Francis I of the Two Sicilies

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Francis I
Infante of Spain
Francisco I de las Dos Sicilias (por Vicente López Portaña. 1829. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando).jpg
Portrait by Vicente López y Portaña, 1829
King of the Two Sicilies
Reign4 January 1825 – 8 November 1830
PredecessorFerdinand I
SuccessorFerdinand II
Born(1777-08-19)19 August 1777
Royal Palace of Naples, Naples, Kingdom of Naples
Died8 November 1830(1830-11-08) (aged 53)
Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
(m. 1797; died 1801)
(m. 1802)
see details...
Italian: Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe Saverio Giovanni Battista
HouseBourbon-Two Sicilies
FatherFerdinand I of the Two Sicilies
MotherMaria Carolina of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Styles of
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Great Royal Coat of Arms of the Two Sicilies.svg
Reference styleHis Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty

Francis I of the Two Sicilies (Italian: Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe Saverio Giovanni Battista; 19 August 1777 – 8 November 1830)[1] was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830 and regent of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1806 to 1814.

Early life[edit]

Francis in 1790. Portrait by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

Francis was born the son of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria in Naples. He was also the nephew of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, the last King and Queen of France before the first French Republic.

At the death of his older brother Carlo, Duke of Calabria in 1778, Francis became the heir-apparent to the thrones of Naples and Sicily with the title Duke of Calabria, the traditional title of the heir apparent to the Neapolitan throne.

Later life[edit]

In 1796 Francis married his double first cousin Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. When she died in 1801, he married his paternal first cousin María Isabella, youngest daughter of King Charles IV of Spain. His youngest sister, Princess Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily also married Maria Isabella's elder brother, the future Ferdinand VII of Spain, then Prince of Asturias.

After the Bourbon family fled from Naples to Sicily in 1806, Lord William Bentinck, the British resident, had drafted a new constitution along British and French lines. Ferdinand agreed to abdicate his throne, with Francis being appointed regent in 1812.[2]

On the abdication of Napoleon I, his father returned to Naples and suppressed the Sicilian constitution, incorporating his two kingdoms into that of the Two Sicilies (1816); Francis then assumed the revived title of duke of Calabria. While still heir apparent he professed liberal ideas, and on the outbreak of the revolution of 1820 he accepted the regency, apparently in a friendly spirit towards the new constitution, although he was actually as conservative as his father.[3]

On succeeding to the throne in 1825, he pursued a conservative course.[4] He took little part in the government, which he left in the hands of favourites and police officials, and lived with his mistresses, surrounded by soldiers, ever in dread of assassination. During his reign the only revolutionary movement was the outbreak on the Cilento (1828), repressed by the Marquis Delcarretto, an ex-Liberal.[3] He was, however, successful in having the Austrian occupation force withdrawn (1827), thereby relieving a large financial burden on the treasury.

During his reign, the Royal Order of Francis I was founded to reward civil merit.


With Maria Clementina of Austria:

With Isabella of Spain:



  1. ^ De Majo, Silvio. "FRANCESCO I di Borbone, re delle Due Sicilie". Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  2. ^ "Francis I | king of the Two Sicilies".
  3. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  4. ^ "Francis I | king of the Two Sicilies".
  5. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. pp. 1, 9.
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 19 August 1777 Died: 8 November 1830
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of the Two Sicilies
4 January 1825 – 8 November 1830
Succeeded by