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Old 02-19-2009, 03:15 PM
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Historical/Substantive titles within the Belgian Royal Family

There are four "historical" noble titles which are given to members of the Belgian Royal family, and which indicate their place in line for the throne. These titles refer to important historical entities which once existed on the current territory of Belgium

Duke of Brabant
This is the title for the first child of the reigning monarch who is eligible for the throne. This title has been held by Leopold II, Prince Leopold (son of Leopold II), Leopold III, Baudouin and now Prince Philippe.

Count of Flanders
This is the title given to the second child of the monarch who is in line for the throne. This title has been held by Prince Philippe, brother of Leopold II and Prince Charles, brother of Leopold III. Right now, nobody uses the title. I suppose it would belong to Princess Astrid.

Count of Hainaut
This is the title given to the first child of the Duke of Brabant who is in line for the throne. This title was carried by Leopold, the son of Leopold II, and Baudouin, son of Leopold III.
Now, this title would go to Princess Elisabeth.

Prince of Liège
This is the title given to the second child in of the Duke of Brabant who is in line for the throne. This title was formerly used by Albert II, and would now be given to Prince Gabriel.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:19 PM
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Origin of the title "The Duke of Brabant"

From this Wikipedia article:

Quote:
The Duchy of Brabant was formally erected in 1183/1184. The title "Duke of Brabant" was created by the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I, 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 since 1085/1086 existing 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, Count Palatine Herman II of Lotharingia († September 20, 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.
See also this thread.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:21 PM
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Origin of the title "The Count of Flanders"

From this Wikipedia article:

Quote:
The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders from the 9th century until the abolition of the position by the French revolutionaries in 1790.
Although the early rulers, from Arnulf I onwards, were sometime referred to as margraves or marquesses, this alternate title largely fell out of use by the 12th century. Since then the rulers of Flanders have only been referred to as counts.
The counts of Flanders enlarged their estate through a series of diplomatic manoeuvres. The counties of Hainaut, Namur, Béthune, Nevers, Auxerre, Rethel, Burgundy, and Artois were acquired via marriage with the respective heiresses. Ironically, the county of Flanders itself suffered the same fate. By the marriage of Margaret III, Countess of Flanders with Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the county and the subsidiary counties were absorbed into the Duchy of Burgundy in 1405.
See also this thread.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:23 PM
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Origin of the title "The Count of Hainaut":

From this wikipedia article:

Quote:

The county of Hainaut, located in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, near to the borders with the Kingdom of France, emerged from the refeudalisation of three counties in 1071:
  • the county of Mons
  • the southern part of the landgraviate of Brabant
  • the Ottonian margraviate of Valenciennes
The unification of the county of Hainaut as imperial fief was accomplished in 1071, when Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut tried to sell her fiefs to Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor after she was defeated in the Battle of Kassel. Henry IV ordered the Bishop of Liège to purchase the fiefs, then return them as a unified county to the countess Richilde and under feudal intermediance to the Duke of Lower Lotharingia. The counts of Hainaut had several historical connections with the counts of Flanders and Holland, to whom they had strong family ties.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:26 PM
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Origin of the title "Prince de Liège"

From this wikipedia article:

Quote:
The Bishopric of Liège or Prince-Bishopric of Liège was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries in present Belgium. It belonged from 1500 on to the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle. It was headed by the Prince-Bishop of Liège. Its territory included most of the present Belgian provinces of Liège and Limburg, and some exclaves in other parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. The capital was Liège (which, as the bishopric, is Lüttich in German and Luik in Dutch).
The bishop of Liège received secular powers over the county of Huy — part of the diocese — in the 10th century. The bishopric was expanded with the lordship of Bouillon in 1096 (ceded to France in 1678), the county of Loon (French: Looz) in 1366 and the county of Horne (near Weert, Netherlands) in 1568. The bishopric of Liège was not part of the Seventeen Provinces or the Southern Netherlands, but its politics were influenced by the dukes of Burgundy and later the Habsburgs.
The bishopric was dissolved in 1795, when it was conquered by France. Its territory was divided over the départements Meuse-Inférieure, Ourthe, and Sambre-et-Meuse.
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
Count of Hainaut
This is the title given to the first child of the Duke of Brabant who is in line for the throne. Only Baudouin carried this title, when his father was Duke of Brabant.
Now, this title would go to Princess Elisabeth.
Is it true that this title was abolished by a royal decree because it was not linguistically neutral?
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:56 PM
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When Mathilde was pregnant for Elisabeth , they decided to abolish this royal degree because they knew it was a girl and she would be our first Crown Princess.
Emmanuel and Gabriel , Laurent , Nicolas and his twin are Princes of Belgium..
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:08 PM
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I don't get it. What's wrong with Elisabeth having a substantive title to bear before becoming Duchess of Brabant?

By the way, does the title of Crown Prince(ess) of Belgium really exist? I always thought that the heir apparent to the throne of Belgium bears the title of Duke of Brabant, just like the British heir apparent bears the title(s) of Duke of Cornwall & Rothesay and/or Prince of Wales. I assume that only Scandinavian countries have the title of Crown Prince, while the other European countries have special substantive titles reserved for the heir (Prince of Asturias, Prince of Wales, Duke of Brabant, Prince of Orange, etc).
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:19 PM
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Not only Scandinavian countries, but also Austria, Bavaria, Prussia have a Kronprinz, and Monaco has a Prince Heritier (or Princesse Heritiere).
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:26 PM
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Yes, of course, but I meant current monarchies Still, what about Belgium? Is there the title of Crown Prince or not?
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:22 PM
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Difficult one. People say "crown prince", but I'm not sure if it is an official title. Officially, the Queen is not "queen" either, she has no official title whatsoever. She is simply "madam".

Duke of Brabant, as far as I know, is still official, and this one wasn't abolished because "Brabant" (as such) no longer exists, or maybe because both communities have a part of Brabant now. Linguistic difficulties...

Hainaut is still a province of Belgium, so if Elisabeth would use/bear that title, this might give the impression to the other provinces that she only belongs to Hainaut.

In any case, I did call these titles historical, because now they are no longer in use. I haven't got the courage to read the entire Constitution to check if the titles are still official, I just know for sure they are no longer used. Which is a pity. I believe these titles are a recognition of the rich history of the different countries and counties which now constitute the Kingdom of Belgium (more or less).
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:39 PM
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The titlte Count of Hainault was also held by Prince Leopoldm the only son of King Léopold II. before his father became King.

When prince Philippe married during the civil Wedding all his titles where read in all the 3 speeches and there he was only mentioned as Prince of Belgium, Duke of Brabant and not as Crown prince so i don't think the Title exists.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:46 PM
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Ah, I forgot poor Leopold Junior, son of Leopold II... Sorry

I've added him now, thanks for reminding me
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
Hainaut is still a province of Belgium, so if Elisabeth would use/bear that title, this might give the impression to the other provinces that she only belongs to Hainaut.
Do you think that majority of the Belgians think this way? And I thought that my country is torn between the different nations
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:25 AM
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Well, not necessarily. But the BRF has become very wary of anything that might indicate "separation" between the two major communities, so that is why they have given up using all these titles except "Brabant", because both communities have a piece of that former province. (While, of course, those titles don't even really refer to the current provinces of Hainaut, Liège, the two Brabants, or to the current territory of Flanders)

But like I said, I think it's ridiculous. Those titles are references to the rich history of Belgium, and if all of them were given and used, the Royal Family would unite the four major historical entities. I suppose that's why they were taken up from under the dust in the first place, when Belgium became independent.
But perceptions change, and where once this use ensured unity, now it emphasises differences.
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