Spanish princess becomes first royal to die from coronavirus

Princess Maria Teresa of Spain has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

The princess, who was King of Spain Felipe VI’s cousin, became the first royal to pass away from the virus when she died aged 86 in Paris on Friday.

Her younger brother Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma announced the sad news, as another 832 people died of Covid-19 in Spain, bringing the death toll to 5,690.

Princess Maria Teresa, of the Bourbon-Parma Royal Family, was born in Paris, France on July 28, 1933 to parents, Prince Xavier and Madeleine de Bourbon.

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She was a professor at Paris’ Sorbonne, as well as a professor of Sociology at Madrid’s Complutense University.

The royal was a longtime advocate of women’s rights and socialist ideas which led to her being nicknamed the ‘Red Princess’.

Her family are members of the House of Bourbon-Parma which is a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family, descended from the French Capetian dynasty. 

A cadet branch – a noble House that descends from another noble House – is usually created when a younger member of a noble House, who is not the current heir of the family seat, is granted lands and titles of their own.

It comes as Britain’s Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus, which has now taken 1,019 lives in the UK.

The Prince of Wales has ‘mild symptoms’ of Covid-19, but otherwise remains in good health, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both left London to travel to Windsor Castle in Berkshire to isolate earlier this month. 

Her Majesty moved a week earlier than she normally would at this time of year, and is expected to remain there beyond the Easter period.

Earlier this month, the UK Monarch issued a message of support, telling the nation ‘we must all play our part’ to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: ‘As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty. 

‘We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

‘At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal. 

‘We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months. 

‘Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.’

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