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Duchess of Brabant


Duchess of Brabant

The Duchess of Brabant is the title used by the female heirs to the Belgian throne, and for the wives of the Dukes of Brabant (the male heirs). The present Duchess of Brabant, Princess Elisabeth is the first Duchess of Brabant in modern Belgium in her own right. The title Duke of Brabant was revived in 1840 as an honorific title for the Crown Prince of the newly created Kingdom of Belgium. There has been only four royal duchesses so far.

Historically the title went back 657 years before Belgium, and had been always associated with the wives of sovereign Dukes of Brabant, who were alived in their husband's reign. In the Duchy's 611 years of existence, it only saw three Duchesses who reigned by their own right and three Dukes who rule by the virtue of their wives: Joanna, Mary the Rich, Maria Theresa; and their husbands Wenceslaus of Luxemburg, Maximilian of Austria, Francis of Lorraine. All these Dukes were reigning monarchs and not consorts. Also there were the two Co-sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands Isabella and Albert.

Before the elevation to a Duchy, Brabant was a Landgraviate of the Holy Roman Empire. After the death on 20 September 1085 of Hermann II, count palatine of Lotharingia, Henry III of Leuven became landgrave of Brabant, which was an imperial fief between the Dender and the Zenne and his wife, Getrude of Flanders, became Landgravine. Elevated to a Duchy by Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I. In 1190, after the death of Godfrey III, Henry I also became Duke of Lotharingia. Formerly Lower Lotharingia, this title was now practically without territorial authority, but was borne by the later Dukes of Brabant as an honorific title. In 1288, the Duchess of Brabant became also Duchess of Limburg. The title fell to the Duchess of Burgundy in 1430. Later on, it followed with the Burgundian inheritance through the Habsburg dynasty until 1794. After the 15th century the title became one of the many appanages associated with the Queen consorts of Spain and later the Holy Roman Empresses. Queen Sofía of Spain and also the late Crown Princess Regina of Austria also has claims to the title.

With the change of the Belgian rule of succession to absolute primogeniture, in which the eldest child inherits regardless of gender, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium became next in line to the throne after her father, Philippe of Belgium, the then current Duke of Brabant. With her father's accession to the throne of Belgium on 21 July 2013, Elisabeth accordingly became the first Duchess of Brabant in modern Belgium to hold the title in her own right rather than as the spouse of the Duke.

Landgravine of Brabant

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Landgravine Ceased to be Landgravine Death Spouse
Gertrude of Flanders Robert I, Count of Flanders
1080 - 20 September 1085
husband's ascension
July 1095
husband's death
1117 Henry III of Leuven
Ida of Chiny Otto II, Count of Chiny
1078 1105 1117 Godfrey I of Leuven
Clementia of Burgundy William I, Count of Burgundy
1078 1125 1133
Luitgarde of Sulzbach Berengar I, Count of Sulzbach
1109 1139 13 June 1142
husband's death
after 1163 Godfrey II of Leuven
Margaret of Limburg Henry II, Duke of Limburg
1135 1155/8 1172 Godfrey III of Leuven
Imagina of Loon Louis I, Count of Loon
- 1180 21 August 1190
husband's death
5 June 1214

House of Leuven, 1183–1406

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Mathilde of Flanders Matthew, Count of Boulogne
1170 1180 1183/1184
husband's elevated to Duke
16 October 1210 Henry I
Marie of France Philip II of France
after 1198 22 April 1213 15 October 1224
Sophie of Thuringia Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia
20 March 1224 1240 1 February 1248
husband's death
29 May 1275 Henry II
Adelaide of Burgundy Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy
1233 1251, after 21 July 28 February 1261
husband's death
23 October 1273 Henry III
Margaret of France Louis IX of France
1254 5 September 1270 July 1271 John I
Margaret of Flanders Guy of Dampierre, Count of Flanders
1251 1273 3 July 1285
Margaret of England Edward I of England
15 March 1275 8 July 1290 3 May 1294
husband's ascession
27 October 1312
husband's death
after 11 March 1333 John II
Marie d'Évreux Louis of France, Count d'Évreux
1303 19 July 1311 27 October 1312
husband's ascession
31 October 1335 John III

House of Valois, 1406–1482

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Jeanne of Saint Pol Waleran III of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny and Saint Pol
1380/85 21 February 1402 1 November 1406
husband's ascession
12 August 1407 Anthony
Elisabeth, Duchess of Luxembourg John of Görlitz
November 1390 16 July 1409 25 October 1415
husband's death
3 August 1451
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut William II, Duke of Bavaria
16 August 1401 18 April 1418 7 March 1422
obtained papal divorce
8 October 1436 John IV
- Margaret  ?  ?  ? 17 April 1427
husband's accession
14 August 1430
husband's death
 ? Philip I
Isabella of Portugal John I of Portugal
21 February 1397 7 January 1430 15 July 1467
husband's death
17 December 1471 Philip II
Margaret of York Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
3 May 1446 9 July 1468 5 January 1477
husband's death
23 November 1503 Charles I

House of Habsburg, 1482–1700

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Joanna of Castile Ferdinand II of Aragon
6 November 1479 20 October 1496 25 September 1506
husband's death
12 April 1555 Philip III
Isabella of Portugal Manuel I of Portugal
24 October 1503 11 March 1526 1 May 1539 Charles II
Mary I of England Henry VIII of England
18 February 1516 25 July 1554 16 January 1556
husband's ascension
17 November 1558 Philip IV
Elisabeth of Valois Henry II of France
2 April 1545 22 June 1559 3 October 1568
Anna of Austria Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
1 November 1549 4 May 1570 26 October 1580
Elisabeth of Bourbon Henry IV of France
22 November 1602 25 November 1615 31 March 1621
husband's ascension
6 October 1644 Philip V
Mariana of Austria Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
24 December 1634 7 October 1649 17 September 1665
husband's death
16 May 1696
Marie Louise of Orléans Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
26 March 1662 19 November 1679 12 February 1689 Charles III
Maria Anna of the Palatinate-Neuburg Philip William, Elector Palatine
28 October 1667 14 May 1690 1 November 1700
husband's death
16 July 1740

House of Bourbon, 1700–1706

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Maria Luisa of Savoy Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
17 September 1688 2 November 1701 c. 1706
Duchy ceded to Austria
14 February 1714 Philip VI

House of Habsburg, 1706–1780

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
28 August 1691 1 August 1708 20 October 1740
husband's death
21 December 1750 Charles IV

House of Habsburg-Lorraine, 1780–1794

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Maria Louisa of Spain Charles III of Spain
24 November 1745 5 August 1765 20 February 1790
husband's ascession
1 March 1792
husband's death
15 May 1792 Leopold
Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
(Bourbon-Two Sicilies)
6 June 1772 15 September 1790 1 March 1792
husband's ascession
1794 13 April 1807 Francis

Royal Duchesses of Brabant

Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Duchess Ceased to be Duchess Death Spouse
Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
23 August 1836 22 August 1853 6 December 1865
became queen
19 September 1902 Prince Leopold Louis
Princess Astrid of Sweden Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
17 November 1905 4 November 1926 17 February 1934
became queen
29 August 1935 Prince Leopold Philip
Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz Count Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz 20 January 1973 4 December 1999 21 July 2013

became queen

- Prince Philippe
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

suo jure

Philippe of Belgium 25 October 2001 - 21 July 2013

in her own right

- - -

See also

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