Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Royal Profile: Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld

Princess Irene Emma Elisabeth of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld was born 5 August 1939 as the  second daughter of Queen Juliana of The Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld{Source}.

She was named for:
  1. Irene: the Greek Goddess of Peace
  2. Emma: likely Queen Emma, who was the wife of Williem III, thus was Irene's great-grandmother
  3. Elisabeth: the French form of Elizabeth, so likely for her godmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
She has three sisters {Source}:
  1. Princess Beatrix
  2. Princess Cristina 
  3. Princess Margriet
Barely a year old at the outbreak of WWII, her family fled The Netherlands during the Nazi German raid of the country. During the family's flee from The Netherlands, their escape was nearly foiled with an attack of the British warship they were boarding. During the escape, she was placed in a gasproof carrier to protect her from chemical warfare. 

She was christened at the Royal Chapel of Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother was one of her godparents.

She studied Spanish in Madrid, where she would meet her first husband, The Duke of Parma. 

In 1963, she secrectly converted from Protestant to Catholicism, causing a major controversy. Her engagement to The Duke of Parma was announced in 1964, and they were married on 29 April 1964{Source}.
They were divorced in 1981{Source}.
Together, they have four children, and 7 grandkids {Source}:
  1. Prince Carlos of Bourbon- Parme, Duke of Parma (1970)
    1. Master Carlos Klynstra (illegitimate, 1997)
    2. Princess Luisa of Bourbon-Parme (2012)
    3. Princess Cecila of Bourbon-Parme (2013)
  2. Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parme (1972)
    1. Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma (2014)
  3. Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parme (1974)
    1. Miss Alaïa-Maria Irene Cécile Brenninkmeijer (2014)
  4. Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parme (1972)
    1. Miss Julia ten Cate (2008)
    2. Miss Paola ten Cate (2011)
After the divorce, she and her children (who were ranging in age between 7-11 years old at the time) returned to The Netherlands, and resided at the palace for a short time. A year later, they moved into their own home nearby the palace grounds.  In 1999, she purchased a farm in South Africa, turning it into a sanctuary.  

In 2001, she helped establish NatuurCollege in The Netherlands {Source}. In 1983 and 1985, she publicly spoke out against the additional deployment of NATO missiles at a large anti-nuclear rally in The Hague and with a letter to the newspaper De Volkskrant {Source}.  The Princess is an honourable member of the Club of Budapest {Source}.She holds many honors from various countries, including: The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Iran, Mexico, Peru, and Thailand.

She is godmother to:
  1. Prince Floris Frederik Martijn of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven (her nephew, 1975)

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