A look at Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma as she turns 50

Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma was born on 23 June 1974 as the daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Carlos Hugo, the titular Duke of Parma.

She has two older brothers and an elder sister: Prince Carlos (born 1970), Princess Margarita (born 1972), and Prince Jaime (born 1972). Her parents’ marriage was quite controversial, leading them to marry without parliamentary approval. This means that Princess Irene and her children are excluded from the Dutch line of succession.

Carolina was born in the Netherlands and baptised in France at the Castle of Lignières. Her godparents were Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Princess Christina of the Netherlands, and Princess Marie des Neiges of Bourbon-Parma.

Her parents divorced in 1981 and she moved with her mother and siblings to Soest in the Netherlands.

Carolina went on to study political science at the University of Amsterdam and Harvard University. She also gained an M.Sc. in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford. She currently works for the United Nations in Geneva.

On 21 April 2012, Carolina married Albert Brenninkmeijer in a civil ceremony, followed by a religious ceremony on 16 June 2012. They went on to have two children: Alaïa-Maria (born 2014) and Xavier (born 2015).

Although her title through her father is titular, Carolina and her siblings were incorporated into the Dutch nobility with the title of Prinses de Bourbon de Parme (Princess of Bourbon-Parma) and with the style of Her Royal Highness.1 She is a first cousin of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands but does not belong to the Dutch Royal House.

  1. Adelslijst

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