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Prince Carlos dies aged 80: Dutch royal house

Prince Carlos Hugo de Bourbon de Parma, whose marriage into the Dutch royal family in 1964 triggered a furore in the Netherlands, has died aged 80, the Dutch royal house said Wednesday.

Carlos, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, died of cancer in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday morning, the royal press office said in a statement.

Born in Paris on April 8, 1930 to Xavier, Duke of Parma and Duchess Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset, Carlos married Dutch princess Irene at the age of 34.

He was then a pretender to the Spanish throne and a Catholic, two issues that sat uncomfortably with the Protestant Dutch royal house.

Irene gave up her place as second in line to the throne, then occupied by her mother Juliana, to marry Carlos and converted to Catholicism, according to the Telegraaf newspaper.

Juliana followed the wedding on television for fear that the Dutch royal family could be used as propaganda for the Carlist movement, that laid claim to the Spanish throne.

The couple divorced in 1981, shortly after Carlos relinquished his royal aspirations.

His remains will be brought to Noordeinde Palace in The Hague for family members to pay last respects. They will then be flown to Italy for burial in the family crypt in Parma, with a memorial service to follow in Madrid.