Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma

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Félix of Bourbon-Parma
Prince Félix of Luxembourg, Prince of Parma and Princely consort of Luxembourg (1893-1970).jpg
Prince consort of Luxembourg
Tenure6 November 1919 – 12 November 1964
Born(1893-10-28)28 October 1893
Schwarzau am Steinfeld, Austria
Died8 April 1970(1970-04-08) (aged 76)
Fischbach Castle, Luxembourg
SpouseCharlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Félix Marie Vincent
FatherRobert I, Duke of Parma
MotherInfanta Maria Antonia of Portugal

Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma[1] (later Prince Félix of Luxembourg; 28 September 1893[2] – 8 April 1970) was the husband of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and the father of her six children, including her successor Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. By birth to his father Robert I, Duke of Parma, he was a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma and one descendant of King Philip V of Spain. Prince Félix was the longest-serving consort of Luxembourg.

Early life[edit]

Prince Félix was one of the 24 children of the deposed Robert I, Duke of Parma, being the duke's sixth child and third son by his second wife, Maria Antonia of Portugal. His maternal grandparents were Miguel of Portugal and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. He was born in Schwarzau am Steinfeld.[2][original research]

He was also the younger brother (by sixteen months) of Empress Zita of Austria. Of the twelve children of Duke Robert's first marriage to Maria-Pia of the Two Sicilies, three died as infants, six had learning difficulties, and only three married. Despite the loss of his throne, Duke Robert and his family enjoyed considerable wealth, traveling in a private train of more than a dozen cars among his castles at Schwarzau am Steinfeld near Vienna, Villa Pianore in northwest Italy, and the magnificent Château de Chambord in France.[citation needed]

Less than four months after Robert's death in 1907 the Grand Marshal of the Austrian Court declared six of the children of his first marriage legally incompetent, at the behest of Duchess Maria Antonia. Nonetheless, Robert's primary heir was Elias, Duke of Parma, (1880–1959), the youngest son of the first marriage and the only one to father children of his own. Duke Elias also became the legal guardian of his six elder siblings. Although Félix's elder brothers, Prince Sixte and Prince Xavier, eventually sued their half-brother Duke Elias to obtain a greater share of the ducal fortune, they lost in the French courts, leaving Prince Félix with modest prospects.[citation needed]

Félix served in the Austrian Dragoons as Lieutenant and Captain, but resigned his commission in November 1918.

Marriage to Grand Duchess Charlotte[edit]

On 6 November 1919 in Luxembourg, the prince married his first cousin Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, having been admitted to the nobility of Luxembourg and also made Prince of Luxembourg by Grand Ducal decree the day before.[3] Unlike some European consorts, Félix neither adopted his wife's dynastic surname (of Nassau), nor relinquished his own title and name "Prince of Bourbon-Parma". His traditional style as a Bourbon prince of the Parmesan branch is the reason that cadet members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg enjoy the style of Royal Highness (but that style belongs to the Luxembourg monarch and heir apparent by right, as the historical prerogative of grand-ducal dynasties).[citation needed]

Felix was president of the Luxembourg Red Cross between 1923 and 1932 and again between 1947 and 1969. He was also Colonel of the Luxembourg Volunteers Company since 1920 and Inspector-General of the Luxembourg Army between 1945 and 1967.

Urban legend has it that Félix lost the Grünewald, a forest owned by the Grand Duchess, at a casino in 1934, but this is false; part of the property was sold, along with Berg Castle, to the Luxembourgian government, with the revenue paying for the upkeep of the grand-ducal household, and was not spent on personal consumption, let alone gambling losses.[4]

During World War II the grand ducal family left Luxembourg shortly before the arrival of Nazi troops, settling in France until their capitulation, in June 1940. Subsequently, the family and the Grand Duchess' ministers received transit visas to Portugal from the Portuguese consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes, in June 1940. They arrived at Vilar Formoso on 23 June 1940. After traveling through Coimbra and Lisbon, the family first stayed in Cascais, in Casa de Santa Maria, owned by Manuel Espírito Santo, who was then the honorary consul for Luxembourg in Portugal. By July they had moved to Monte Estoril, staying at the Chalet Posser de Andrade. On 10 July 1940, Félix, together with his children, Heir prince Jean, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Marie Adelaide, Princess Marie Gabriele, Prince Charles and Princess Alix, the nanny Justine Reinard and the chauffeur Eugène Niclou, along with his wife Joséphine, boarded the S.S. Trenton headed for New York City, after which they moved to Canada.[5]


Prince Félix died at Fischbach Castle on 8 April 1970. His funeral mass was held at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and he was later buried in the crypt of the cathedral.[citation needed]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 6 November 1919 in Luxembourg, he married Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. They had six children:

Titles, honours and awards[edit]

  • 28 October 1893 – 5 November 1919: His Royal Highness Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma
  • 5 November 1919 – 6 November 1919: His Royal Highness Prince Felix of Luxembourg
  • 6 November 1919 – 12 November 1964: His Royal Highness The Prince Consort of Luxembourg
  • 12 November 1964 – 8 April 1970: His Royal Highness Prince Felix of Luxembourg



Patrilineal descent[edit]

Patrilineal descent

Felix's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.

Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations - which means that if Prince Felix were to choose an historically accurate house name it would be Robertian, as all his male-line ancestors have been of that house.

Felix is a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma, a sub-branch of the House of Bourbon-Spain, itself originally a branch of the House of Bourbon, and thus of the Capetian dynasty and of the Robertians.

Felix's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Dukes of Parma as well as the Kings of Spain, France, and Navarre. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years from Robert of Hesbaye to the present day, through Kings of France & Navarre, Spain and Two-Sicilies, Dukes of Parma and Grand-Dukes of Luxembourg, Princes of Orléans and Emperors of Brazil. It is one of the oldest in Europe.

  1. Robert II of Worms and Rheingau (Robert of Hesbaye), 770 - 807
  2. Robert III of Worms and Rheingau, 800 - 834
  3. Robert IV the Strong, 820 - 866
  4. Robert I of France, 866 - 923
  5. Hugh the Great, 895 - 956
  6. Hugh Capet, 941 - 996
  7. Robert II of France, 972 - 1031
  8. Henry I of France, 1008–1060
  9. Philip I of France, 1053–1108
  10. Louis VI of France, 1081–1137
  11. Louis VII of France, 1120–1180
  12. Philip II of France, 1165–1223
  13. Louis VIII of France, 1187–1226
  14. Saint Louis IX of France, 1215–1270
  15. Robert, Count of Clermont, 1256–1317
  16. Louis I, Duke of Bourbon, 1279–1342
  17. James I, Count of La Marche, 1319–1362
  18. John I, Count of La Marche, 1344–1393
  19. Louis, Count of Vendôme, 1376–1446
  20. Jean VIII, Count of Vendôme, 1428–1478
  21. François, Count of Vendôme, 1470–1495
  22. Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, 1489–1537
  23. Antoine of Navarre, 1518–1562
  24. Henry IV of France, 1553–1610
  25. Louis XIII of France, 1601–1643
  26. Louis XIV of France, 1638–1715
  27. Louis, Dauphin of France (1661-1711), 1661–1711
  28. Philip V of Spain, 1683–1746
  29. Philip, Duke of Parma, 1720–1765
  30. Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, 1751–1802
  31. Louis of Etruria, 1773–1803
  32. Charles II, Duke of Parma, 1799–1883
  33. Charles III, Duke of Parma, 1823–1854
  34. Robert I, Duke of Parma, 1848–1907
  35. Felix of Bourbon-Parma, 1893–1970

Footnotes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Arrêté grand-ducal du 17 juillet 1945 Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine – "Legilux" Legal information website of the Luxembourg government
  2. ^ a b birth record in church book of parish Schwarzau am Steinfeld, p. 02-Taufe_0031
  3. ^ per Arrêté grand-ducal du 5 novembre 1919. (Published in Mémorial A n° 74 de 1919).
  4. ^ Juncker, Jean-Claude (15 February 2007). "Réponse à la question parlementaire no.1220 du 4 août 2006 de Messieurs les Députés Gast Gibéryen et Roby Mehlen" (PDF) (in French). Investigateur. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
  5. ^ A fuga da família grã-ducal”, by Margarida de Magalhães Ramalho (2019).
  6. ^ "Ritter-Orden: St. Stephan-orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, 1918, p. 56, retrieved 2 November 2019
  7. ^ "ENTIDADES ESTRANGEIRAS AGRACIADAS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas".
  8. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette (28 December 1960). "แจ้งความสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์" (PDF) (in Thai). Retrieved 8 May 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 28 October 1893 Died: 31 July 1942
Luxembourgish royalty
Title last held by
Marie Anne of Portugal
as grand duchess
Prince consort of Luxembourg
Succeeded byas grand duchess