THE ROYAL HOUSE OF THE TWO SICILIES
REAL CASA DELLE DUE SICILIE

 

FOR THE LATEST ON THE TWO SICILIES ORDERS, SEE BURKE'S PEERAGE AND GENTRY WORLD ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD AND MERIT, purchase at www.burkes-peerage.net

 

 

Arms of the Two Sicilies Crown

The Royal House of the Two Sicilies is a branch of the Royal House of Bourbon-Spain. The founder, Felipe V, was a younger grandson of  Louis XIV of France. He became King of Spain on the death of his great-uncle, Carlos II, the last Habsburg King of Spain, in 1700.

Felipe's eldest surviving son, Fernando VI, became King of Spain after his father's death. His second son, Carlos, became Duke of Parma (1731-35), then King of Naples and Sicily (the Two Sicilies), as Carlo VII, in 1734. His third son, Filippo, evntually became Duke of Parma and Guastalla (1748), founding the Royal House of Bourbon-Parma.

Fernando VI did not leave surviving issue when he died in 1759, so the Crown of Spain passed to his brother Carlo VII of the Two Sicilies. By the terms of the Treaty of Naples of 3 October 1759, Carlo VII became Carlos III of Spain, and one of its greatest Monarchs.

To prevent the union of the Spanish Crown with the Italian dominions, Carlos III agreed to abdicate the Two Sicilies throne to his third, but second surviving son, who became Ferdinando IV of Naples and III of Sicily (and in 1815 Ferdinando I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies). This abdication was enacted in the Pragmatic Decree of 6 October 1759. The present Royal House of the Two Sicilies descends in the male line from this King. The present Spanish Royal House descends in the male line from King Ferdinando's elder brother, Carlos IV.

Infante Don Carlos, Duke of Calabria

 

Carlos III abdicating the Two Sicilies throne to his son, Ferdinando IV (I) on 6 October 1759

THE PRAGMATIC DECREE OF 1759

The abdication of the Two Sicilies Throne by Carlos III promised in the Treaty of Naples of 3 October 1759 was enacted in the Pragmatic Decree of 6 October 1759. This important royal act provided the foundations for the succession to both the Spanish and Two Sicilies Crowns. The Spanish repeal of Salic Law in 1830/33 had an inevitable but unforeseen affect on the Two Sicilies succession but the provisions of the Pragmatic Decree were never revised.

The Pragmatic Decree gave a right to the Spanish and Two Sicilies Crowns to all the male descendants of Carlos III but, in accordance with the Treaty of Naples, forbade their union in one person. In the event that the King of Spain inherited the Two Sicilies Crown, it was provided that he must abdicate it to the next heir not being the Prince of the Asturias.

The Pragmatic Decree continues to govern the Two Sicilies succession, which does not permit the succession of a female until the extinction of all the male descendants (born of legitimate and recognized marriages) of Carlos III. The repeal of Salic Law, however, had the effect of conferring a prior right to the Spanish throne on the Two Sicilies dynasts by virtue of their descent from the Infanta Isabel, wife of Francis I of the Two Sicilies.

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