René of Chalon
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|René of Châlon, Prince of Orange|
René of Châlon
5 February 1519|
Breda, Duchy of Brabant
|Died||15 July 1544
Saint-Dizier, Kingdom of France
|Buried||Grote Kerk (Breda)|
|Noble family||Châlon-Arlay and Nassau-Breda|
|Spouse(s)||Anna of Lorraine|
|Father||Henry III of Nassau-Breda|
|Mother||Claudia of Châlon|
René was born in Breda, the only son of Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda and Claudia of Châlon. Claudia's brother, Philibert of Châlon, was the last Prince of Orange from the house of Châlon. When Philibert died in 1530, René inherited the Princedom of Orange on condition that he used the name and coat of arms of the Châlon-Orange family. History knows him therefore as René of Châlon instead of as "René of Nassau-Breda." 
In 1544, René took part in the siege of St. Dizier in the service of Emperor Charles V. He was mortally wounded in battle and died with the Emperor attending at his bedside. René was buried in Grote Kerk in Breda, near the resting-place of his short-lived daughter. A commemorative cenotaph stands in the church of St. Etienne in Bar-le-Duc.
René of Châlon, as the last descendant of the original princes, left the principality to his first cousin William of Nassau-Dillenburg (better known as "William the Silent"), who was not a descendant of the original Orange family but became the legal heir to the principality of Orange, and all of René's lands. Thus, the principality which René had inherited from his mother was passed to his father's brother's son.
The principality of Orange had already passed, through the female line, from the first dynasty of Orange to the families Les Baux, and then to De Châlon. It now passed to a family which was not descended in blood at all from any of the preceding families.
William added the name of Orange to his own paternal dignities and thus became in 1544 the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau.
|Ancestors of René of Chalon|
- Grew, Marion Ethel (1947). The House of Orange. 36 Essex Street, Strand, London W.C.2: Methuen & Co. Ltd.
- Rietstap, Johannes Baptist (2003). Armorial general. vol.2. Genealogical Publishing Co. p. 297. ISBN 0-8063-4811-9.
- Rowen, Herbert H. (1988). The princes of Orange: the stadholders in the Dutch Republic. Cambridge University Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-8063-4811-9.
- Motley, John Lothrop (1855). The Rise of the Dutch Republic. vol.1. Harper Brothers Publishers. p. 235.
René of ChalonBorn: 5 February 1519 Died: 15 July 1544
Philibert of Chalon
|Prince of Orange
William the Silent
Henry III of Nassau-Breda
|Baron of Breda
Antoine I de Lalaing
|Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht
Louis of Praet
Floris van Egmont
|Stadtholder of Guelders
Philip de Lalaing