His late Royal Highness Prince Ferdinando Duke of Castro,
The former Head of the Royal Family of the Bourbon of the Two Sicilies was His Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand of Bourbon Two Sicilies (de jure, Ferdinand IV), Duke of Castro. His Royal Highness was born in Podzamcze, Poland, on 28 March 1926 and was the first member of the Royal Family to serve in the French Armed Forces. In 1949 Prince Ferdinand married Chantal, of the Counts of Chevron-Villette. From this marriage Their Royal Highnesses have three children. HRH Princess Beatrice (born 1950), HRH Princess Anna (born 1957) and HRH Prince Carlo, Duke of Calabria and Heir Apparent (born 1963).
His Royal Highness succeeded to the title of Duke of Castro in 1973 on the death of his Father, His late Royal Highness Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, who had spent 13 years as head of the Bourbon Two Sicilies dynasty.
As Head of the Royal House, Prince Ferdinando Duke of Castro was automatically the Grand Master of his House Orders, which are the Roy al Order of Saint Januarius, the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, the Royal Order of Francis I, the Royal Military Order of St. George and Reunion, and the Royal Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit.
On 20 March 2008, Prince Ferdinando Duke of Castro died.
His late Royal Highness had been awarded numerous other awards and decorations including:
- Bailiff Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion – Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- Cross of Profession “ad honorem” – Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- Extraordinary Grand Cross of the Order of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa of the Republic of Panama.
Dynastic and Religious Honours
- Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation – Royal House of Savoy.
- Knight of the Order of Saint Hubert of Bavaria. – Royal House of Bavaria.
- Knight of the Order of the Württemberg Crown – Royal House of Württemberg.
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Our Lady of the Conception of Vila Viçosa – Royal House of Portugal.
- Knight Grand Cross with Gold Star of the Royal Order of Danilo I – Royal House of Montenegro.
- Collar decoration of the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem – Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
Prince Ferdinando Duke of Castro, whilst regularly visiting and residing in Italy, lived in Southern France, where His Royal Highness took care of his family estates.
Her late Royal Highness Princess Chantal, Duchess of Castro,
Chantal, of the Counts of Chevron-Villette, was born in Le Cannet de Maures, France , on 10 January 1925. In 1949 she married HRH Prince Ferdinand of Bourbon Two Sicilies and following the death of her father-in-law in 1960 became Her Royal Highness Princess Chantal of Bourbon Two Siciles, Duchess of Calabria.
When Her Royal Highness’s husband succeeded to the title of Duke of Castro and head of the dynasty in 1973 on the death of his Father, His late Royal Highness Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, Her Royal Highness became The Duchess of Castro.
On 24 May 2005 Her Royal Highness passed away in Paris surrounded by her family.
During her lifetime, Her late Royal Highness The Duchess of Castro was awarded numerous state and dynastic honours including:
- Dame Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George,
- Dame Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta,