Friday, February 7, 2014

Irene to return to Netherlands to announce engagement

 February 8, 1964

The engagement of Princess Irene of the Netherlands to a Spanish nobleman will be made "later in the day," according to her secretary.

Miss Rosario Andrade said the announcement will be made by the Dutch court, reports the New York Times.

She added that the Princess, now in seclusion in Spain, would soon announce "happy news.."  She stated the Princess was "not planning to become betrothed" to Prince Alfonso of Bourbon-Orleans.  The 27-year-old Prince has denied a relationship with Princess Irene and is currently "on a skiing vacation north of Madrid."

Dutch sources say, however, Miss Andrade was "not authorized to speak on  behalf of Princess Irene."

Princess Irene is expected to return to the Netherlands later today.  Her father, Prince Bernhard will pilot an airplane to either Madrid or Barcelona to bring his daughter home.

Princess Irene has spent the past month in Spain.  Earlier this week, the Dutch people learned that the Princess had converted to the Roman Catholic faith.  Her mother, Queen Juliana cut short her trip to the Winter Olympic Games at Innsbruck, Austria, to return to the country, where she made a broadcast stating Irene would not become engaged to a Spanish nobleman.  She appears to have had a change of heart, and will now become engaged.

Princess Irene is second in line to the Dutch throne after her sister, Princess Beatrix.

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