Duke of Valentinois

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Duke of Valentinois (French: Duc de Valentinois; Italian: Duca Valentino), formerly Count of Valentinois, is a title of nobility, originally in the French peerage. It is currently one of the many hereditary titles claimed by the Prince of Monaco despite its extinction in French law in 1949. Though it originally indicated administrative control of the Duchy of Valentinois, the duchy has since become part of France, making the title simply one of courtesy.

It has been created at least four times: on August 17, 1498, for Cesare Borgia, in 1548 for Diane of Poitiers, in 1642 for Prince Honoré II of Monaco, and most recently in 1715 for Prince Jacques I of Monaco.

Predecessor: Countes of Valentinois[edit]

First creation[edit]

Louis XII created Cesare Borgia Duke of Valentinois in 1498. Both the Italianized form of this title and his previous appointment as Cardinal of Valencia led to his commonly used nickname: "Il Valentino". After Cesare's death, his daughter Louise Borgia (1500–1553) not became Duchess suo jure due to the male-only succession of the title, but was instead styled "Dame Valentinois", titular Duchess of Romagna and Countess of Diois.

Duke Birth Tenure Death Marriage(s)
Issue
Claim
Coat of arms of Cesare Borgia as Duke of Valentinois.svg
Cesare Borgia
Other titles
Cesareborgia.jpg 13 September 1475
Rome, Papacy
Natural son of Pope Alexander VI
and Vannozza dei Cattanei
17 August 1498

12 March 1507
12 March 1507
Viana, Navarre
Killed during
the Siege of Viana

(aged 31)
Charlotte of Albret
(m. 1499; wid. 1507)
1 children
Created duke by King Louis XII

Second creation[edit]

Henry II of France created his mistress Diane de Poitiers Duchess of Valentinois in 1548. She was the only suo jure Duchess and her title was destinated to end after her death, due to the Salic law commonly used among French nobility.

Duke Birth Tenure Death Marriage(s)
Issue
Claim
Armes de diane de poitiers.png
Diane de Poitiers
Other titles
DianeDePoitiers01.jpg 3 September 1499
Saint-Vallier, Dauphiné
Daughter of Jean de Poitiers
and Jeanne de Batarnay
17 August 1498

25 April 1566
25 April 1566
Château d'Anet, Orléanais
Died by natural causes
(aged 66)
Louis de Brézé
(m. 1515; d. 1531)
2 children
Created duchess by King Henry II

Third creation[edit]

King Louis XIII of France created the title by letters patent, signed in May 1642 and registered on 18 July 1642, as a conglomeration of several estates in the French province of Dauphiné which he had previously given to Honoré II, Prince of Monaco.

The first person to hold the title was Honoré II, Prince of Monaco, reigning Prince at the time of its creation; on his death it passed to his son Louis I, and thence to Louis's son Antoine. However, since the title's inheritance was restricted to male heirs, and because Antoine had only daughters and no sons, it was due to pass his brother, François-Honoré Grimaldi, but became extinct on 22 July 1715 when François-Honoré forfeited his right to succeed Antoine.

Duke Birth Tenure Death Marriage(s)
Issue
Claim
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Honoré II
Other titles
HonoriusIIMonaco-1-.jpg 24 December 1597
Monaco
Son of Ercole of Monaco
and Maria Landi
18 July 1642

10 January 1662
10 January 1662
Monaco
Died by natural causes
(aged 64)
Ippolita Trivulzio
(m. 1616; d. 1538)
1 children
Created duke by King Louis XIII
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Louis I
Other titles
Portrait Louis I, Prince of Monaco by an unknown artist.jpg 25 July 1642
Monaco
Son of Honoré II
and Ippolita Trivulzio
18 July 1642

3 January 1701
3 January 1701
Rome, Papacy
Died by natural causes
(aged 58)
Catherine de Gramont
(m. 1660; d. 1678)
6 children
Son of Honoré II
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Antoine I
Other titles
1706 - Antoine I Grimaldi (Monaco).jpg 25 January 1661
Paris, France
Son of Louis I
and Catherine de Gramont
3 January 1701

22 July 1715
(Devolved his rights)
20 February 1731
Monaco
Died by natural causes
(aged 70)
Marie of Lorraine
(m. 1688; d. 1724)
6 children
Son of Louis I
(male proximity)

Fourth Creation[edit]

On 20 October 1715, Antoine's eldest daughter and heiress Louise-Hippolyte married Jacques-François de Goyon-Matignon, who had signed a contract on 5 September 1715 by which he was obliged to take the surname Grimaldi. Louis XV thereupon recreated the title of Valentinois by letters patent, signed in December 1715 and registered on 2 September 1716, for Jacques, who was to succeed his father-in-law Antoine as Prince Jacques I; like the previous creation, its inheritance was restricted to male heirs.

After Jacques's abdication in 1733, the title passed uninterrupted for several generations from Prince to Prince: from Jacques to Honoré III, Honoré IV, Honoré V, Florestan I, Charles III, Albert I. Albert bestowed the title of Duchess of Valentinois upon his adopted granddaughter Charlotte, thenceforth known as Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, on 20 May 1919. On 20 March 1920, shortly after Charlotte's marriage to Pierre de Polignac, he, like Jacques-François de Goyon-Matignon, took the title of Duke of Valentinois, having already changed his surname to Grimaldi.

Duke Birth Tenure Death Marriage(s)
Issue
Claim
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Jacques I
Other titles
Jacques Grimaldi.jpg 21 November 1689
Torigni-sur-Vire
Son of Jacques de Matignon
and Charlotte de Thorigny
2 September 1716

7 November 1733
(Ceaded his title)
23 April 1751
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Died by natural causes
(aged 61)
Louise Hippolyte of Monaco
(m. 1715; d. 1731)
9 children
Created duke by King Louis XV
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Honoré III
Other titles
Prince Honoré III in 1781 by Johann Melchior Wyrsch,.jpg 10 November 1720
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Jacques I
and Louise Hippolyte of Monaco
7 November 1733

21 March 1795
21 March 1795
Paris, France
Died imprisoned by
revolutionaries
(aged 74)
Maria Caterina Brignole
(m. 1751; wid. 1795)
2 children
Son of Jacques I
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Honoré IV
Other titles
Houdetot - Honoré de Monaco.jpg 17 May 1758
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Honoré III
and Maria Caterina Brignole
21 March 1795

16 February 1819
16 February 1819
Monaco
Died by natural causes
(aged 60)
Louise d'Aumont
(m. 1777; div. 1798)
2 children
Son of Honoré III
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Honoré V
Other titles
Honore V Monaco.gif 13 May/14 May 1778
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Honoré IV
and Louise d'Aumont
16 February 1819

2 October 1841
2 October 1841
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Died by natural causes
(aged 63)
Never married Son of Honoré IV
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Florestan I
Other titles
FlorestanI-1-.png 10 October 1785
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Honoré IV
and Louise d'Aumont
2 October 1841

20 June 1856
20 June 1856
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Died by natural causes
(aged 70)
Maria Caroline Gibert
(m. 1816; wid. 1856)
2 children
Son of Honoré IV
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Charles III
Other titles
CharlesIIIMonaco.jpg 8 December 1818
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Florestan I
and Maria Caroline Gibert
20 June 1856

10 September 1889
10 September 1889
Château de Marchais
Died by natural causes
(aged 70)
Antoinette de Mérode
(m. 1846; d. 1864)
1 children
Son of Florestan I
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Albert I
Other titles
Portrait of Albert I, Prince of Monaco.jpg 13 November 1848
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Son of Charles III
and Antoinette de Mérode
10 September 1889

26 June 1922
26 June 1922
Hôtel Matignon, Paris
Died by natural causes
(aged 73)
(1) Mary Victoria Hamilton
(m. 1869; div. 1880)
1 children
(2) Alice Heine
(m. 1889; wid. 1922)
Childless
Son of Charles III
(male proximity)
Coat of arms of Grimaldi.svg
Louis II
Other titles
Le prince Louis II (1870-1949).jpg 12 July 1870
Baden, Baden
Son of Albert I
and Mary Victoria Hamilton
26 June 1922

9 May 1949
9 May 1949
Monaco
Died by natural causes
(aged 78)
Ghislaine Dommanget
(m. 1946; wid. 1949)
Childless
Son of Albert I
(male proximity)

Although Albert I had granted the title of Valentinois to his granddaughter Charlotte, its right to succession remained with Louis II and his legitimate male descendants; consequently, on his death without a male heir in 1949, it became extinct in French law and under Salic Law. However, his successor, Rainier III (son of Charlotte), still claimed it, possibly in the belief, as suggested by François Velde, that it was "implicitly recreated for Charlotte by the French Republic in 1919 when her adoption was approved". However, the various French Republics have never created nor re-created any dukedom.

According to Almanach de Gotha, the title used in Monaco corresponds to a Monegasque concession of a title which otherwise would not be recognized in France, specially having in account that when Charlotte was created Duchess by her father, her grandfather was still the living Prince of Monaco with the right to the title of Duke, and only his son could succeed to the French title. Beside, only legitimate children can inherit French titles.

References[edit]

  • Velde, Francois. "Monaco". Heraldica. Retrieved March 27, 2005.
  • "Cesare Borgia". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 4, 2005.

See also[edit]