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The duke of Brabant (Dutch : hertog van Brabant, French : duc de Brabant) was formally the ruler of the Duchy of Brabant since 1183/1184. The title was created by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I of the House of Reginar, son of Godfrey III of Leuven (who was duke of Lower Lotharingia at that time). The Duchy of Brabant was a feudal elevation of the existing (since 1085/1086) title of landgrave of Brabant. This was an Imperial fief which was assigned to Count Henry III of Leuven shortly after the death of the preceding count of Brabant, Herman II of Lotharingia (born 20 September 1085). Although the corresponding county was quite small (limited to the territory between the rivers Senne and Dender) its name was applied to the entire country under control of the dukes from the 13th century on. In 1190, after the death of Godfrey III, Henry I also became duke of Lotharingia. Formerly Lower Lotharingia, this title was now practically without territorial authority, but was borne by the later dukes of Brabant as an honorific title.
In 1288, the dukes of Brabant became also dukes of Limburg. The title fell to the dukes of Burgundy in 1430. Later on, it followed with the Burgundian inheritance until the French Revolution, although the northern part of the territory of Brabant was actually governed by the United Provinces during the 17th and 18th century (see Generality Lands).
Today, the title of duke or duchess of Brabant designates, since the Royal Decree of December 16 1840 (amended in 1991), the heir apparent to the throne of Belgium. The current holder is Princess Elisabeth.
Counts of Leuven, Counts of Brussels and Landgraves of Brabant :
Counts of Leuven, Counts of Brussels, Landgraves of Brabant, Margrave of Antwerp and Dukes of Lower-Lorraine :
Dukes of Brabant and Dukes of Lothier :
Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Lothier and Dukes of Limburg :
Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Lothier and Dukes of Limburg :
In the current Kingdom of Belgium, the title of "Duke of Brabant" has been revived as a dynastic title at the court, and is traditionally assigned to the oldest son or daughter of the sovereign (even though the province of Noord-Brabant, part of the historical duchy, is now part of the Netherlands and has been so since 1648).
The oldest son or daughter automatically becomes the duke/duchess of Brabant when his/her father becomes King of the Belgians; there is no ceremony or formal oath that the new duke/duchess must pass. When the Duke of Brabant loses his father, or when he abdicates, his title goes to the next in line, and he becomes the new King of the Belgians. Unlike the office of King of the Belgians, the eldest child of the sovereign does not need to reach the age of 18 to become Duke of Brabant. However, if a Duke or Duchess of Brabant has not reached the age of 18, he or she cannot ascend to the throne of Belgium, as stipulated by the constitution. When the prince or princess becomes duke of Brabant, this title takes precedence of the other titles: Prince or Princess of Belgium.
The last Duke of Brabant became King in 2013, and passed the title to his oldest child. The current Duchess, Elisabeth was only 12 years old when she became duchess in 2013. The Dukes and Duchess of the House of Belgium (House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until 1920) are as follows:
Article 1, alinea 2, of the Royal Decree of 16 December 1840 says, since an amendment in 2001 : “The title of Duke of Brabant or of Duchess of Brabant will be worn, in future, by the Prince or the Princess, elder son or daughter of the King, and, if lacking, by the Prince or the Princess, elder son or daughter of the elder son or daughter of the King”
Henry I, named "The Courageous", was a member of the House of Reginar and first duke of Brabant from 1183/84 until his death.
Henry II of Brabant was Duke of Brabant and Lothier after the death of his father Henry I in 1235. His mother was Mathilde of Flanders.
Henry III of Brabant was Duke of Brabant between 1248 and his death. He was the son of Henry II of Brabant and Marie of Hohenstaufen.
The Counts of Louvain were a branch of the Lotharingian House of Reginar which from the late 10th century ruled over the estates of Louvain (French) or Leuven (Dutch) in Lower Lorraine.
Anthony, Duke of Brabant, also known as Antoine de Brabant, Antoine de Bourgogne and Anthony of Burgundy, was Count of Rethel (1402–1406), Duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg (1406–1415), and Co-Duke of Luxemburg (1411-1415). He was killed at the battle of Agincourt.
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, she acquired her position after her grandfather King Albert II abdicated in favour of her father on 21 July 2013.
Godfrey I, called the Bearded, the Courageous, or the Great, was the landgrave of Brabant, and count of Brussels and Leuven (Louvain) from 1095 to his death and duke of Lower Lorraine from 1106 to 1129. He was also margrave of Antwerp from 1106 to his death.
Lothier refers to the territory within the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia, governed by the dukes of Brabant and their successors after 1190 until the end of the Ancien Régime in 1796.
The Duchy of Lower Lorraine, or Lower Lotharingia, was a stem duchy established in 959, of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, which encompassed almost all of the modern Netherlands the region of Frisia was loosely associated with the duchy, but the dukes de facto exercised no control over the territory see Frisian Freedom for details, central and eastern Belgium, Luxemburg, the northern part of the German Rhineland province and the eastern parts of France's Nord-Pas de Calais region.
Moritz Prinz und Landgraf von Hessen was the son of Prince Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, and the head of the House of Brabant and the German House of Hesse.
The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt.
Prince Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse was the first child of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and his second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. He was a nephew of Empress Alexandra, wife of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.
Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine was the youngest son of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse by his second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich.
The Count of Hainaut was the ruler of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries. In English-language historical sources, the title is often given the archaic spelling Hainault.
The Reginarids or House of Reginar were a family of magnates in Lower Lotharingia during the Carolingian and Ottonian period. Their modern name is derived from the personal name which many members of the family bore, and which is seen as a Leitname of the family. At least two Dukes of Lotharingia in the 10th century belonged to this family. After a period of exile and rebellion, the two brothers who returned to power founded the first dynasties of the County of Hainault and County of Louvain. The latter were ancestors of the House of Brabant, Landgraves and later Dukes of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg. The Reginarid Brabant dynasty ended in 1355, leaving its duchies to the House of Luxembourg which in turn left them to the House of Valois-Burgundy in 1383. Junior branches of the male line include the medieval male line of the English House of Percy, Earls of Northumberland, and the German House of Hesse which ruled Hesse from 1264 until 1918 and still exists today.
The Duchess of Brabant refers to a woman married to the Duke of Brabant or a Duchess of Brabant suo jure. But this was only as of 1840 when it was revived as an honorific title for the Crown Prince of the newly created Kingdom of Belgium. There have been only three royal duchesses.
Wilhelm, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld is the Landgrave (His Highness) and current head of one of the two remaining branches of the House of Hesse, that of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld, a noble title dating to the late Holy Roman Empire.
Gertrude of Flanders, was a Countess of Louvain and Landgravine of Brabant by marriage to Henry III, Count of Leuven, and a Duchess of Lorraine by marriage to Theodoric II, Duke of Lorraine. At the time the duchy was the upper Lorraine, since 959 separated from the duchy of Lower Lorraine.