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Dukes of Brabant

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Title: Dukes of Brabant  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Sint-Oedenrode, Philip I of Castile, Mary of Burgundy, Geel, Voeren, Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Brabant, Isabella Clara Eugenia, Philip the Good, Duke of Limburg
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Dukes of Brabant

The Duchy of Brabant was formally erected in 1183/1184. The title "Duke of Brabant" was created by the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I, son of Godfrey III of Leuven (who was Duke of Lower Lotharingia at that time). The Duchy of Brabant was a feudal elevation of the since 1085/1086 existing title of Landgrave of Brabant. This was an Imperial fief which was assigned to Count Henry III of Leuven shortly after the death of the preceding Count of Brabant, Count Palatine Herman II of Lotharingia († September 20, 1085). Although the corresponding county was quite small (limited to the territory between the rivers Senne and Dender) its name was applied to the entire country under control of the Dukes from the 13th century on. 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 Dukes of Brabant became also Duke of Limburg. The title fell to the Dukes of Burgundy in 1430. Later on, it followed with the Burgundian inheritance until the French Revolution, although the northern part of the territory of Brabant was actually governed by the United Provinces during the 17th and 18th century (see Generality Lands).

House of Leuven

Counts of Leuven, Counts of Brussels and Landgraves of Brabant:

  • Henry III (1085/1086–1095); already Count of Leuven and Brussels from 1078.
  • Godfrey I (from 1095)

Counts of Leuven, Counts of Brussels, Landgraves of Brabant, Margrave of Antwerp and Dukes of Lower-Lorraine:

Dukes of Brabant and Dukes of Lothier:

Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Lothier and Dukes of Limburg:

House of Burgundy

Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Lothier and Dukes of Limburg:

House of Habsburg

usurpation by Francis, Duke of Anjou (Valois) (1582–1584)[1]

Revived title in contemporary tradition

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

In the modern Kingdom of Belgium, the title of "Duke of Brabant" revived as honorific title and is traditionally assigned to the Crown Prince (even though the province of Noord-Brabant, part of the historical duchy, is now part of the Netherlands and has been so since 1648).

In contrast to King Philippe's title, King of the Belgians, the crown princess, Princess Elisabeth is called Princess of Belgium, not Princess of the Belgians, a title that does not exist. She is also Duchess of Brabant, the traditional title of the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. This title precedes the title Prince(ss) of Belgium.

Coat of arms of Philippe and Mathilde of Belgium, duke and duchess of Brabant.


Article 1, alinea 2, of the Royal Decree of 16 December 1840 says, since an amendment in 2001 : «  The title of Duke of Brabant or of Duchess of Brabant will be worn, in future, by the Prince or the Princess, elder son or daughter of the King, and, if lacking, by the Prince or the Princess, elder son or daughter of the elder son or daughter of the King  » [2]

House of Bourbon

The title Duke of Brabant is one of the titles of the Spanish Crown.

See also


  • Charters of the Duchy of Brabant
  • Counts of Louvain: genealogical note (Caution: some information provided by this link could be historiographically obsolete).

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