First Royal Death from COVID-19

First Royal Death from COVID-19

After the outbreak of COVID-19, some of the royal members around the world were diagnosed as coronavirus positive. Spanish princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma became the world's first royal to die from the coronavirus.

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Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma 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 to have died of COVID-19.

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

In the 1960s and 1970s, María Teresa supported her brother Carlos Hugo in his fight to make the Spanish Carlist party more liberal, supporting an ideological shift in her family's Carlism. 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". This nickname was used as the (Spanish) title of a 2002 biography of María Teresa written by historian Josep Carles Clemente [es].

In 1981, María Teresa acquired Spanish nationality 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".

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

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

María Teresa was the first member of a royal family to die of COVID-19. She died on 26 March 2020 in Paris, at the age of 86, with a memorial service was held in Madrid on 27 March 2020, presided over by Rev. José Ramón García Gallardo, an officer of the Order of Prohibited Legitimacy. A second Catholic funeral was held on 2 April 2020 at Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris. Her death was announced on the official website of the House of Bourbon-Parma.

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