Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma (Spanish: María Teresa de Borbón-Parma, French: Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon-Parme; 28 July 1933 – 26 March 2020) was a French-Spanish political activist and academic. She was a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma, a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family. She was a socialist activist, earning the nickname "Red Princess", and a monarchist who supported the Carlist movement. She is the first royal known to have died of COVID-19.

Princess María Teresa
María Teresa of Bourbon Parma (cropped).jpg
María Teresa in 1964
Born(1933-07-28)28 July 1933
Paris, French Third Republic
Died26 March 2020(2020-03-26) (aged 86)
Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France[1]
Full name
María Teresa Cecilia Zita Carlotta de Bourbon-Parma
FatherPrince Xavier, Duke of Parma and Piacenza
MotherMadeleine de Bourbon-Busset

Early life and educationEdit

María Teresa was born on 28 July 1933 in Paris.[2] She was the daughter of Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, a Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne, and Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset, a member of a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon.[3][4] She was the younger sister of Princess Marie-Françoise and Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, and an older sister of Prince Sixtus Henry, Duke of Aranjuez.

She grew up at the Old Bostz Castle, Besson, Bourbonnais.[5] Having attended middle school in Tours,[6] she went on to obtain a doctorate in Hispanic studies from Paris-Sorbonne University and another doctorate in political sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also studied Islam and how it related to women's rights.[7] Her 1977 thesis at the Sorbonne was entitled "La clarificación ideológica del Carlismo contemporáneo" ("Ideological clarification of contemporary Carlism").[8]

Career and activismEdit

María Teresa was a professor at both of her alma maters.[7] She was also a socialist activist and fought for women's rights.[9]

María Teresa supported her brother Carlos Hugo in his fight to make the Spanish Carlist party more liberal,[10] supporting an ideological shift in her family's Carlism.[11] Her royal roots and liberal socialist views attracted many personalities, leading her to meet André Malraux, François Mitterrand, Yasser Arafat and Hugo Chávez, and earned her the nickname of "Red Princess".[6][12] This nickname was used as the (Spanish) title of a 2002 biography of María Teresa written by historian Josep Carles Clemente [es].[11]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1981, María Teresa acquired Spanish citizenship by royal decree; the official state bulletin said that it was given "at the request of the interested party and in response to the exceptional circumstances and her belonging to a family so closely linked to Spain".[13]

In a 1997 interview, María Teresa said that she was Christian, but criticized some Christian attitudes to immigration that sought to create a divide.[14]

María Teresa never married,[9] and had no children.[15] She was the aunt of Prince Carlos, Duke of Parma and 4th cousin, once removed, of the current King of Spain, Felipe VI.[7]

In 2014, she published a history of the Bourbon-Parma family. [16]

On 26 March 2020, María Teresa became the first member of a royal family known to die of COVID-19.[2][4][7][17] She died at Hôpital Cochin in Paris at the age of 86.[1][18] A memorial service was held in Madrid on 27 March 2020, presided over by Rev. José Ramón García Gallardo, a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X and an officer of the Order of Prohibited Legitimacy.[19] A second Catholic funeral was held on 2 April 2020 at Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris.[20] Her death was announced on the official website of the House of Bourbon-Parma.[21] Her family paid tribute to her involvement "in the struggle for democratization, social justice and freedom in Spain".[16]



  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1977). El momento actual español, cargado de utopía (in Spanish). ISBN 9788422902164.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1979). La clarificación ideológica del partido Carlista (in Spanish). ISBN 9788485596027.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1990). Cambios en México (in Spanish). ISBN 9788430918591.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1994). Magreb: Nuestro poniente proximo (in Spanish). ISBN 9788476833308.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1997). Don Javier : una vida al servicio de la libertad (in Spanish). ISBN 9788401530180.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (1999). Desde Tánger (in Spanish). ISBN 9788483740774.
  • Borbón-Parma, María Teresa de (2009). Así fueron, así son (in Spanish). ISBN 9788408088967.


  1. ^ a b De 2020, 27 De Marzo. "Murió María Teresa de Borbón y Parma, prima del rey Felipe VI de España: tenía coronavirus". Infobae (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Schild, Darcy (28 March 2020). "A Spanish princess is the world's first royal to die from the coronavirus, Business Insider - Business Insider Singapore". Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Person Page". Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Princess Maria Teresa First Royal to die from Coronavirus". Sathiyasreesblog. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  5. ^ Delacou, Antoine (28 March 2020). "Décès - Elle avait passé son enfance au château de Bostz à Besson (Allier) : la princesse Maria Teresa de Bourbon-Parme s'est éteinte". (in French). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b Launet, Edouard (23 July 2014). "Maria-Teresa de Bourbon Parme. Princesse rouge". Libé (in French). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d "Spanish Princess Becomes the First Royal to Die of Coronavirus Complications". E! News. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  8. ^ "María Teresa de Borbón Parma". El País (in Spanish). 12 October 1977. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b "King Felipe of Spain's Relative, 86, Becomes First Royal to Die from Coronavirus". Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  10. ^ "The first royal dies of coronavirus". Royal Central. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b Agencias, Silvia Ayuso (27 March 2020). "Muere María Teresa de Borbón y Parma, prima del rey Felipe, por coronavirus". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Spanish Princess Maria Teresa First Royal To Die From Coronavirus". NDTV. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  13. ^ "María Teresa de Borbón". El País (in Spanish). 31 July 1981. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Entrevista "El intercambio cultural es la vida de una civilizacilón"". El País (in Spanish). 15 September 1997. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  15. ^ "JUST IN: First royal dies from coronavirus". New Idea. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon-Parme est décédée du coronavirus". Point de Vue. 27 March 2020.
  17. ^ Bieber, Nicholas (28 March 2020). "Princess becomes world's first royal to die from coronavirus". mirror.
  18. ^ Schild, Darcy. "A Spanish princess is the world's first royal to die from the coronavirus". Insider. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  19. ^ "La Comunión Tradicionalista ante la muerte de María Teresa de Borbón Parma". COMUNIÓN TRADICIONALISTA. Carlist Traditionalist Communion. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Ha fallecido María Teresa de Borbón Parma". COMUNIÓN TRADICIONALISTA. Carlist Traditionalist Communion. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  21. ^ "REALE E DUCALE CASA DI BORBONE PARMA". Retrieved 31 March 2020.

Further readingEdit

  • Clemente, Josep Carles (2002). La Princesa Roja [The Red Princess] (in Spanish). ISBN 9788427027930. (Biography)