Edited by Marianne on 4/8/2017, 8:31:35
Her name means "Peace" and as she was born in 1939 (August 5) it is very clear why her parents opted for that name.
Her other two names are Emma Elisabeth - after her grandmothers.
The Princess was baptised in the Chapel of Buckingham Palace btw and she grew up in Canada, where her mother Juliana, elder sister Beatrix and some members of staff had fled to. Another sister, Margriet, was born in Ottawa in 1943.
Princess Irene, once they returned to the liberated Netherlands in 1945, went to school near Palace Soestdijk. Later on her interest in the Spanish culture and language was the reason why she studied to become a translator. The fact that she met & fell in love with a Spanish nobleman was to be expected in a way, although neither her parents nor the Dutch government had expected it to be Carlos Hugo who was the leader of the Carlist party in Spain.
His combined French/Spanish roots also added to a complex way of living (he was banned from entering Spanish soil at times, so his wife took over & led some Carlist demonstrations on occasions).
As Irene was nr. 2 in the Dutch succession her intention to marry Carlos Hugo de B-P caused much tension politically and eventually she married without the consent of the Dutch government and thus was excluded from line of succession.
Her life has been anything but easy and controversial at times, however she has always stood up for the causes she believes in.
The Princess now divides her time between her home in the Netherlands (close to her eldest son & daughter & grandchildren) and her estate in South Africa where she also receives groups of people who take an interest in nature.
She has appeared on Dutch television from time to time in recent years and expresses her views on various issues.
So, all in all - an interesting woman, an interesting life and an interesting banner
Am glad you asked