In 1545 Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese) ceded the towns of Parma and Piacenza to his natural son Pier Luigi Farnese (d 10 Sep 1547) and the Emperor Karl V raised them into a Duchy the same year (later leading to a dispute whether the right of investiture rested with the Pope or Emperor). The Farnese male line became extinct on the death of Antonio Francesco 20 Jan 1731. His niece and heiress Isabella Farnese, wife of Felipe V, King of Spain, transmitted her rights to her son Charles (Carlos, later King Carlos III of Spain), who became Duke of Parma and Piacenza in 1731 (giving up the Duchy by the Treaty of Vienna of 1736 but retaining the title and rights of succession to the Farnese inheritance, which included the Grand Magistery of the Constantinian Order). By the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748, Isabella’s second son Infant Philip (Filippo) (b 15 Mar 1720; d 18 Jul 1765) was established as Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla (this former Gonzaga Duchy an addition to the State). He was succ by his son Ferdinand (b 20 Jan 1751; d 9 Oct 1802), cr Infant of Spain 8 Oct 1765; Parma was incorporated into France under the terms of Treaty of Aranjuez 21 Mar 1801. Ferdinand’s son and successor Lodovic (b 5 Jul 1773; d 27 May 1803), was cr Infant of Spain 30 Nov 1795 and by the Treaty of Aranjuez in compensation for Parma was given Tuscany, following the deposition of its Grand Duke, which became the Kingdom of Etruria. He was succ by Charles Lodovic (Carlo Lodovico, b 22 Dec 1799; d 16 Apr 1884), a minor, under the Regency of his mother, Infanta Maria Luisa, but was forced to abdicate 10 Dec 1807. Former Empress Marie-Louise, separated wife of Napoleon I was given the Duchy of Parma in 1815 and founded the Parmesan Constantinian Order of Saint George 1816. By article 101 of the Treaty of Vienna of 9 Jun 1815 Duke Carlo Lodovico was given the Duchy of Lucca, in compensation for the loss of Parma (accorded to the former Empress Marie-Louise of the French for her lifetime), but deposed 15 Oct 1847. He was cr Infant of Spain by the Carlist claimant Carlos "V" 17 Jul 1834, and reacquired the Duchy of Parma 17 Dec 1847 (by the reversionary article of the Treaty of Paris of 10 Jun 1817) following the death of the Empress Marie-Louise, but after being deposed in an insurrection, abdicated in favour of his son Charles III 14 Mar 1849. Charles III was cr Infant of Spain by Isabel II 8 Oct 1852 and assassinated 27 Mar 1854. His son and successor Robert I (see below) was cr Infant of Spain 19 May 1854. Territories of the duchies were annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1859; formal protestation of the annexation was made by the Duchess Regent, on behalf of her son Robert I, 20 Jun 1860. Succession is by male primogeniture among the descendants of Philip, Duke of Parma, and failing them to the other male descendants of Philip V of Spain and Isabel Farnese.

Members of the Ducal Family bear the title of Prince or Princess of Bourbon-Parma with the qualification of Royal Highness.

Arms:- Quarterly of ten: 1st, or, six fleurs-de-lys az, three, two and one (Farnese); 2nd, arg, a cross patee gu, between four eagles displayed sa, beaked and membered gu (Gonzaga for Guastalla); 3rd, az, a lion bendy gu and arg, crowned or (Rossi di San Secondo); 4th, or, six torteaux, one, two, two and one, the chiefmost absconded by a heurte charged with three fleurs-de-lys or, the other five gu (Medici); 5th, per fesse gu and or, and over all a bush without leaves, sa (Malaspina); 6th, arg, an eagle sa, beaked and membered gu, crowned or, charged on the breast with an escutcheon gu, a cross arg (Savoy); 7th, gu a fess arg (Correggio); 8th, cheeky gu and arm, or a chief or, a double-headed eagle sa, beaked and membered gu (Pallavicini); 9th, gu, a cross or, between four letters B or (Paleologue); 10th, grand-quarters, lst and 4th, paly of six or and arg and over all a fesse arg 2nd and 3rd, or, three bars wavy az (Landi); over all an inescutcheon of pretence, counter quarter, lst and 4th, gu, a castle or, masoned sa, port and fenestration az (Castile); 2nd and 3rd arg, a lion rampant gu, armed, langued and crowned or (Leon), and over all an escutcheon of pretence, az, three fleurs-de-lys or, a bordure gu, charged with eight scallops arg (Bourbon-Anjou). The shield is encircled with the collar of the Order of Constantine of Parma and ensigned by the Royal Crown. Motto: Deus et dies.

Order: Constantinian Order of Saint George (2 div, 3 cl); Order of San Luigi (3 cl).