Princess Marie-Thérèse of Bourbon-Parma, who was the first royal to lose her life to COVID-19, has finally received her family funeral and a proper burial over a year after her death.

The Princess belonged to the House of Bourbon-Parma, a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family whose members once ruled as King of Etruria and as Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Guastalla, and Lucca. She lost her life at the age of 86 at the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, but health and social distancing restrictions at the time only allowed for a small ceremony in Paris.

Her family members, some of whom live in Switzerland and others in the Netherlands, were not able to travel to the French capital at the time to attend the ceremony, as both countries had already closed their borders to outgoing and incoming passengers. The only exceptions were citizens who were abroad when the borders closed and were still being repatriated.

More than a year later, now that the borders are opened once again given that those travelling provide negative tests or proof of vaccination, the family decided to give the royal a proper funeral. They held a small ceremony in Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy, where she was buried together with the rest of the Bourbon-Parma Family, reports Royal Central.

Princess Marie-Thérèse was daughter of Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset. She never married, and had no children, but her extended family members were present to say their final goodbyes, including her nieces and nephews from her brother Carlos Hugo, who was the head of the Bourbon-Parma Family until his death in 2010. Her nephew, now Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma, also paid his tribute to the late royal.

She was the first known royal, though from a non-reigning family, to pass away because of the illness. She took her last breaths at a Parisian hotel on March 26, 2020. Her death was announced by her brother, Prince Sixte Henry, on his Facebook page.

Princess Marie-Thérèse was a professor, a French-Spanish socialist activist, and a women's rights activist. Her royal roots and liberal socialist views earned her the nickname "Red Princess." When Juan Carlos became King after a period of exile, she received Spanish citizenship by royal decree and lived in Madrid for a few years before moving to Paris.

Princess Marie-Thérèse
Image of a young Princess Marie-Thérèse from her brother Prince Sixto's Facebook page