Carlos was born in Nijmegen in the Netherlands as the eldest child of the late Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Princess Irene of the Netherlands. He has two younger sisters Princess Margarita and Princess Carolina, and one younger brother Prince Jaime. Carlos spent his youth in several countries including the Netherlands, Spain, France, England, and the United States. In 1981, when he was eleven, his parents divorced. Together with his mother and his siblings he then moved to Soestdijk Palace (Baarn) in the Netherlands. He lived at the palace for a number of years with his grandparents, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
Carlos studied political sciences at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and demography and philosophy at Cambridge University in England.
After completing his studies Carlos worked for the company ABN AMRO in Amsterdam, where he was involved with preparations for the introduction of the euro. He then worked for a while in Brussels as a public affairs consultant for the company European Public Policy Advisors (EPPA). Since 2007 he has been engaged in projects concerning sustainability in the business world.
Carlos is sometimes present at representative occasions concerning the royal house of the Netherlands. In 2003 he was involved, together with his aunt, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in the inauguration of the "Prince Claus Leerstoel", a professorship named after the former queen's consort, Prince Claus of the Netherlands. During special events of the royal house he is regularly present. For example, he was one of the organizers of the wedding celebration of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.
Prince Carlos had a relationship with Brigitte Klynstra (born 10 January 1959), the stepdaughter of Count Adolph van Rechteren Limpurg. During this relationship he fathered a son: Carlos Hugo Roderik Sybren Klynstra (born 20 January 1997 in Nijmegen). In December 2015, the then 18-year-old Carlos Klynstra started the legal procedure to attempt to change his surname to that of his biological father which would also allow him to use the title of "Prince". The Duke of Parma opposed this on the basis that it was in contravention of the traditions of the House of Bourbon-Parma. On 9 March 2016 the Minister of Security and Justice declared his family name request valid. Later that year a court in The Hague concurred with the minister in declaring the claim valid under Dutch law.
According to the judgement, Carlos Hugo is entitled to be known as Prince Carlos Hugo Roderik Sybren de Bourbon de Parme.
On 7 October 2009 it was announced through his mother's private secretary that Prince Carlos would marry Annemarie Cecilia Gualthérie van Weezel. The civil marriage took place on 12 June 2010 at Wijk bij Duurstede. The church wedding was to have taken place at the La Cambre Abbey in Ixelles on 28 August, but it was postponed owing to his father's illness. Prince Carlos Hugo died shortly afterwards.
Annemarie (born The Hague, 18 December 1977) is the daughter of Johan (Hans) Stephan Leonard Gualthérie van Weezel and Ank de Visser (The de Visser belong to the Dutch patriciate). Her father was a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands for the Christian Democratic party, the Dutch ambassador to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and the ambassador in Luxembourg. Gualthérie van Weezel's paternal grandfather is Jan Hans Gualthérie van Weezel, who was the head of the police in The Hague and member of the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. Annemarie Gualthérie van Weezel went to secondary school in Strasbourg and obtained a Master of Laws degree at the University of Utrecht. Subsequently she completed a post-graduate study in Radio- and Television journalism at the University of Groningen. Gualthérie van Weezel works as a parliamentary journalist in The Hague and Brussels for the Dutch public channel NOS. In Brussels, she met Prince Carlos for the first time.
On 2 August 2010, it was revealed that the health of his father, the Duke of Parma, was quickly deteriorating due to cancer. As a consequence, the church wedding of the prince Carlos and his fiancée was delayed.In a final announcement about his condition, the Duke confirmed Carlos as the next Head of the House of Bourbon-Parma. Just before his death the Duke of Parma named Annemarie as Countess of Molina. Prince Carlos's father died on 18 August 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, at the age of 80; Carlos subsequently became the next head of the House of Bourbon-Parma.
The new Duke of Parma and Annemarie were married on 20 November 2010 in La Cambre Abbey. Together they have two daughters: Luisa, born on 9 May 2012 in The Hague and Cecilia, born 17 October 2013 in The Hague; and a son: Carlos, born 24 April 2016.27 January 1970 – 7 May 1977: His Royal Highness Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma
7 May 1977 – 18 August 2010: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Parma
18 August 2010 – Present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Parma and PiacenzaOfficially in the Netherlands: 15 May 1996 – Present: His Royal Highness Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme
Netherlands: Recipient of the King Willem-Alexander Investiture Medal
Netherlands: Recipient of the Wedding Medal 2002 (The Prince of Orange and Miss Máxima Zorreguieta)
San Marino:Grand Cross Order of San Marino
Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Bailiff Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
House of Bourbon-Parma: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Parmese Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
House of Bourbon-Parma: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Louis for Civil Merit
House of Bourbon-Parma: Sovereign Knight of the Order of St. George for Military Merit
Carlism: Sovereign Knight of the Order of the Legitimidad Proscrita