Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma

Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (Michel Marie Xavier Waldemar Georg Robert Karl Eymar; 4 March 1926 – 7 July 2018)[1] was a French businessman, soldier and racing car driver, who was a member of deposed sovereign ducal House of Bourbon-Parma.

Prince Michel
Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma.jpg
Michel of Bourbon-Parma in 1948
Born(1926-03-04)4 March 1926
Paris, France
Died7 July 2018(2018-07-07) (aged 92)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel
(m. 1951; div. 1999)

IssuePrincess Inés
Prince Erik
Princess Sybil, Mrs. Richards
Princess Victoire, Mrs. Rodriguez
Prince Charles-Emmanuel
Full name
Michel Marie Xavier Waldemar Georg Robert Karl Eymar
FatherPrince René of Bourbon-Parma
MotherPrincess Margaret of Denmark
ReligionRoman Catholicism

He was a son of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and his wife Princess Margaret of Denmark. Paternally, he was a grandson of Robert I, Duke of Parma (1848–1907), while through his mother he was a great-grandson of Christian IX of Denmark. Prince Michel was also the younger brother of Queen Anne of Romania.[2]


Prince Michel grew up in Paris, where his father worked for a propane gas tank manufacturer. In 1940, Prince Michel and his family fled the German invasion and left for New York City,[3] where his mother worked in a hat shop. Michel was enrolled in a Jesuit school in Montreal.[4]

Three years later at age 17 he joined the U.S. Army with his father's permission and was appointed lieutenant.[3] Serving in Operation Jedburgh, he was parachuted into Nazi-occupied France as part of a three-man sabotage team (with Maj. Tommy Macpherson and Sgt O. A. Brown) to operate deep behind German lines.[5]

After the liberation of France Prince Michel was deployed to Indochina in order to fight against the Viet Minh.[3] Dropped on August 28, 1945, by parachute he was captured the same day by the Vietnamese resistance, who kept him for eleven months, during which his group of six captives attempted several escapes and were recaptured.[3] They were led from camp to camp through the dense jungle, bound together with strips of bamboo. Each lived on a bowl of rice a day. Toward the end of the ordeal, the men were asked to sign statements saying that they had been well treated, which they refused. Four of them were killed before the two survivors finally made it back to France due to the French negotiating a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh at the Geneva Conference. Prince Michel was one of 3000 prisoners to survive of the 12,000 French prisoners taken by the Viet Minh. A chevalier of France's Legion of Honour, for his services during war, he was also awarded the British Military Cross and the Croix de guerre.[6]

Demobilized at the age of 20 the prince became a race car driver, participating in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1964 [7] and 1966. Both times his car failed to finish. In 1964 he also raced in the Tour de France Automobile where he finished second. At the Monaco Grand Prix in 1967, he was a nearby spectator when the Lorenzo Bandini accident occurred: With the help of a marshal he managed to extract the driver from the burning wreck of his Ferrari.

Prince Michel started civilian life at the age of 20, engaging in business over the following decades. He worked for a company that had created the Zodiac inflatable rubber boat, which enjoyed huge commercial success after the war. Later, he negotiated contracts for French companies[which?] with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, until he was deposed in the Islamic revolution of 1979. In later life he lived between his house in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France and his house in Palm Beach, Florida.[citation needed]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Following a civil wedding in Paris on 23 May 1951, on 9 June 1951, the thirtieth anniversary of his parents' wedding, he married religiously at Chaillot, Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel (1928–2014), daughter of Prince Joseph de Broglie-Revel (1892–1963) and his wife, Marguerite de La Cour de Balleroy (1901-1976).[2][3]

Although the couple separated legally on 26 June 1966 and reconciled 19 December 1983,[6] the marriage ended in divorce in 1999.[3] They had five children together:[3]

  • Princess Inès of Bourbon-Parma (9 May 1952 – 20 October 1981). She had a daughter out of wedlock:
    • Marie Mélodie de Bourbon (born Geneva, 4 June 1977). Adopted by her grandfather, Prince Michel, 20 November 1982).[2]
  • Prince Erik of Bourbon-Parma (born 28 August 1953 in Copenhagen), married in Ledreborg, Denmark, on 8 August 1980 Countess Lydia af Holstein-Ledreborg (born 22 February 1955), daughter of Princess Marie Gabriele of Luxembourg, divorced in 1999. They had five children:[2]
    • Princess Antonia of Bourbon-Parma (born Roskilde, 10 June 1981)
    • Princess Marie Gabrielle of Bourbon-Parma (born Paris, 23 December 1982)
    • Princess Alexia of Bourbon-Parma (born Palm Beach, Florida, 7 March 1985), married in 2007 Fabian Davis.
    • Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (born Roskilde, 12 February 1989)
    • Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma (born Roskilde, 14 October 1991). Engaged on 22 October 2017 to his second cousin, Archduchess Gabriella of Austria.[8] They have a daughter:
      • Victoria Antonia Marie-Astrid Lydia de Bourbon de Parme (born 30 October 2017)[8][9]
  • Princess Sybil of Bourbon-Parma (born Paris, 10 November 1954), married in 1997 Craig Richards.
  • Princess Victoire of Bourbon-Parma (8 November 1957 – 2001), married on 26 February 1974 in Beaumont-le-Roger and divorced before 1988, Baron Ernst von Gecmen-Waldek (born Prague, 11 July 1943) before remarrying in 1993, with Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez. She had two children with Baron Ernst:[2]
    • Baroness Tatiana von Gecmen-Waldek (born 22 June 1974), married Michael Berger-Sandhofer in September 1995 in Versailles.
    • Baron Vincent Nicholas von Gecmen-Waldek (born 30 August 1981)
  • Prince Charles-Emmanuel of Bourbon-Parma (born Paris, 3 June 1961), married on 25 May 1991, Constance de Ravinel (born Paris, 18 July 1971), daughter of Yves, Baron de Ravinel and his wife, Alix de Castellane-Esperron (of the Dukes de Almazàn de Saint-Priest).[6] They have four children:[2]
    • Prince Amaury of Bourbon-Parma (born Boulogne-Billancourt, 30 October 1991)
    • Princess Charlotte of Bourbon-Parma (born Boulogne-Billancourt, 18 July 1993)
    • Princess Elizabeth of Bourbon-Parma (born Boulogne-Billancourt, 12 June 1996)
    • Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parme (born Boulogne-Billancourt, 1 April 1999). Her godparents are Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, and Comtesse Bernard de Castellane (née Lady Charlotte-Anne Montagu-Douglas-Scott, daughter of John Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch).[10]

Prince Michel had a daughter out of wedlock with Laure Le Bourgeois (born 1950):

  • Amélie (born 13 March 1977, legally adopted by her father on 5 June 1997, assuming the surname) "de Bourbon de Parme",[2] who married 3 October 2009 at the Château de Chambord, Igor Bogdanoff (born 29 August 1949), grandson of Roland Hayes.[11] They have issue:
    • Alexandre Bogdanoff, born 2011
    • Constantin Bogdanoff, born 2014.

In 2003, Prince Michel remarried in Manalapan, Florida, to Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (born 1934), daughter of King Umberto II of Italy (1904–1983) and of Princess Marie José of Belgium (1906–2001) and previously the wife of Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia. He was the last surviving grandchild of Prince Valdemar of Denmark.



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Willis, Daniel. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. Clearfield, Baltimore, 2002. pp. 422-425. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. ‘’Le Petit Gotha’’. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, pp. 594-595. (French) ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  4. ^ Prince Michel profile; Palm Beach Daily News
  5. ^ BBC News: Allied 'bandits' behind enemy lines
  6. ^ a b c Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. p. 418. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  7. ^ Ford Anglia 105E - 1964 Monte Carlo Rally Report
  8. ^ a b Beeche, Arturo (2017). "Eurohistory: The European Royal History Journal". 20.4. California, US: Kensington House Books: 48. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "Der erste Große Auftritt". Luxemburger Wort. 20 December 2017. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017.
  10. ^ Royal Baptism photos 1999
  11. ^ Paris Match. Françoise de Labarre. Mariage estraterrestre. 13 October 2009. French. Retrieved 2 August 2016.


  • (in French) Michel de Bourbon, En parachute, Presses de la Cité, 1949 ASIN B0000DPIAZ
  • (in Danish) Michel de Bourbon, Faldskaermsjaeger : Fra den franske maquis til Indo-Kinas jungle, Hasselbalch, 1949
  • (in French) Michel de Bourbon-Parme et Jean-Louis Tremblay, Un prince dans la tourmente, Nimrod, 2010 ISBN 291524328X