Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Irene marries Carlos

April 29, 1964

Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma were married today in Rome.  The Roman Catholic wedding took place in the Basilica of St Mary Major.

According to the New York Times, the guests included "Spanish, Italian and French nobility," but "representatives of European houses were conspicuously absent."

After the wedding the newlyweds were received in a "private audience" by Pope Paul VI.  

Princess Irene, the second of four daughters of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, recently converted to the Roman Catholic faith.

None of the bride's family, including her parents and sisters, were not present for the wedding.

Prince Carlos, 34, is the "scion of the Carlist line" of the Borbon House, which has claimed the Spanish throne since 1833.  His father, Prince Xavier, the Carlist pretender, has "little chance" again the main Borbon line, headed by Don Juan and his son, Juan Carlos, who is married to Princess Sophie of Greece.

It is from the main line that Generalissimo Francisco Franco will eventually "designate a king, restoring Spain as a monarchy."

The 24-Princess Irene is no longer in line to the Dutch throne because she married without Parliamentary approval.

She wore a "white brocade gown" designed by Balmain and a diamond tiara, the gift of her new father-in-law.  As she did not have a member of her own family to give her away, Princess Irene was escorted down the aisle by Prince Carlos Hugo.

They received communion during the service.  Following their wedding, the couple were driven to the Vatican for a 10 minute meeting with the Pope. 

A reception was held in a Rome hotel for 800 guests.    The newly married couple plan to remain in Rome for 24 hours before leaving for the Holy Land.

Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene are expected to live in Madrid.

The estranged relationship between Irene and her parents may in time be healed  Prior to the wedding, Princess Irene telephoned her mother.

The Dutch royal family were able to watch part of the wedding ceremony on television but  they "missed the last part of the telecast  because of a power failure."  The Dutch premier Marijnen hoped the "warm feelings" between Irene and her parents and sisters "would be restored."

The relations between Irene and Queen Juliana "deteriorated" after the Princess "declared that she would actively support" Prince Xavier's claims to the Spanish throne. Things became worse after Carlos Hugo's family announced the date and place of the wedding without consulting Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard.

Princess Irene at first objected to her wedding being televised, but after meeting her father last week in Brussels, she changed her mind as Bernhard said her mother "would appreciate it."

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