The last King of Two Sicilies was Francis II, who was overthrown in 1860 and spent the remainder of his life in exile
The Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies – or Bourbon des Deux Siciles – is an ancient branch of the Spanish royal family which ruled parts of southern Italy for more than 100 years from 1734 to 1861. Its descendants still carry the name today, some 150 years later.
The line descends from Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France (1638–1715), who established the Bourbon dynasty in Spain in 1700 as Philip V (1683–1746).
In 1759 King Philip’s younger grandson was appanaged with the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, becoming Ferdinand IV and III (1751–1825), respectively, of those realms. His descendants occupied the joint throne (renamed ‘Kingdom of the Two Sicilies’ in 1816) until 1860.
The family, then led by Francis II, was overthrown in 1860 by Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi, who proclaimed a dictatorship on behalf of Victor Emmanuel II, the the King of Piedmont-Sardinia and later King of Italy. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Sardinia were merged into the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.
The deposed Francis II and his wife spent time in Rome as guests of the Pope where they ran a government in exile. They left the city before it was occupied by the Italians in 1870.
They led a wandering life from then on, living in Austria, France, and Bavaria.
Francis II died in 1894 and was succeeded by his half-brother, Prince Alfonso, who was in turn succeeded by his son, Prince Ferdinand Pius, Duke of Calabria.
Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, 57 and Princess Camilla, Duchess of Castro, 49 with their daughters Princess Maria Carolina, 17 and Maria Chiara Di Bourbon-Two Sicilies, 15
The succession has been disputed since Ferdinand’s death in 1960 because he had six daughters and no sons to carry the family line. Both his nephew Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, and brother Prince Ranieri, pictured, Duke of Castro, laid claim to the throne. This feud continues between their descendants today
The succession has been disputed since Ferdinand’s death in 1960 because he had six daughters and no sons to carry the family line.
Both his nephew Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, and brother Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, laid claim to the throne. This feud continues between their descendants today.
Chiara and Carolina are the daughters of Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, grandson of Prince Ranieri. The claimant on the other side of the family is Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria, grandson of Infante Alfonso.
Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, grandson of Prince Ranieri, and his wife Camilla
Prince Carlo, who only has two daughters, has overturned centuries of male primogeniture and has stated his title will pass to his eldest daughter, Carolina.
Prince Carlo married his wife Camilla, daughter of Italian film star Edoarda Crociani, better known as Edy Vessel, in 1998 at Monte Carlo cathedral. Camilla’s sister Cristina revealed their mother was obsessed with her daughters marrying princes.
As Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Carlo holds many honours, including Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Saint Januarius, of the Two Sicilian Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George and Order of Saint Ferdinand and Merit.
Today Carlo and Camilla are ‘very active in promoting the cultural, artistic, historical, and spiritual identity of southern Italy,’ according to their official website. They split their time between homes in Monte Carlo and Paris.
Camilla is also active in charity work and gives her time to the Red Cross and UNICEF, as well as the Association Monaco Against Autism, Amitié sans Frontières et la Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation.
She campaigns against animal cruelty and is in charge of her own non-profit organisation, the Camilla of Bourbon Charitable Foundation, which works with the government in Mauritius to preserve its wildlife and promote sustainable development.
The family posing for pictures at the Influencer Awards in Monaco in 2019, with Chiara in a pink gown, Camilla in a grey number and Carolina in a rose gold dress