Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first royal to die of coronavirus. The Princess, who is King Felipe of Spain’s cousin, passed away at age 86 on Thursday, March 26, in Paris. The royal’s death was announced by her younger brother, Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma. Alongside a vintage photo of Prince Sixtus Henry with his sister, a message on the royal’s official social media page read: “HRH Don Sixto Enrique de Borbón communicates that on the afternoon of this Thursday, March 26, 2020, his sister María Teresa de Borbón Parma and Borbón Busset, victim of the coronavirus COVID-19, died in Paris at the age of eighty-six.”
“Don Sixto Enrique is very sorry and asks for prayers for the eternal rest of his sister,” the announcement continued, while revealing that the funeral would be held in Madrid on March 27.
María Teresa, who never married nor had children of her own, was the daughter of Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset. In 2014, the Princess spoke to the French newspaper Liberation about her father, who never reigned in Spain, noting, "My father fought all of his life to put his dynasty back on the throne." The House of Bourbon-Parma is a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family.
While María Teresa is the first royal to pass away from the coronavirus, she was not the only one infected with the novel virus. Prince Albert of Monaco and Prince Charles have both tested positive for COVID-19, as has Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria, who was the first European royal to be diagnosed with coronavirus. "It's annoying, but I'm fine. It's not the black plague," the head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine previously said. "I thought it was the usual flu.”
Earlier this week, the Danish Royal Court revealed that Prince Joachim and Princess Marie’s ten-year-old son Prince Henrik was “examined” for the virus at a hospital in Copenhagen. In a statement shared on March 24, the palace said: “Their Royal Highnesses Prince Joachim and Princess Marie and their children, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena, returned to Denmark yesterday, when Prince Henrik was examined at Rigshospitalet for respiration problems connected with asthmatic bronchitis. In addition, Prince Henrik was examined for coronavirus. The test was negative.”