asturias. In Feb 1964 CH adopted the title Duke of Madrid. Franco paid little notice.

He also claimed to be the head of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece, and the order was on his coffin ... In the early 60s, a percentage of the population supported the traditions. However, Carlos Hugo turned away from traditional Carlism, became a socialist, returned to the fold, sort of 1964, he was quite clear about having a political career in Spain. He and Irene settled in Madrid after the wedding.

juan said...

Sorry but I cannot agree with you and must repite, Carlos Hugo of Borbon-Parma hadn´t any right to the Spanish Throne, he was not a Prince of Spain, he wasn´t the Prince of Asturias, he wasn´t de Duke of Madrid, he hadn´t any link with Spain, he was descent of King Felipe V, as many more people, but he wasn´t Spanish, so he hadn´t any right to the Throne.
Who cares if his father named him Prince of Asturias? Who cares if Carlos Hugo considered himself Spanish? Could I go to France and say I am a pretender to the French Throne and be the Delphin or whatever?, Yes I could do it but it would be a nonsense.
They weren´t SPANISH,they were member of a foreign Royal House.
What Xavier and Carlos Hugo of Borbon-Parma did was an interference, they could claim the Throne or the Headship of the Order of the Golden Fleece but everything was an illusion.
Carlism was important in Spain in the XIX century,there were 3 Carlist wars, but in the XX century wasn´t important (although in the Basque Country and Navarra there were still many supporters) and Franco never considered Carlos Hugo as a real pretender to the Throne, although "used" him and left him to stay in Spain but never gave him Spanish citizenship.
Spain had ready a Prince of Asturias, we didn´t need Carlos Hugo, he wanted to be at the same time a Prince and a socialist politician, weird combination !!!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Juan, get over it. This was the situation in 1964, not now. we know the history, the outcome, but this was not the case for the Dutch government in 1964. We are not talking about you. This was the situation in 1964 when the event took place. Not today.

juan said...

Sorry Marlene , I know we are talking about 1964 , sometimes I am very passional. I just wanted to explain the reality about Carlos Hugo.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

People know the history, but the reality for the Dutch was different in 1964.