The House of Lorraine (German: Haus Lothringen) originated as a cadet branch of the House of Metz. It inherited the Duchy of Lorraine in 1473 after the death of duke Nicholas I without a male heir. By the marriage of Francis of Lorraine to Maria Theresa in 1736, and with the success in the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, the House of Lorraine was joined to the House of Habsburg, and was now known as Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen). Francis, his sons Joseph II and Leopold II, and grandson Francis II were the last four Holy Roman Emperors from 1745 to the dissolution of the empire in 1806. Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Habsburg Empire, ruling the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918.
|House of Lorraine|
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Original arms of the House of Lorraine (1890)
|Country||Austria, Bohemia, Brabant, Flanders, Hungary, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Mexico, Modena and Tuscany|
|Current head||Karl Habsburg-Lothringen|
1738 – Francis I ceded title in accordance with the Treaty of Vienna, gaining Tuscany
1918 – Charles I & IV relinquished participation in state affairs following the end of World War I
The house claims descent from Gerard I of Paris (Count of Paris) (died 779) whose immediate descendants are known as the Girardides. The Matfridings of the 10th century are thought to have been a branch of the family; at the turn of the 10th century they were Counts of Metz and ruled a set of lordships in Alsace and Lorraine. The Renaissance dukes of Lorraine tended to arrogate to themselves claims to Carolingian ancestry, as illustrated by Alexandre Dumas, père in the novel La Dame de Monsoreau (1846); in fact, so little documentation survives on the early generations that the reconstruction of a family tree for progenitors of the House of Alsace involves a good deal of guesswork.
What is more securely demonstrated is that in 1048 Emperor Henry III gave the Duchy of Upper Lorraine first to Adalbert of Metz and then to his brother Gerard whose successors (collectively known as the House of Alsace or the House of Châtenois) retained the duchy until the death of Charles the Bold in 1431.
After a brief interlude of 1453–1473, when the duchy passed in right of Charles's daughter to her husband John of Calabria, a Capetian, Lorraine reverted to the House of Vaudemont, a junior branch of House of Lorraine, in the person of René II who later added to his titles that of Duke of Bar.
The French Wars of Religion saw the rise of a junior branch of the Lorraine family, the House of Guise, which became a dominant force in French politics and, during the later years of Henri III's reign, was on the verge of succeeding to the throne of France. Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, also came from this family.
Under the Bourbon monarchy the remaining branch of the House of Guise, headed by the duc d'Elbeuf, remained part of the highest ranks of French aristocracy, while the senior branch of the House of Vaudemont continued to rule the independent duchies of Lorraine and Bar. Louis XIV's imperialist ambitions (which involved the occupation of Lorraine in 1669–97) forced the dukes into a permanent alliance with his archenemies, the Holy Roman Emperors from the House of Habsburg.
After neither Emperor Joseph I nor Emperor Charles VI produced a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's yet unborn daughter, Maria Theresa. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Francis of Lorraine who agreed to exchange his hereditary lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (as well as Duchy of Teschen from the Emperor).
At Charles's death in 1740 the Habsburg holdings passed to Maria Theresa and Francis, who was later elected (in 1745) Holy Roman Emperor as Francis I. The Habsburg-Lorraine nuptials and dynastic union precipitated, and survived, the War of the Austrian Succession. Francis and Maria Theresa's daughters Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina became Queens of France and Naples-Sicily, respectively; while their sons Joseph II and Leopold II succeeded to the imperial title.
Apart from the core Habsburg dominions, including the triple crowns of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, several junior branches of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine reigned in the Italian duchies of Tuscany (until 1860), Parma (until 1847) and Modena (until 1859). Another member of the house, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, was Emperor of Mexico (1863–67).
In 1900, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (then heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne) contracted a morganatic marriage with Countess Sophie Chotek. Their descendants, known as the House of Hohenberg, have been excluded from succession to the Austro-Hungarian crown, but not that of Lorraine, where morganatic marriage has never been outlawed. Nevertheless, Otto von Habsburg, the eldest grandson of Franz Ferdinand's younger brother, was universally regarded as the head of the house until his death in 2011. It was at Nancy, the former capital of the House of Vaudemont, that the former crown prince married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951.
The following is a list of ruling heads (after 1918 pretenders) of the house of Ardennes-Metz and its successor houses of Lorraine and Habsburg-Lorraine, from the start of securely documented genealogical history in the 11th century.
Charles II died without male heir, the duchy passing to Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, consort of Naples by marriage to Duke René of Anjou. The duchy passed to their son John II (r. 1453–1470), whose son Nicholas I (r. 1470–1473) died without male heir. The title now went to Nicholas' aunt (sister of John II) Yolande.
The House of Lorraine was formed by Yolande's marriage to René, Count of Vaudémont (1451–1508), who was descended from John I (Yolande's great-grandfather) via his younger son Frederick I, Count of Vaudémont (1346–1390), Antoine, Count of Vaudémont (c. 1395–1431) and Frederick II, Count of Vaudémont (1417–1470). René inherited the title of Duke of Lorraine upon his marriage in 1473.
The heir of Franz Joseph, Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, committed suicide in 1889. Franz Joseph was succeeded by his grandnephew, Charles I, son of Archduke Otto Francis, the son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, a younger brother of Franz Joseph.
— Royal house —
House of Lorraine
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
House of Habsburg
| Archduchy of Austria
|Archduchy elevated to the Empire of Austria|
| Kingdom of Bohemia
| Duchy of Burgundy and the Burgundian Netherlands
| Kingdom of Hungary
|Incorporated into the Empire of Austria |
Austro-Hungarian Compromise recreates the Kingdom of Hungary separate from the Empire of Austria in 1867
| Kingdom of Hungary
|New title|| Empire of Austria
House of Medici
| Grand Duchy of Tuscany
|Grand Duchy abolished |
Became the Kingdom of Etruria, a territory of the House of Bourbon
House of Bonaparte
| Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
|Kingdom abolished |
Italy united under the House of Savoy
| Grand Duchy of Tuscany
|Grand duchy abolished |
Incorporated into the United Provinces of Central Italy
House of Iturbide
Deposed in 1823, a republic was created in the interim
| Empire of Mexico
Anna of Lorraine (25 July 1522 – 15 May 1568) was a princess of the House of Lorraine. She was Princess of Orange by her first marriage to René of Châlon, and Duchess of Aarschot by her second marriage to Philippe II of Croÿ.
Anna was the daughter of Antoine the Good, Duke of Lorraine and Renée of Bourbon-Montpensier. Her maternal grandparents were Gilbert of Bourbon, Count of Montpensier, and Clara Gonzaga. Her brothers were Francis I, Duke of Lorraine and Nicolas, Duke of Mercœur.
She married René of Châlon, Prince of Orange on 22 August 1540 at Bar-le-Duc. They had a single daughter, Maria, born in 1544, who only lived three weeks and was buried in the Grote Kerk at Breda.
René died in 1544, and all of his lands were inherited by William the Silent, his cousin. Anna remarried to Philip II, Duke of Aarschot, on 9 July 1548. They had one son, Charles Philippe de Croÿ, born on 1 September 1549 in Brussels. He was the Prince of Croÿ and in 1580 married Diane de Dommartin (1550 – after 1635), Countess of Fontenoy-le-Château. He died on 25 November 1613 in Burgundy.
She died in Diest.Antoine, Duke of Lorraine
Antoine (4 June 1489 – 14 June 1544), known as the Good, was Duke of Lorraine from 1508 until his death in 1544.Béatrice Hiéronyme de Lorraine
Béatrice Hiéronyme de Lorraine (1 July 1662 – 9 February 1738) was a member of the House of Lorraine and was the Abbess of Remiremont. She was a member of the household of Le Grand Dauphin and was the supposed wife of her cousin the Chevalier de Lorraine. She died childless.Catherine de Bourbon
Catherine de Bourbon (7 February 1559 – 13 February 1604) was a Navarrese princess. She was the daughter of Queen Joan III and King Anthony of Navarre. She ruled the principality of Béarn in the name of her brother, King Henry IV of France, from 1576 until 1596.Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugène of Lorraine (25 September 1751 – 2 November 1825) was the head of and last male member of the House of Guise, the cadet branch of the House of Lorraine which dominated France during the Wars of Religion, remained prominent as princes étrangers at court throughout the ancien régime, and participated in the émigré efforts to restore the Bourbons to the throne. He was an officer in the French and Habsburg militaries during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.Charles III, Duke of Lorraine
Charles III (18 February 1543 – 14 May 1608), known as the Great, was Duke of Lorraine from 1545 until his death.
He is the direct male ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria.Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine
Charles IV (5 April 1604, Nancy – 18 September 1675, Allenbach) was Duke of Lorraine from 1624 until his death in 1675, with a brief interruption in 1634, when he abdicated under French pressure in favor of his younger brother, Nicholas Francis.Christina of Lorraine
Christina of Lorraine or Christine de Lorraine (16 August 1565 – 19 December 1637) was a member of the House of Lorraine and was the Grand Duchess of Tuscany by marriage. She served as Regent of Tuscany jointly with her daughter-in-law during the minority of her grandson from 1621 to 1628.Dukes of Lorraine family tree
This is a family tree of the House of Lorraine. It ranges from the foundation of the Longwy dynasty, in 1047, to the abdication of Francis III of Lorraine in 1737.
See also: LorraineFrancis I, Duke of Lorraine
Francis I (French: François Ier de Lorraine) (23 August 1517 – 12 June 1545) was Duke of Lorraine from 1544–1545.Francis II, Duke of Lorraine
Francis II (François de Lorraine; 27 February 1572 – 14 October 1632) was the son of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine and Claude of Valois. He was Duke of Lorraine briefly in 1625, quickly abdicating in favour of his son.Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor (also "German-Roman Emperor", German: Römisch-deutscher Kaiser "Roman-German emperor"; historically Imperator Romanorum, "Emperor of the Romans") was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (considered by itself to be the successor of the Roman Empire) during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany (rex teutonicorum) throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.From an autocracy in Carolingian times (AD 800–924) the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors.
Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians (962–1024) and the Salians (1027–1125). Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740. The final emperors were from the House of Lorraine (Habsburg-Lorraine), from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Emperor Francis II, after a devastating defeat to Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz.
The Holy Roman Emperor was widely perceived to rule by divine right, though he often contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy.
In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares (first among equals) among other Catholic monarchs. In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant.
Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith. Until the Reformation, the Emperor elect (imperator electus) was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. Even after the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, and the electors usually voted in their own political interest.Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
Leopold (11 September 1679 – 27 March 1729), surnamed the Good, was Duke of Lorraine and Bar from 1690 to his death. He is the ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria.List of rulers of Lorraine
The rulers of Lorraine have held different posts under different governments over different regions. The first rulers of the region were kings of the Franks whose kingdom was called Lotharingia. The Latin construction "Lotharingia" evolved over time into "Lorraine" in French, "Lotharingen" in Dutch and "Lothringen" in German. After the Carolingian kingdom was absorbed into its neighbouring realms in the late ninth century, dukes were appointed over the territory. In the mid-tenth century, the duchy was divided into Lower Lorraine and Upper Lorraine, the first evolving into the historical Low Countries, the second became known as the Duchy of Lorraine and existed well into the modern era.Lower Lorraine
The Duchy of Lower Lorraine, or Lower Lotharingia (also referred to as Lothier or Lottier in titles), was a stem duchy established in 959, of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, which encompassed almost all of the modern Netherlands (including Friesland), central and eastern Belgium, Luxemburg, the northern part of the German Rhineland province and the eastern parts of France's Nord-Pas de Calais region.Marie of Lorraine
Marie de Lorraine (12 August 1674 – 30 October 1724) was a princess of the House of Lorraine-Guise and Princess of Monaco as consort of Antonio I of Monaco. She was the mother of Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi, the only sovereign Princess of Monaco.Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine
Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine (French: Charles Alexandre Emanuel de Lorraine; German: Karl Alexander von Lothringen und Bar; 12 December 1712 in Lunéville – 4 July 1780 in Tervuren) was a Lorraine-born Austrian general and soldier, field marshal of the Imperial Army, and governor of the Austrian Netherlands.Renata of Lorraine
Renata of Lorraine (20 April 1544 – 22 May 1602), was by birth a member of the House of Lorraine and by marriage Duchess of Bavaria.
Born in Nancy, France, she was the second child and eldest daughter of Francis I, Duke of Lorraine and Christina of Denmark. Her paternal grandparents were Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and Renée of Bourbon-Montpensier and her maternal grandparents were Christian II of Denmark and Isabella of Austria.Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans
Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans (13 September 1676 – 23 December 1744) was a petite-fille de France, and duchess of Lorraine and Bar by marriage to Leopold, Duke of Lorraine. She was regent of Lorraine and Bar during the minority (1729–1730) and absence of her son (1730–1737), and suo jure Princess of Commercy 1737–1744. Among her children was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, a co-founder of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
Royal houses of Europe