The first royal has passed away as a result of coronavirus. Princess Maria Teresa de Borbón-Parma of Spain is the first member of a royal family to pass away due to complications after testing positive for COVID-19. Her death was announced on March 26 by her younger brother, Prince Sixtus Henry of Borbón-Parma, on Facebook. A memorial service was held on Friday in Madrid.
Princess Maria, who was also referred to as the “Red Princess” for her progressive views, was a renowned professor at the Paris Sorbonne as well as Madrid’s Complutense University, reports People. She taught sociology and was an early supporter of CIVIS, an open university system that partners with schools in eight European countries. She was also an avid supporter of women’s rights. Princess Maria was living in Paris at the time of her passing.
“On this afternoon…our sister Maria Teresa de Borbón-Parma and Borbón Busset, victim of the coronavirus COVID-19, died in Paris at the age of 86,” reads Prince Sixtus Henry’s statement.
The Spanish princess is not the first royal to test positive for the coronavirus. Last week, it was confirmed that the U.K’s Prince Charles has the virus, though his symptoms are reportedly mild. Monaco’s Prince Albert also tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18. He has continued to work and claims that his symptoms are also mild. The Archduke of Austria, Karl von Habsburg, was the first known royal to test positive for the coronavirus after experiencing flu-like symptoms in early March.
Other members of Spain’s royal family were also tested for the virus, including King Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia; however, it appears that Princess Maria is the only one who tested positive. Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja are also in self-quarantine, though it is unclear whether they were tested for the virus.
Spain has become the second most affected country in Europe in terms of total confirmed coronavirus cases. As of March 29, the country had reported 78,797 confirmed cases and 6,528 deaths, making it the fourth largest outbreak in the world behind the United States, mainland China, and Italy, according to the New York Times.
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