Definitions

charter-house of parma

House of Bourbon-Parma

The House of Bourbon-Parma is a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. It is thus descended from the Capetian dynasty. The name of Bourbon-Parma comes from the main name (Bourbon) and the other (Parma) from the title of Duke of Parma. The title was held by the Spanish bourbons as the founder was the great-grandson of hereditary Duke Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma.

Duchy of Parma

The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma. In 1556, the second Duke, Ottavio Farnese, was given the city of Piacenza, becoming thus also Duke of Piacenza, and so the state was thereafter properly known as the Duchies of Parma and Piacenza.

The Farnese family continued to rule until their extinction in 1731, at which point the duchy was inherited by the young son of the King of Spain, Don Carlos, whose mother Elizabeth Farnese was the Farnese heiress. He ruled until the end of the War of the Polish Succession in 1735, when Parma was ceded to Emperor Charles VI in exchange for the Two Sicilies.

Temporary Habsburg rule

The Habsburgs only ruled until the conclusion of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, when it was ceded back to the Bourbons in the person of Don Philip, Don Charles's younger brother. As duke Philip, he became the founder of the House of Bourbon-Parma.

In 1796, the duchy was occupied by French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte. In the Treaty of Aranjuez of 1801, duke Ferdinand formally agreed to cede the duchy to Napoleon. The territories were integrated into the Cisalpine Republic until 1802, the Italian Republic, from 1802 until 1805, and the Kingdom of Italy, from 1805 until 1808, until in 1808 the French Empire annexed them and formed out of them the Département of Taro.

In 1814, the duchies were restored under Napoleon's Habsburg wife, Marie Louise, who was to rule them for her lifetime. The duchy was renamed duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, the name that it retained until the end.

Return to the Bourbons

After Marie Louise's death in 1847, the Duchy was restored to the Bourbon-Parma line, which had been ruling the tiny duchy of Lucca. The Bourbons ruled until 1859, when they were driven out by a revolution following the Sardinian victory in their war against Austria.

The duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla and the duchy of Lucca joined with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the duchy of Modena to form the United Provinces of Central Italy in December 1859, and were annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in march of 1860. The House of Bourbon continues to claim the title of duke of Parma to this day. Carlos-Hugo (Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne in the 1970s) has held the title since 1977.

The Dukes

House of Bourbon-Parma 1731–1735

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles, Duke of Parma
1731–1735
20 January 1716
Madrid
son of Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth of Parma
Maria Amalia of Saxony
1738
13 children
14 December 1788
Madrid
aged 72

House of Bourbon-Parma 1748–1803

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Philip, Duke of Parma
1748–1765
15 March 1720
Madrid
son of Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth of Parma
Louise-Elisabeth de Bourbon
25 October 1739
3 children
18 July 1765
Alessandria
aged 45
Ferdinand, Duke of Parma
1765–1802
nominal since 1796
20 January 1751
Parma
son of Philip, Duke of Parma and Louise-Elisabeth de Bourbon
Archduchess Marie Amalie of Austria
19 July 1769
7 children
9 October 1802
Fontevivo
aged 51

During the French ownership of the Duchy of Parma, the title of Duke of Parma was used as an honorary form and style. From 1808, the title was used by Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès. He kept the style of Duc de Parme till 1814. Only in 1847 the actual title was restored to the Bourbons after a period of being held by Marie Louise of Austria, wife of Napoleon I who was a Habsburg.

House of Bourbon-Parma, 1847–1860

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles II, Duke of Parma
1847–1848
22 December 1799
Madrid
son of Louis of Etruria and Maria Louisa, Duchess of Lucca
Maria Teresa of Savoy
5 September 1820
2 children
16 April 1883
Nice
aged 84
Charles III, Duke of Parma
1848–1854
20 January 1751
Parma
son of Charles II, Duke of Parma and Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy
Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France
10 November 1845
4 children
27 March 1854
Parma
aged 31
Robert I, Duke of Parma
1854–1860
20 January 1751
Parma
son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France
Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
5 April 1869
12 children
Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal
15 October 1884
12 children
16 November 1907
Pianore
aged 59

Nominal Dukes of Parma (since 1860)

Ancestry of the Bourbons of Parma

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