Barcelona - Duke Carlos Hugo de Bourbon-Parma, head of the Bourbon-Parma dynasty that once claimed the Spanish throne, died Wednesday at a Barcelona
clinic, family sources said.
Bourbon-Parma was 80 and had been suffering of cancer.
A funeral mass was to be celebrated in Barcelona on Thursday, after which the duke's remains are to be taken to the Netherlands.
Bourbon-Parma had the title of a Dutch prince because of his marriage to Irene, sister to Dutch Queen Beatrix. The couple divorced in 1981.
The remains of Bourbon-Parma would be temporarily placed in a chapel close to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and would later find their final resting place in the family crypt in the Italian city of Parma, the family said.
Carlos Hugo de Bourbon-Parma was a direct descendant of Spain's first Bourbon king, Philip V (1683-1746), from whom reigning King Juan Carlos also descends.
In the 1970s, Bourbon-Parma led the small Carlist Party, linked to the Carlist movement which had claimed the Spanish throne since the 19th century Carlist wars.
In 1978, Bourbon-Parma finally announced that he did not aspire to become king of Spain.