|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
The House of Este /ˈɛsti/ is a European princely dynasty. It is split into two branches; the elder is known as the House of Welf-Esteor House of Welf (Guelf or Guelph), and the younger is known as the House of Fulc-Este or later simply as the House of Este.
The family was said by Gibbon to originate from the Roman Attii family, which migrated from Rome to Este to defend Italy against Goths. However there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. The names of the early members of the family indicate that a Frankish origin is much more likely. The first known member of the house was Margrave Adalbert of Mainz, known only as father of Oberto I, Count palatine of Italy, who died around 975. Oberto’s grandson Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan (996–1097) built a castle at Este, near Padua, and named himself after it. He had 3 sons from two marriages, two of whom became the ancestors of the two branches of the family:
- Welf IV, the eldest (d. 1101), was the son of Kunigunde (d. 1056), the last of the Elder Welfs. He inherited the property of his maternal uncle, Welf, Duke of Carinthia, became duke of Bavaria in 1070, and is the ancestor of the elder branch, the House of Welf.
- Hugh, issue of Azzo’s second marriage to Garsend of Maine, inherited the County of Maine, his mother’s dowry, but sold it one year later and died without heirs.
- Fulco I, Margrave of Milan (d. about 1128/35), the third son, is the ancestor of the younger Italian line of Este.
The two surviving branches, with Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony and Bavaria on the German side, concluded an agreement in 1154 which allocated the family’s Italian possessions to the younger line, the Fulc-Este, who in the course of time acquired Ferrara, Modena and Reggio. Este itself was taken over in 1275 by Padua and in 1405 (together with Padua) by Venice.
Elder branch, Guelph, Electors of Hanover
The elder branch of the House of Este, the House of Welf, historically rendered “Guelf” or “Guelph” in English, produced dukes of Bavaria (1070–1139, 1156–1180), dukes of Saxony (1138–1139, 1142–1180), a German King (1198–1218), and the dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg (1208–1918), later styled the “Electors of Hanover” when two branches of the family recombined in 1705.
After the peace ending the Napoleonic wars reshaped Europe ushering in the Modern era, the Electorate of Hanover(duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg held in personal union by the king of Great Britain, George III) was dissolved by treaty, its lands were enlarged, and the state promoted to a kingdom. The new kingdom existed from 1815 to 1866, but upon accession of Queen Victoria (who could not inherit Hanover under the Salic law) in 1837, it passed to her uncle and thus ceased to be in personal union with the British Crown.
Younger branch, the Margraves of Este
All later generations of the Italian branch are descendants of Fulco d’Este. From 1171 on, his descendants were titled Margraves of Este.
Obizzo I (d. 1193), the first margrave, battled against Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. His nephew Azzo d’Este VI(1170–1212) became podestà of Mantua and Verona. In 1146 with the last of the Adelardi Ferrara passed as the dowryof his niece the Marchesella, to Azzo VI d’Este. Azzo VII Novello was nominated podestà for his lifetime in 1242.
The lordship of Ferrara was made hereditary by Obizzo II (d. 1293) who was proclaimed Lord of Ferrara in 1264, Lord of Modena 1288 and Lord of Reggio 1289. Ferrara being a papal fief, the Este family were given the position of hereditary papal vicars in 1332.
Ferrara became a significant center of culture under Niccolò d’Este III (1384–1441), who received several popes with great magnificence, especially Eugene IV, who held a Council here in 1438, later known as the Council of Florence.
His successors were Leonello (1407–1450) and Borso (1413–1471), who was elevated to Duke of Modena and Reggio by Emperor Frederick III in 1452 and in return received these duchies as imperial fiefs. In 1471 he received the duchy of Ferrara as papal fief from Pope Paul II, for which occasion splendid frescoes were executed at Palazzo Schifanoia.
Under Ercole (1431–1505), one of the most significant patrons of the arts in late 15th and early 16th century Italy, Ferrara grew into a cultural center, renowned especially for music; Josquin des Prez worked for Duke Ercole, Jacob Obrecht came to Ferrara twice, and Antoine Brumel served as principal musician from 1505. Ercole’s daughter Beatrice (1475–1497) married Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, while his daughter Isabella (1474–1539) married Francesco Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua.
Alfonso and Lucrezia Borgia’s son Ercole d’Este II (1508–1559) married Renée of France, daughter of Louis XII of France. His son Alfonso II first married Lucrezia, daughter of grand-dukeCosimo I of Tuscany, then after becoming a widower, Barbara, the sister of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (1527–1576) and finally a third wife, Margherita Gonzaga, daughter of the duke of Mantua.
Though he raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Torquato Tasso and Giovanni Battista Guarini, favouring the arts and sciences, as the princes of his house had always done, the legitimate line ended in 1597 with him. Emperor Rudolph IIrecognized as heir his first cousin Cesare d’Este (1533–1628), member of a cadet branch born out of wedlock, who continued to rule in the imperial duchies and carried on the family name. Ferrara, on the other hand, was annexed by force of arms in 1598 by Pope Clement VIII, on grounds of the heir’s illegitimacy, and incorporated into the Papal States.
The last duke, Ercole III, was deposed in 1796 by the French and his two duchies became the Cispadane Republic which one year later was merged into the Cisalpine Republic and then into the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. Ercole was compensated in 1801 with the small principality of Breisgau in southwestern Germany, whose previous rulers, the Habsburgs, ceded it to him in anticipation of its eventual return to the Habsburgs, since Ercole’s daughter Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d’Este was married to a cadet Habsburg, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este. Ercole died in 1803 and Breisgau passed to his daughter and her husband, who then (1806) lost it during the Napoleonic reorganization of the western territories of the defunct Holy Roman Empire to the enlarged and elevated Grand Duchy of Baden.
Austria-Este and the House of Habsburg
In 1814, when French rule in Italy ended (but after the death of Duke Ercole), Modena was returned to his daughter Mary Beatrice and her son, Archduke Francis of Austria-Este. The family thus ruled the duchy of Modena and Reggio again from 1814 to 1859, using the names Asburgo-Este (Habsburg-Este) and Austria-Este. In 1859 the duchy lost its independence to the new united Italy, and Francis V, Duke of Modena, was deposed.
The family of Austria-Este became extinct in the male line with the death of Francis V in 1875. His blood-heiress was his niece, Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria-Este (d. 1919); she and her husband, Prince Louis of Bavaria, later became Queen and King ofBavaria. The present head of this branch of the family is Franz, Duke of Bavaria.
However, Francis V had decided to retain the Este name in the Habsburg family and willed his inheritance to the line of Archduke Charles Louis, younger brother of Emperor Francis Joseph, on condition that the heir use the name Austria-Este. The first “adoptee” wasArchduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (b. 1863, not descended from Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d’Este), who took the name Austria-Esteand in 1896 became the heir presumptive of the Habsburg Empire, but was murdered on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo.
Since his own children were born in morganatic marriage (Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg), the Habsburgs designated his soon-to-be born great-nephew Robert (b. 8 February 1915), second son of the future emperor Charles, as the next “adopted Austria-Este”. Through his mother Zita of Bourbon-Parma (a great-granddaughter of Maria Teresa of Savoy, Duchess of Lucca and Parma, who was a daughter of Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, Queen of Sardinia, who in turn was a daughter of Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d’Este and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, Duchess and Duke of Breisgau and Modena), Robert was a descendant of Ercole III d’Este, and the blood of last Este dukes thus joined again with the name Austria-Este.
Today, the bearer of this tradition is the eldest son of Archduke Robert of Austria-Este (1915–1996), Lorenz Otto Charles of Austria-Este(b. 1955), who is married to Princess Astrid of Belgium, the only daughter of King Albert II. In 1995, Lorenz received the additional title of Prince of Belgium.
Since 1991 the couple’s children are titled :
- International format : Princes(ss) of Belgium, Archduke (Archduchess) of Austria-Este, Prince(ss) Imperial of Austria, Prince(ss) Royal of Hungary and Bohemia .
- Belgian format : Princes(ss) of Belgium, Archduke (Archduchess) of Austria-Este (Habsburg-Lorraine)
The eldest of their children is Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este (b. 1986).
|House of Hanover|
|Country||Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland,United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
etc., etc., etc.
|Founded||1635 – George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
|Current head||Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover|
1901 – Death of Queen Victoriaends the British branch in the agnatic line; semi-Salic law ends personal union of Hanover with the United Kingdom in 1837, upon death of her uncle William IV.Hanover:
1866 – George V of Hanover lost the territory to Prussia in theAustro-Prussian War
The House of Hanover (the Hanoverians /ˌhænəˈvɪərɪənz/) is a Germanroyal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (German:Braunschweig-Lüneburg), the Kingdom of Hanover, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It succeeded the House of Stuart as monarchs of Great Britain andIreland in 1714 and held that office until the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. They are sometimes referred to as the House of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Hanover line.
Queen Victoria was the granddaughter of George III and was an ancestor of most major European royal houses. She arranged marriages for her children and grandchildren across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father, Albert, Prince Consort. Under semi-Salic law, Victoria could not inherit the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchies unless the entire male line became extinct; those possessions passed to the next eligible male heir, her uncle Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, theDuke of Cumberland and Teviotdale—the fifth son of George III.
The current head of the House of Hanover is Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover.
George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, is considered the first member of the House of Hanover. When the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg was divided in 1635, George inherited the principalities of Calenberg and Göttingen, and in 1636 he moved his residence to Hanover. His son, Duke Ernest Augustus, was elevated to prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Ernest Augustus’s wife, Sophia of the Palatinate, was declared heiress of the throne of Great Britain (then England and Scotland) by the Act of Settlement of 1701, which decreed Roman Catholics could not accede to the throne. Sophia was at that time the senior eligible Protestant descendant of James I of England.
Hanover monarchs: Great Britain and the United Kingdom
- George I (r.1714–27) (Georg Ludwig = George Louis)
- George II (r.1727–60) (Georg August = George Augustus)
- George III (r.1760–1820)
George I, George II, and George III also served as electors and dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, informally, Electors ofHanover (cf. personal union). From 1814, when Hanover became a kingdom, the British monarch was also King of Hanover.
George I (1714–1727)
George II (1727–1760)
Frederick, Prince of Wales (b. 1707 d. 1751)
George III (1760–1820)
George IV (1820–1830)
William IV (1830-1837)
In 1837, however, the personal union of the thrones of the United Kingdom and Hanover ended. Succession to the Hanoverian throne was regulated by semi-Salic law (agnatic-cognatic), which gave priority to all male lines before female lines, so that it passed not to Queen Victoria but to her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland.:13,14 In 1901, when Queen Victoria died, her son and heir Edward VII became the first British Monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward taking his family name from that of his father, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.:14
Kings of Hanover after the breakup of the personal union
After the death of William IV in 1837, the following kings of Hanover continued the dynasty:
Coat of arms of thekingdom of Hanover1837
King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover (1837-1851)
King George V of Hanover (1851–1866)
The Kingdom of Hanover came to an end in 1866 when it was annexed byPrussia. The 1866 rift between the House of Hanover and the House of Hohenzollern was settled only by the 1913 marriage of Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick.
Duchy of Brunswick
In 1884, the senior branch of the House of Welf became extinct. By semi-Salic law, the House of Hanover would have acceded to the Duchy of Brunswick, but there had been strong Prussian pressure against having George V of Hanover or his son, the Duke of Cumberland, succeed to a member state of the German Empire, at least without strong conditions, including swearing to the German constitution. By a law of 1879, the Duchy of Brunswick established a temporary council of regency to take over at the Duke’s death, and if necessary appoint a regent.
The Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself Duke of Brunswick at the Duke’s death, and lengthy negotiations ensued, but were never resolved. Prince Albert of Prussia was appointed regent; after his death in 1906, Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg succeeded him. The Duke of Cumberland’s eldest son died in a car accident in 1912; the father renounced Brunswick in favor of his youngest son Ernest Augustus, who married the Kaiser’s daughter, swore allegiance to the German Empire, and was allowed to ascend the throne of the Duchy in November 1913. He was a major-general during the First World War; but he was overthrown as Duke of Brunswick in 1918. His father was also deprived of his British titles in 1919, for “bearing arms against Great Britain”.
The later heads of the House of Hanover have been:
- George V (1866–1878)
- Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (1878–1923)
- Ernest Augustus III, Duke of Brunswick (1923–1953), son of the previous
- Ernest Augustus IV, Prince of Hanover (1953–1987)
- Ernest Augustus V, Prince of Hanover (1987–present)
The family has been resident in Austria since 1866; it has held courtesy titles since 1919.
List of members
Patrilineal descent, descent from father to son, is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations, which means that the historically accurate royal house of monarchs of the House of Hanover was the House of Lucca (or Obertenghi, or Este, or Welf).
This is the descent of the primary male heir. For the complete expanded family tree, see List of members of the House of Hanover.
- Oberto I, 912–975
- Oberto Obizzo, 940–1017
- Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan, 970–1029
- Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan, d. 1097
- Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, 1037–1101
- Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, 1074–1126
- Henry X, Duke of Bavaria, 1108–1139
- Henry the Lion, 1129–1195
- William of Winchester, Lord of Lunenburg, 1184–1213
- Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1204–1252
- Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1236–1279
- Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1268–1318
- Magnus the Pious, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1304–1369
- Magnus II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1328–1373
- Bernard I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1362–1434
- Frederick II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1408–1478
- Otto V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1439–1471
- Heinrich, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1468–1532
- Ernest I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1497–1546
- William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1535–1592
- George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1582–1641
- Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, 1629–1698
- George I of Great Britain, 1660–1727
- George II of Great Britain, 1683–1760
- Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1707–1751
- George III of the United Kingdom, 1738–1820
- Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, 1771–1851
- George V of Hanover, 1819–1878
- Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 1845–1923
- Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, 1887–1953
- Ernest Augustus IV, Prince of Hanover, 1914–1987
- Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover, b. 1954
- Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, b. 1983
The Leine Palace in Hanover (Former Royal Residence of the Kingdom of Hanover)
Herrenhausen Castle and Gardens in Hanover
Marienburg Castle (Hanover), present seat of the Princes of Hanover