In the spotlights: Princess Carolina

Today is the 40th anniversary of Princess Carolina. A good reason to put her ‘in the spotlights’

Princess Maria Carolina Cristina was born on 23 June 1974 as the fourth child of Princess Irene and Prince Carlos Hugo. The Princess has two older brothers Prince Carlos and Prince Jaime and one older sister Princess Margarita (twin sister of Prince Jaime). In her early years the Princess lived in France and Spain. After her parents ‘ divorce in 1981 the Princess moved to the Netherlands with her mother, her brothers and sister. Here she first lived in her grandparents home,  Palace Soestdijk.  Thereafter she lived at a villa close to Soestdijk Palace and after a while she moved to Wijk bij Duurstede.
Prinses Margarita en Prinses Carolina Soesdijk 1980
Under the watchful eye of mom and dad Princess Carolina and her sister Princess Margarita jumps on the trampoline in the garden of Soestdijk Palace on 31 May 1980 (RVD)

Study and work

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Princess Carolina received the Master (MA) in international relations and political science at the University of Amsterdam and Havord and a master’s degree in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford.

After her study the Princess began her career at the United Nations. Since the beginning in 2000 she has work for this organization in New York, Eritrea, Palestine, Indonesia, Haiti. On this moment she works at an office in Geneva. There she mainly worked with the Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Princess Carolina works also as an independent consultant in the field of humanitarian aid and development and is on the Board of the Foundation for Human Dignity.

Marriage and family

On 9 January 2012, it was announced that Princess Carolina was engaged with Albert Brenninkmeijer, a member of the family who owns the international clothing department store C&A. On 21 april 2012  the couple married  before the law, in Wijk bij Duurstede. The religious wedding was celebrated in the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte by Florence on 16 June 2012. On 1 February 2014, it was announced that Princess Carolina and Albert Brenninkmeijer expect their first child in  mid May 2014. On 20 May 2014 their daughter Alaïa-Maria Irene Cecile Brenninkmeijer born in Zurich

Her father was the head of the “Bourbon de Parme ‘dynasty and therefore Princess Carolina is a Princess de Bourbon de Parme. Her title: Her Royal Highness Princess de Bourbon de Parme. In 1996 her father gives her the title ‘Marchioness of Sala.’ In 2003 Princess Carolina received the Spanish Carlist titled “Duchess of Guernica. Neither of the two titles recognized by the respective countries. Through Royal Decree in 1996  the title prince / princess Bourbon de Parme with predicate Royal Highness is a dutch nobel title.

Member of the Royal family

 Princess Carolina (First person from the left in the photo) at the baptism of Countess Eloïse in 2002 (RVD)
Princess Carolina (First person from the left in the photo) at the baptism of Countess Eloïse in 2002 (RVD)

Although Princess Carolina  has built up a private life outside the spotlight in Switzerland, she is present at family occasions. In 2001 she was even one of the bridesmaids at the wedding of her cousin Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, in 2005 she was one of the witnesses at the church wedding of her cousin Prince Floris and she is also godmother of Countess Eloïse (Daughter of Prince Constantijn en Princess Laurentien) and Eliane (Daughter from Prince Floris and Princess Aimee


Doop Eliane
Christening of Eliane in 2010 (RVD). Princess Carolina is the second person from the left.

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