The Bourbons – A very noble ancient and glorious dynasty

The main branch of the Bourbon family dates back to the 8th century AD. From this date, the Bourbon dynasty, through a series of marriages, power struggles, battles, strong leadership and alliances, managed to secure over centuries rule over the kingdoms of France, Spain and the Two Sicilies. Following the 1975 restoration of the Spanish…

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King Carlo of Naples and Sicily

Having conquered Naples, Prince Carlo was obliged to cede Parma and Piacenza to Austria in return for being recognised as King of his new kingdom. King Carlo (left) did not disappoint his subjects. He turned around years of ineffective vice-regal rule and exploitation by its Spanish and Austrian overlords, and within a short time he…

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The law of separation of the Crowns of Spain and Two Sicilies

Before King Carlo departed Naples to ascend the Spanish Throne, he abdicated the Crowns of Naples and Sicily in favour of his third-born son, Prince Ferdinando. Shortly beforehand, King Carlo issued a Pragmatic (left) declaring that henceforth any prince entitled to a place in the Spanish succession could not simultaneously lay claim the Crown of…

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King Ferdinando IV of Naples and Sicily

King Ferdinando IV of Naples and Sicily ascended the Throne at the age of eight (left). A Regency was established and led by the country’s Prime Minister, Bernardo Tanucci and the young monarch’s uncle, the Prince of San Nicandro. Born in Naples on 12 January 1751, the son of King Carlo of Bourbon and Queen…

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Napoleon Bonaparte invades the kingdom

In 1796 the young Napoleon Bonaparte (left) began his invasion and gradual conquest of most of the territories belonging to the pre-unification Italian States. Napoleon was met just about everywhere by ferocious public resistance who rose up to defend the Church and their Catholic faith as well as their lawful sovereigns and governments. In February…

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The reign of King Francesco I

In 1825 King Ferdinando’s son succeeded to the Throne of the Two Sicilies as King Francesco (Francis) I (left). His reign however turned out to be little more than an interregnum as he died five years later. Born in Naples on 14 August 1777, Prince Francesco became Heir Apparent and Duke of Calabria in 1778,…

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The reign of King Ferdinando II

The eldest son of King Francesco I and Queen Maria Isabella, Prince Ferdinando was born in Palermo, Sicily, on 12 January 1810 and died in Caserta on 22 May 1859 aged only 49. In 1825 he became heir apparent with the title of Duke of Calabria and after the departure of the Austrian forces from…

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Revolutions of 1848 and the Risorgimento

The revolutionary element was strongest at first in the island of Sicily and at the beginning of the 1848 King Ferdinando’s troops were unable to suppress the uprising. The revolution in Sicily was followed by an uprising on the mainland, as radicals, backed by students, demanded a constitution. The King agreed to grant one but…

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King Francesco II and the loss of the kingdom

The ultimate crisis of the kingdom grew ever nearer when the Throne past from the resolute and dynamic King Ferdinando to his shy and gentle twenty three year old son, Francesco (Francis) II (left). The opponents of the Bourbons immediately changed their tactics from the denigration of King Ferdinando to the mockery of his son.…

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King Francesco II and exile

Once the King and Queen departed they were deprived, without justification, of their personal assets by the newly founded Savoy-led Kingdom of Italy causing them to live a modest and peaceful life. In exile first in Rome, the King and Queen were the guests of Pope Piux IX (left) who did so no doubt recalling…

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Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, becomes dynasty’s new head

Prince Alfonso of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Count of Caserta, Duke of Castro, became the Head of the Royal Family of Bourbon Two Sicilies and the focal point of Neapolitan legitimists in 1894 on the death of his elder half-brother, King Francesco II. Throughout his time as the head of the dynasty, the Count of Caserta…

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Prince Ranieri becomes new dynastic chief in 1960

Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, (de jure, Ranieri I) (left) became universally known as Head of the Royal Family and Grand Master of the dynastic Orders of Knighthood in 1960 following the death of his brother, Prince Ferdinando Pio. Prince Ranieri took the title of Duke of Castro, which is usually afforded to the head…

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Prince Ferdinando becomes Duke of Castro and head of the dynasty

Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, died on 13 January 1973 at his home, Saint-Sauver Castle. Some years earlier in 1966, Prince Ranieri had passed all his functions as Grand Master of the dynastic orders of the Royal House to his son HRH Prince Ferdinando, (de jure, Ferdinando IV), Duke of Castro and Head of the…

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