Ligne family

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Armoiries de la Maison de Ligne.png
Current regionBelgium
Place of originLigne in Belgium
DistinctionsPrinces de Ligne
Estate(s)Château de Belœil
Princely family of Ligne
Blason Fécocourt 54.svg

  • HH Prince Wauthier
    HH Princess Regine
    • HH Prince Philippe
      HH Princess Laetitia
      • HH Prince Jean Charles
      • HH Princess Aliénor
    • HH Princess Melanie Yolande
    • HH Princess Élisabeth Éléonore, Baroness Gillès de Pelichy
  • HH Princess Anne Marie, Mrs. Mortgat
  • HRH Princess Christine of Orléans-Braganza
  • HH The Countess of Nicolay
  • HH Prince Antoine
    HH Princess Jacqueline
    • HH Prince Louis
    • HH Princess Marie
    • HH Princess Florence

Ligne is one of the oldest Belgian noble families, dating back to the eleventh century.[1] The family's name comes from the village in which it originated, between Ath and Tournai.


The lords of Ligne belonged to the entourage of the Count of Hainaut at the time of the Crusades.[2] With the battle of Bouvines in 1214, they were described as "great name and men of honour" by the chroniclers of the time.

Their progressive rise in the nobility began as barons in the twelfth century, counts of Fauquemberg and princes of Épinoy in the sixteenth century, then princes of Amblise in 1608.[1] The family became Imperial counts on 18 December 1544, then Lamoral I received from Emperor Rudolf II the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire as Prince de Ligne on 20 March 1601,[1] for all of his agnatic descendants, both male and female.

Compensation for loss of the Imperial County of Ligne (Fagnolles, since that barony had become seat of the county in 1789) as a result of the Peace of Lunéville consisted of substitution of the secularized Imperial abbey of Edelstetten, with an individual vote guaranteed in the Imperial College of Princes in 1803.[1] That principality was, however, sold to Prince Nikolaus Esterházy on 22 May 1804,[1] before the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire, of which Edelstetten had been a constituent Imperial state, in 1806.

The style of Highness was confirmed for all members of extant branches of the family on 31 May 1923, and the titles of Prince d'Amblise and Prince d'Epinoy recognized for the head of the house on 22 October of the same year by the Belgian Crown.[1]

There have been cadet branches of this house: Barbançon, Barbançon-Arenberg, Moy, Ham and Arenberg, La Trémoïlle.

Abbots and abbesses[edit]

Within this family, there were the following abbots and abbesses:

  • Gérard de Ligne (†1270) Abbot de Cambrai
  • Mahaut de Ligne (c. 1275) Abbess d'Epinlieu
  • Marie de Ligne (c. 1500) Abbess de Mons
  • Marie de Ligne (c. 1550) Abbess de Cambrai
  • Catherine de Ligne (†1581) Abbess de Thorn (La Thure)

Princes de Ligne [3][4][edit]

Other members of the family[edit]

Claimants to the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, Armenia, and Naples:

Princess Sophie de Ligne (born 1957), of the House of Ligne, married Philippe de Nicolay (born 1955) a director of the Rothschild group, great-grandson of Salomon James de Rothschild and member of the Nicolay family

Arms of the House of Ligne[edit]

The coat of arms of the family is blazoned as Or a bend gules.[5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Herpin, Clara Adèle Luce (1887). Memoirs of the Princesse de Ligne. R. Bentley. ASIN B00085JKTO.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV. "Ligne". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1991, pp. 495-500. ISBN 978-3-7980-0700-0.
  2. ^ "Ducal and princely houses of Belgium - Belgium Travel Guide - Eupedia". Eupedia.
  3. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "ligne/ligne2.html".[self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "ligne/ligne3.html".[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ Arnaud Bunel. "Maison de Ligne".

External links[edit]