Saturday, 2 December 2006

Charles VII King of Naples and of the Two Sicilies

Charles de Bourbon y Farnesio (1716-1788)
Duke of Parme, Charles VII of Naples and of the Two Sicilies, Charles III, king of Spain
The first son of the second marriage of Philip V with Elizabeth Farnese of Parma he was a grandson of Louis XIV and married Maria Amalia of Saxony (1724-1760), daughter of Augustus III of Poland in 1738.

He succeeded his maternal great-uncle Antonio Farnesio, as Duke of Parma and Plaisance in 1731. Being also great-grandson of Margaret Médicis, daughter of Cosme II, grand-duke of Tuscany (d. 1621), married to Edward I, duke of Parma, Infant Don Carlos was also recognised as heir of the grand-duchy of Tuscany, in 1737. Thus the arms of the Farnese, dukes of Parma and those of the Médicis, grand-dukes of Tuscany.

During the War of the Polish Succession, a Spanish Army conquered Naples and Sicily, defeating the Austrians, and Charles, Duke of Parma was given the Crown of Naples and Sicily in 1735 in exchange for the Duchies of Parma and Piacenza handed over to Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. He also abdicated his pretensions to Tuscany, which were given to Francis, duke of Lorraine, future emperor Francis I of Austria. The Pope gave him the title of King of Jerusalem in 1738.
Parma was to return to the Bourbons after the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, on behalf of Charles’ younger brother Philip of Bourbon, Duke of Parma (1720-1765).
While in Naples and Sicily he favoured the arts and built fabulous Royal Palaces at Caserta and Capodimonte to house the Farnese Collction that he brought from Parma.

Upon the death without issue of his half-brother King Ferdinand VI, of Spain, in 1759, Charles became king of Spain as Charles III, leaving Naples and Sicily to his younger son Ferdinand I.

H. M. Charles VII (1716- 1788), King of Naples (1735-1759), of Sicily (1738-1759) & of Jerusalem, (I), Duke of Parme (1731-35), & Charles III, King of Spain (1759-88)
Tech.: C2
Blasoning:1. Bourgogne (ancien, sans bordure) et Autriche; 2. Leon et Castille; 3. Aragon et Sicile; 4. Autriche; 5. Anjou (moderne); 6. Bourgogne (ancien); 7. Brabant; 8. Flandre; 9. Tirol ; 10. Anjou ancien (Naples) sans le lambel; 11. Jerusalém; aux flancs, dexter, Parme (Farnése) mal representé, et Portugal; sinister, Toscane (Médicis). Sur le tout, Anjou (moderne). Pending are the crosses of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, the Golden Fleece, St. Januarius and the Holy Ghost.

The Farnese, dukes of Parma, bore the arms of Portugal, since Rainuncio I, duke of Parma, who by being the great-grandson of D.Manuel I, King of Portugal, through his son Infant Dom Duarte, was pretendant to the throne of Portugal in the dynastic crisis of 1580. He undoubtedly detained the genealogical representation of King Emmanuel I, but was outtaken by Philip II, King of Spain who became King of Portugal, although having less rights.
His line is today representended by Monseigneur Prince Louis Alphonse, Duke d'Anjou and Duke of Bourbon, as the eldest male descendant of Queen Elizabeth Farnese, who is also the present Head of the Bourbon Family.

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