Succession to the French throne (Legitimist)

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The Capetian dynasty is the largest dynasty in Europe, with over 120 living male members descended in the legitimate agnatic line. Since the extinction of the House of Courtenay in 1733, the House of Bourbon is the only remaining branch of legitimate descent.

Descendants in the male line of Louis XIV through his grandson Philip V of Spain are designated as House of Bourbon; descendants in the male line of Philip I, Duke of Orléans, are designated as House of Orléans. All those listed below are actually descendants of King Louis XIII; after the death in 1830 of Louis Henry II, the last Prince of Condé (descended from the youngest son of Charles, Duke of Vendôme), no other legitimate lines of descent from Hugh Capet continued to exist.

Order of sucession[edit]

  • Louis XIII, King of France (1601-1643)
    • Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715)
      • Louis, Dauphin of France (1661-1711)
        • Philip V, King of Spain, Fils de France (1683-1746)
          • Charles III, King of Spain, Petit-fils de France (1716-1788)
            • Charles IV, King of Spain, Premier prince du sang (1748-1819)
              • Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain (1794-1865)
                • Francisco de Asís, Duke of Cádiz, Premier prince du sang (1822-1902)
                  • Alfonso XII, King of Spain (1857-1885)
                    • "Alphonse I, King of France" (1886-1941)
                      • "Jacques II, King of France" (1908-1975)
                        • "Alphonse II, King of France" (1936-1989)
                          • "Louis XX, King of France" (Madrid 25.4.1974, aged 50)
                            • (1) Louis, Dauphin of France, Duke of Burgundy (New York 28.5.2010, aged 14)
                            • (2) Prince Alphonse, Duke of Berry, Fils de France (New York 28.5.2010, aged 14)
                            • (3) Prince Henri, Duke of Touraine, Fils de France (New York 1.2.2019, aged 5)
                      • Juan, Count of Barcelona, Fils de France (1913-1993)
                • Enrique, 1st Duke of Seville (1823-1870)
                  • Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Castellví, Premier prince du sang (1853-1942)
                    • Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de la Torre, Duke of Seville, Premier prince du sang (1882-1952)
                      • Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Borbón, Premier prince du sang (1912-1995)
                        • (6) Don Francisco de Borbón y Escasany, 5th Duke of Séville (Madrid 16.11.1943, aged 80)
                          • (7) Don Francisco de Borbón y Hardenberg (Madrid 21.1.1979, aged 45)
                        • (8) Don Alfonso Carlos de Borbón y Escasany (Madrid 10.2.1945, aged 79)
                          • (9) Don Alfonso de Borbón y Yordi (Madrid 16.11.1973, aged 50)
                        • (10) Don Enrique de Borbón y Garcia de Lobez (Madrid 18.3.1970, aged 54)
                    • José de Borbón y La Torre (1883-1962)
                      • Carlos de Borbón y Rich (1915-1978)
                        • (11) Don Carlos de Borbón y Oro (Ciempozuelos 26.6.1940, aged 83)
                      • Alberto de Borbón y Rich (1916-1997)
                        • (12) Don Enrique José de Borbón y Campos (Madrid 11.1.1948, aged 76)
                    • Alfonso de Borbón y de la Torre (1893-1936)
                      • (13) Don Alfonso de Borbón y Caralt (Madrid 5.5.1926, aged 98)
                  • Alberto María de Borbón y Castellvi, 1st Duke of Santa Elena (1854-1939)
                    • Alberto de Borbón y d'Ast, 2nd Duke of Santa Elena (1883-1959)
                      • Alfonso María de Borbón y Pintó, Marquess of Santa Fe de Guardiola (1909-1938)
                        • Alberto de Borbón y Perez del Pulgar, 3rd Duke of Santa Elena (1933-1995)
                          • (14) Don Alfonso de Borbón y Sanchiz, 4th Duke of Santa Elena (Madrid 31.3.1961, aged 63)
                            • (15) Don Alfonso de Borbón y Escrivá de Romani (Madrid 2.2.1995, aged 29)
                        • Alfonso de Borbón y Perez del Pulgar (1937-2007)
                          • Alfonso de Borbón y Medina (1963-2005)
                            • (16) Don Alfonso de Borbón y Pérez-Menzel (6.11.1999, aged 24)
                          • (17) Don Fernando de Borbón y Medina (Seville 15.6.1966, aged 58)
                            • (18) Don Fernando de Borbón y Vallejo (12.3.2001, aged 23)
                            • (19) Don Ignacio de Borbón y Vallejo (12.10.2005, aged 18)
                          • (20) Don Jaime Santiago de Borbón y Medina (Seville 19.7.1971, aged 52)
            • Ferdinand I, King of Two Sicilies (1751-1825)
          • Philip I, Duke of Parma, Petit-fils de France (1720-1765)
            • Ferdinand I, Duke of Parma (1751-1802)
              • Louis, King of Etruria (1773-1803)
                • Charles II, Duke of Parma (1799-1883)
                  • Charles III, Duke of Parma (1823-1854)
                    • Robert I, Duke of Parma (1848-1907)
                      • Xavier, Duke of Parma (1889-1977)
                      • Felix of Bourbon-Parma (1893-1970)
                      • René of Bourbon-Parma (1894-1962)
                        • Jacques of Bourbon-Parma (1922-1964)
                          • (63) Prince Philippe of Bourbon-Parma (Copenhagen 22.1.1949, aged 75)
                            • (64) Jacques de Bourbon-Parme (Roskilde 3.1.1986, aged 38)
                            • (65) Joseph de Bourbon-Parme (Roskilde 6.6.1989, aged 35)
                          • (66) Prince Alain of Bourbon-Parma (Roskilde 15.5.1955, aged 69)
                        • Michel of Bourbon-Parma (1926-2018)
                          • Eric of Bourbon-Parma (1953-2021)
                            • (67) Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (Lejre 12.2.1989, aged 35)
                            • (68) Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma (Roskilde 14.10.1991, aged 32)
                          • (69) Prince Charles Emmanuel of Bourbon-Parma (Paris 3.6.1961, aged 63)
                            • (70) Prince Amaury of Bourbon-Parma (Paris 30.10.1991, aged 32)
                        • André of Bourbon-Parma (1928-2011)
                          • (71) Axel de Bourbon-Parme (Paris 18.9.1967, aged 56)
                            • (72) Côme de Bourbon-Parme (Neuilly 7.5.1997, aged 27)
                      • Luigi of Bourbon-Parma (1899-1967)
                        • Guy of Bourbon-Parma (1940-1991)
                          • (73) Louis de Bourbon-Parme (Paris 25.6.1966, aged 57)
                            • (74) Guy de Bourbon-Parme (Genolier, CH 6.2.1995, aged 29)
                        • (75) Prince Rémy of Bourbon-Parma (Cannes 14.7.1942, aged 81)
                          • (76) Tristan de Bourbon-Parme (Cannes 30.6.1974, aged 49)
                        • (77) Prince Jean Bernard of Bourbon-Parma (Cannes 15.10.1961, aged 62)
                          • (78) Arnaud de Bourbon-Parme (Cannes 26.10.1989, aged 34)
                          • (79) Christophe de Bourbon-Parme (Mandelieu 4.7.1991, aged 32)
    • Philippe I, Duke of Orleans, Fils de France (1640-1701)
      • Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, Petit-fils de France (1674-1723)
        • Louis, Duke of Orléans, Premier prince du sang (1703-1752)
          • Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orleans (1725-1785)
            • Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orleans (1747-1793)
              • Louis Philippe I, King of the French (1773-1850)
                • Ferdinand, Duke of Orleans (1810-1842)
                  • Robert, Duke of Chartres (1840-1910)
                    • Jean, Duke of Guise (1874-1940)
                      • Henri, Count of Paris (1908–1999)
                        • Henri, Count of Paris (1933-2019)
                          • (80) Jean, Count of Paris (Boulogne-Billancourt 19.5.1965, aged 59)
                            • (81) Gaston d'Orléans (Paris 19.11.2009, aged 14)
                            • (82) Joseph d'Orléans (Dreux 2.6.2016, aged 8)
                          • (83) Eudes d'Orléans, Duke of Angoulême (Paris 18.3.1968, aged 56)
                            • (84) Pierre d'Orléans (Cannes 6.8.2003, aged 20)
                        • (85) Michel d'Orléans, Count of Evreux (Rabat, Maroc 25.6.1941, aged 82)
                          • (86) Charles Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Anjou (Paris 3.3.1973, aged 51)
                          • (87) François d'Orléans, Count of Dreux (Madrid 10.2.1982, aged 42)
                            • (88) Philippe d'Orléans (12.5.2017, aged 7)
                            • (89) Raphaël d'Orléans (9.4.2022, aged 2)
                        • (90) Jacques d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans (Rabat, Maroc 25.6.1941, aged 82)
                          • (91) Charles-Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres (Neuilly-sur-Seine 11.7.1972, aged 51)
                            • (92) Philippe d'Orléans (Buenos Aires 3.11.1998, aged 25)
                            • (93) Constantin d'Orléans (Paris 15.2.2003, aged 21)
                          • (94) Foulques d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale (Paris 9.7.1974, aged 49)
                        • Thibaut, Count of La Marche (1948-1983)
                          • (95) Robert d'Orléans, Count of La Marche (Edinburgh 6.9.1976, aged 47)
                • Louis, Duke of Nemours (1814-1896)
                  • Gaston, Count of Eu (1842-1922)
                    • Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará (1875-1940)
                      • Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza (1913-2007)
                        • (96) Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 31.10.1945, aged 78)
                          • (97) Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 12.1.1979, aged 45)
                          • (98) Prince Filipe of Orléans-Braganza (Brasília 31.12.1982, aged 41)
                        • (99) Prince Alfonso Duarte of Orléans-Braganza (Petrópolis 25.4.1948, aged 76)
                        • (100) Prince Manoel Alvaro of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 17.6.1949, aged 74)
                          • (101) Prince Manoel Alfonso of Orléans-Braganza (Sevilla 9.4.1981, aged 43)
                        • (102) Prince Francisco Humberto of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 9.12.1956, aged 67)
                          • (103) Prince Francisco Teodoro of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 25.9.1979, aged 44)
                          • (104) Prince Gabriel of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 13.11.1989, aged 34)
                      • João of Orléans-Braganza (1916-2005)
                        • (105) Prince João Henrique of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 25.4.1954, aged 70)
                          • (106) Prince João Felipe of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 27.11.1986, aged 37)
                            • (107) Prince João Antônio of Orléans-Braganza (Singapore 21.6.2017, aged 6)
                    • Luís of Orléans-Braganza (1878-1920)
                      • Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza (1909-1981)
                        • Prince Eudes of Orléans-Braganza (1939-2020)
                        • (110) Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza (Mandelieu 2.2.1941, aged 83)
                        • (111) Prince Pedro de Alcântara of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 1.12.1945, aged 78)
                          • (112) Gabriel of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 1.12.1980, aged 43)
                            • (113) Gabriel of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 12.4.2013, aged 11)
                        • (114) Prince Fernando of Orléans-Braganza (Petropolis 2.2.1948, aged 76)
                        • (115) Prince Antonio of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 24.6.1950, aged 73)
                          • (116) Prince Rafael of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 24.4.1986, aged 38)
                        • (117) Prince Francisco of Orléans-Braganza (Jacarezinho 6.4.1955, aged 69)
                        • (118) Prince Alberto of Orléans-Braganza (Jundiai do Sol 23.6.1957, aged 66)
                          • (119) Pedro Alberto of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 31.5.1988, aged 36)
                          • (120) Antonio of Orléans-Braganza (Rio de Janeiro 29.5.1997, aged 27)
                • Antoine, Duke of Montpensier (1824-1890)
                  • Antonio, Duke of Galliera (1866-1934)
                    • Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galliera (1886-1975)
                      • Infante Álvaro, Duke of Galliera (1910-1997)
                        • Alonso d'Orléans-Borbón (1941-1975)
                          • (121) Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, Duke of Galliera (Santa Cruz, Teneriffe 2.1.1968, aged 56)
                            • (122) Don Alonso Juan de Orléans-Borbón (Paris 15.7.1994, aged 29)
                          • (123) Don Alvaro de Orléans-Borbón (Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, 4.10.1969, aged 54)
                            • (124) Don Aiden de Orléans-Borbón (Spain, 19.6.2009, aged 14)
                        • (125) Don Alvaro Jaime de Orléans-Borbón (Rome 1.3.1947, aged 77)
                          • (126) Don Andrea de Orléans-Borbón (Rome 9.7.1976, aged 47)
                          • (127) Don Alois de Orléans-Borbón (Rome 24.3.1979, aged 45)
                            • (128) Don Alonso de Orléans-Borbón (Madrid 23.3.2010, aged 14)

Dynastic claims[edit]

According to the "Legitimist" faction of French royalists, all male descendants of Hugh Capet in the legitimate male line are dynasts of the Kingdom of France. According to them, the current heir to the French throne, if restored, is Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou.

Traditional "legitimacy" is based on the old rules that existed in the Ancien Régime of the Kingdom of France; civil marriages were then non-existent. Eudes de Orléans-Bragança (b. 1977) and his brother Guy de Orléans-Bragança (b. 1985), sons of Prince Eudes of Orléans-Braganza, were born of civil marriage only, since their father did not obtain an annulment for his first marriage.[Citation needed] Consequently, they are regarded as illegitimate according to canon law. Legitimated children, born before their parents' marriage, such as the eldest sons of the Duke of Noto and Louis de Luxembourg, were also excluded from the list.

According to the Orleanist faction of French royalists, the current heir to the French throne, if restored, is Jean d'Orléans, Count of Paris. They consider foreigners ineligible to inherit the French throne, or at least the line of descent from Philip V of Spain (who renounced the French throne in the Treaty of Utrecht). The Orleanist order of succession is limited to the senior line of the House of Orleans (the cadet branches of Orleans-Braganza and Orleans-Galliera, and the descendants of Philip V of Spain are considered foreigners). However, François d'Orléans, Count of Clermont, had been disinherited due to mental disability, and the branches of Michel d'Orléans, Count of Evreux and Jacques d'Orléans, Duke of Orleans (fraternal twins) are reversed according to "historical French primogeniture".


The renunciations of rights to thrones have created rival claims and disputes among the existing branches of the House of Bourbon.

The first of these is the renunciation in 1713, confirmed in the Treaties of Utrecht, of Philip V of Spain, grandson of Louis XIV of France, of his rights to the French throne so that he would be recognised as King of Spain. Such renunciation could have been seen invalid under the fundamental laws of the French kingdom; in France, the right of succession to the throne was considered an inalienable right, so that the king should always be the senior male descendant of Hugh Capet. Nevertheless, the act was of no practical significance until the extinction of the male line of Louis XV of France, which did not occur until 1883. By then the monarchy was no more, and most of the remaining royalists supported the Count of Paris, descendant of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, brother of Louis XIV.

Charles III of Spain ordained that the Kingdoms of Spain and Two Sicilies ought never to be united. In context, the semi-Salic law of succession then operated in Spain, with Two Sicilies as a secundogeniture if that throne is vacant. In 1900, Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies renounced his rights of succession to the throne of Two Sicilies, upon his marriage to Mercedes, Princess of Asturias. This made his children heirs presumptive to the Spanish throne. But Alfonso XII and his line pushed them farther down the line of succession, while the death of Ferdinand, Carlos' elder brother, made them immediate heirs to the defunct throne of Two Sicilies. Carlos' son Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, reclaimed his rights, to which his uncle, Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, objected. The dispute is still unresolved; the Calabria claimant is supported by Spain, while the Castro claimant is supported by other royal houses and the other members of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

In 1908, Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, wished to marry Countess Elisabeth Dobržensky de Dobrženicz. Although a Bohemian noblewoman, she did not belong to a royal or reigning dynasty. The constitution of the Brazilian empire did not require dynasts to marry equally, but made the marriage of the heir to the throne dependent upon the Sovereign's consent. The pretender to the throne was Pedro's mother, who wanted her children to marry royalty, in order to increase the prospects of a restoration. As a result, he renounced his succession rights to the throne of Brazil. Thus the Vassouras branch, descendants of his younger brother, Prince Luís of Orléans-Braganza, became the heirs of the Brazilian monarchy. But in 1940, Prince Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza, Pedro's son, rejected his father's renunciation and claimed the headship of the Brazilian Imperial House.

Other renunciations[edit]

  • Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, renounced his rights to the Spanish throne for himself and his descendants in 1933 due to his deafness. In 1949, he retracted his renunciation of the throne of Spain, but in 1969, Don Jaime definitively renounced the Spanish succession in favour of his nephew, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, by petition of his son Alfonso de Borbón.
  • Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg renounced the titles of the House of Bourbon-Parma for himself and his family in 1986[1] when his eldest son, then-Hereditary Grand Duke Henri married Maria-Theresa Mestre. The reason for this was that the Duke of Parma, Carlos Hugo, ruled the marriage unequal in 1981, as well as the marriage of Prince Jean of Luxembourg to Hélène Suzanna Vestur in 1987, for which he renounced his rights to Luxembourg in 1986.
  • Prince Louis of Luxembourg, renounced his right of succession for himself and his heirs upon his morganatic marriage in 2006.

See also[edit]

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Notes and references[edit]

  1. Grand Ducal Decree, 28 July 1986