April 28, 1964
Princess Irene of the Netherlands and her fiancé, Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma arrived in Rome earlier today. They will be married in Rome tomorrow.
Reuters reports the princess was "smiling and waving" when she and Carlos arrived by plane from Paris. Reports from the Netherlands state that the Princess, 24, is "very upset" because her family will not be present for the wedding.
Princess Irene and Prince Carlos, 34, son of the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne, will spend tonight at the "plush" Grand Hotel before their wedding tomorrow.
Cardinal Paolo Giobbe will officiate the ceremony at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Prince Carlos's parents, Prince Xavier and Princess Madeleine accompanied the couple to Rome. Princess Irene will wear a Balmain gown and a $475,000 tiara that Prince Xavier gave her as a wedding gift.
Prince Xavier is also expected to give the bride away.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the ceremony including the Duke of Braganza, head of Portugal's royal house, and former Empress Zita of Austria, a princess of Bourbon-Parma by birth.
The princess, raised in the Dutch reformed faith, converted to Roman Catholicism some months ago. Her conversion "sparked" a controversy in the Netherlands.
It was learned earlier today that the Princess had a "secret meeting" with her father, Prince Bernhard, in Brussels on Saturday.
According to "usually reliable sources" in the Netherlands, told the New York Times that Prince Bernhard gave a message to Irene from Queen Juliana, explaining why she and Prince Bernhard were boycotting her wedding.
Princess Irene's three sisters, Beatrix, Margriet and Christina, will also not be be attending the wedding.