Princess Margarita, Countess of Colorno

Princess Margarita Maria Beatriz of Bourbon-Parma, Countess of Colorno (Dutch: Margarita Maria Beatrix Prinses de Bourbon de Parme; born 13 October 1972),[1] is the eldest daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma,[2] and is member of the Royal and Ducal House of Bourbon-Parma, as well of the Dutch Royal Family.

Princess Margarita
Countess of Colorno
Princess Margarita (2016)
Born (1972-10-13) 13 October 1972
Nijmegen, Netherlands
Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn
(m. 2001; div. 2006)

Tjalling ten Cate
(m. 2008)
IssueJulia ten Cate
Paola ten Cate
Full name
Margarita Maria Beatriz
FatherCarlos Hugo, Duke of Parma
MotherPrincess Irene of the Netherlands

Early life

Born in Nijmegen,[1] she is the twin sister of Prince Jaime. She also has an elder brother, Prince Carlos, and a younger sister, Princess Carolina. Her godparents are Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (maternal aunt) and Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma (paternal uncle). She is the eldest granddaughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard.

In 1981, her parents divorced.[3] Together with her mother and her siblings she moved from Spain to The Netherlands, to live with her grandparents, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld at Baarn. Later she moved to Wijk bij Duurstede. Margarita studied Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and is an interior decorator. She studied interior architecture in The Hague.

First marriage and controversy

On 19 June 2001, Princess Margarita married the entrepreneur Edwin Karel Willem de Roy van Zuydewijn, member of a Dutch patrician family. The civil marriage of the couple took place in Amsterdam,[1] and the Roman Catholic marriage was held in Auch Cathedral (France), presided by Ronald Philippe Bär, the former Bishop of Rotterdam, on 22 September 2001.[4] De Roy van Zuydewijn was however not trusted by the Dutch Royal Family, and the marriage was therefore not attended by its senior members.

In 2003, a series of incidents had become known as the Margarita-affair.[5] In the media Margarita and her husband accused the Dutch Royal House and the Dutch secret service of obstructing the affairs of Fincentives, the company of de Roy van Zuydewijn. They also said that their telephone conversations had been secretly tapped.[6] After some while it was revealed that the Queen's personal Cabinet had indeed ordered an investigation; the right to do so was legally removed from the Queen.

The couple's home was the Bartas Castle in Saint-Georges, Gers, France, but by 2004 the princess was increasingly less seen there and more in Amsterdam. On 13 August 2004, it was revealed that she was filing for a divorce; the official divorce was signed on 8 November 2006. The marriage did not produce any children.

Because of the quarrels between the princess and the Dutch Royal family during the Margarita-affair, she was not welcome at the marriage of her cousin Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange to Máxima Zorreguieta, or at the funeral of her uncle, Prince Claus of the Netherlands. However, after her divorce from De Roy van Zuydewijn, the relationship with the royal family steadily improved again.

Second marriage and family

On 3 May 2008, she married Tjalling Siebe ten Cate (born 23 December 1975, in Dordrecht), a lawyer at De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch National Bank), also a member of a Dutch patrician family.[7] Together they have two children:

The family currently lives in Amsterdam.

Princess Margarita is the godmother of the three of her nieces: Princess Cecilia of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of her brother Carlos, Duke of Parma, Princess Zita Clara of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of her twin brother Prince Jaime, Count of Bardi and Alaïa-Maria Brenninkmeijer, daughter of her only sister Princess Carolina, Marchioness of Sala.

Titles, styles and honours

  • 13 October 1972 – 2 September 1996: Her Royal Highness Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma
  • 2 September 1996 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Margarita, The Countess of Colorno[10][11]
    • Officially in the Netherlands: 15 May 1996 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme



Already a ducal princess from birth, her father bestowed on 2 September 1996 the substantive title Contessa di Colorno (Countess of Colorno) upon her.[10][14] The same year she was incorporated into the Dutch Nobility by Queen Beatrix, with the highest noble title Prinses de Bourbon de Parme (Princess of Bourbon-Parma)[15] and styled Hare Koninklijke Hoogheid (Her Royal Highness). She does not belong to the House of Orange-Nassau or the limited Dutch royal house, but as a granddaughter of Queen Juliana, she is an official member of the more extended Dutch royal family.[16]


  1. Dossier in Belgian Newspaper Archived 2006-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Dossier on Nova website (Dutch TV) Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. margarita Archived 2006-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Religious Marriage
  5. Article in NRC
  6. Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma - website Everything
  7. Article in Telegraaf (Dutch Newspaper)
  8. Prinses Margarita bevallen van dochter - website De Telegraaf, 04 sep 2008 (Dutch.
  9. Tweede dochter voor prinses Margarita - website De Telegraaf, 28 feb 2011 (Dutch.
  10. Almanach de Gotha (182nd ed.). Almanach de Gotha. 1998. p. 55. ISBN 0-9532142-0-6.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2008-05-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Dossier on Nova, Dutch TV
  14. Dossier on Nova, Dutch TV Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  15. "The 14th list of nobility determined by royal decree on 9 June 2004 (Stb.307)" (PDF). Website of the High Council of Nobility in the Netherlands
  16. "Members of the Dutch Royal House and the royal family". Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Postbus 51 - Website of the Dutch Government Information Service (in Dutch)
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