Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Blood Royal

I am running an historical game, so I try to use the correct titles in game. The names and titles of French nobles can be quite elaborate. Sometimes I simplify the names by which an important NPC is known just to make life easier on me and my players. One of the period elements in highest of the French nobility are the specific terms of address or styling for the uppermost nobles, those of royal blood or descent. One fortunate part of the 1620s time period is that the royal family is much smaller than it will become during the long reign of Louis XIV.

Here's what I am using in our campaign for styling. I've included the names of the various royals and princes and princesses du sang and the legitimized royal offspring. I’ve also included the Flashing Blades Social Ranks for the great nobles.

Since the swashbuckling genre typically has the heroes interacting with the upper levels of society this makes knowing who is who even more important since these folks will provide many of the patrons and adversaries during the campaign.

The Royal Family

The king, queen, queen dowager, enfants de France (Children of France) and petits-enfants de France (Grandchildren of France) constituted the famille du roi (Royal Family).

Le Roi (the King)    SR-20

Louis XIII, son of Henri IV, born in Fontainebleau on Sept. 16, 1601.

The Queen Consort   SR-19 

Anne d'Autriche (Anne of Austria) the Queen Consort of France, daughter of Phillip II of Spain, (b. 1601)

The Queen Mother   SR-19

Marie de Medici (b. 1575)

Heraldic crown of a Fils de France.

Fils de France and Fille de France

Fils de France (French pronunciation: [fis də fʁɑ̃s], Son of France) was the style and rank held by the sons of the kings of France. A daughter was known as a Fille de France (French pronunciation: [fij də fʁɑ̃s], Daughter of France).
Daughters were referred to by their given name prefaced with the honorific Madame, while sons were referred to by their main peerage title (usually ducal), with the exception of the dauphin. The king's eldest daughter was known as Madame Royale until she married, whereupon the next eldest fille de France succeeded to that style.

Monsieur   SR-18

 Monsieur le Dauphin was a form of address for the dauphin. The dauphin de France (strictly-speaking the dauphin de Viennois), was the title used for the heir apparent to the throne of France. Gaston of France, Duke of Orléans (1608–1660), younger brother of Louis XIII (1601–1643), was known simply as Monsieur, the honorific that belongs to the oldest living brother of the King, and was the first fils de France to assume the use of altesse royale abroad.

Madame Royale   SR-17

This was the style of the eldest surviving daughter of the king. Princess Élisabeth of France, eldest daughter of King Henry IV. In 1615, Élisabeth was married to the future king, Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665). On her marriage in 1615, the style reverted to her younger sister, Christine Marie.

Princess Christine Marie of France (1606–1663), the second daughter of Henry IV and Marie de' Medici. In 1619, Christine was married to Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1587–1637). She assumed the style of Madame Royale upon the marriage of her older sister, the Queen of Spain.


Princess Henrietta Maria of France (b. 1609) is the third daughter of Henri IV, she marries Crown Prince Charles of England in 1625.

Madame   SR-17

The style of the dynastic wife of the dauphin is Madame la Dauphine. The wife of Monsieur, Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier (1605–1627), was known simply as Madame.

Petit-fils de France   SR-17

Grandson of France. This was the style and rank accorded to the sons of the fils de France, who were themselves the sons of the kings and dauphins of France. However, as surnames, they used the paternal main peerage title. Females had the style petite-fille de France (Granddaughter of France).
The petits-enfants de France, like the enfants de France, were entitled to be addressed as son altesse royale. Additionally, they traveled and lodged wherever the king did, could dine with him, and were entitled to an armchair in his presence.
Yet as hosts, they only offered armchairs to foreign monarchs—whom they addressed as Monseigneur rather than "Sire". Nor did they pay visits to foreign ambassadors, nor extend to them a hand in greeting. They only wore full mourning for deceased members of the royal family.
When entering a town, they were greeted with a presentation of arms by the royal garrison, by the firing of cannon, and by a delegation of local officials. However, only the sons and daughters of France were entitled to dine au grand couvert, that is, alone on a canopied dais amidst non-royal onlookers.

Mademoiselle   SR-17

This style was usually held by the eldest daughter of Monsieur and his wife, Madame. Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans (1627–1693), the eldest daughter of Gaston de France will be styled Mademoiselle.

Heraldic crown of a Prince du Sang.

Prince and princesse du Sang   SR-17

A prince of the blood was a person who was legitimately descended in the male line from the monarch of a country. In France, the rank of prince du sang was the highest held at court after the immediate family of the king. A prince de sang had the quality of a peer of France from birth and the right to precede the other peers lay and ecclesiastical in all ceremonies. Princes of the blood take precedence according to their degree of consanguinity.
A prince du sang or a princesse du sang had to be a legitimate member of the reigning dynasty, the House of Bourbon. In some European monarchies, but especially in the kingdom of France, this appellation was a specific rank in its own right, of a more restricted use than other titles. Those who held this rank were usually styled by their main ducal peerage, but sometimes other titles were used, indicating a more precise status than prince du sang.
The princes of the blood hold grand titles and vast estates, and regard senior public offices, like provincial governorships and army commands, as theirs by right. Some of these aristocrats are Catholic, like the Guise family, including the dukes of Lorraine who were related by marriage to the previous Valois dynasty. Others are, at least until recently, Huguenots and related to the current Bourbon dynasty. The princes du sang are an underlying problem because the French monarchy currently lacks the means to integrate its proud, rich aristocrats and their numerous provincial clients into the political system.

Monsieur le Prince   SR-17

Monsieur le Prince is the style of the First Prince of the Blood (French: premier prince du sang), which normally belonged to the most senior (by primogeniture) male member of the royal dynasty who is neither a fils de France (son of France) nor a petit-fils de France (grandson of France). The current is Henri II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1588–1646) of the House of Bourbon-Condé.

In practice, it was not always clear who was entitled to the rank, and it often took a specific act of the king to make the determination.
The rank carried with it various privileges, including the right to a household paid out of state revenues. The rank was held for life: the birth of a new, more senior prince who qualified for the position did not deprive the current holder of his use of the style. The Princes of Condé use the style of Monsieur le Prince.

Madame la Princesse   SR-17

This style is held by the wife of Prince of Condé, Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency.

Monsieur le Duc   SR-17

This style is used for the eldest son of the Prince de Condé, Louis de Bourbon, Duke d’Enghien (b. 1621).

Mademoiselle la Duchesse   SR-17

This style is used for the eldest daughter of the Prince de Condé, Anne Geneviève de Bourbon (b. 1619)

Monsieur le Comte   SR-17

This address is used by Louis de Bourbon the head of the House of Bourbon-Soissons the most junior branch of the House of Bourbon. He is the second cousin of King Louis XIII; his wife is styled Madame la Comtesse. The comtes de Soissons descended from the Princes of Condé.

Legitimized royal offspring   SR-15

Legitimized children of the King of France, and of other males of his dynasty, took surnames according to the branch of the House of Capet to which their father belonged, e.g. xxx, was the elder son of Henri IV by his mistress, Mme yyy. After the legitimization occurred, the child was given a title. Males were given titles from their father's lands and estates and females were given the style of Mademoiselle de X. Children born out of wedlock to a French king or prince were never recognized as fils de France. However, if legitimized, the king might raise them to a rank just below or even equivalent to that of a prince du sang. They were customarily deemed princes légitimés (Legitimated Princes).

Illegitimate Children of Henri IV by Gabrielle d'Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort

César de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme (3 June 1594-22 October 1665) legitimized January 1595. Married Françoise de Lorraine. In 1626, he participated in a plot against Cardinal Richelieu. He was captured and held in prison until 1630.

Catherine-Henriette de Bourbon (26 March 1596-20 June 1663) legitimized March 1597. Married Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf.

Alexandre, Chevalier de Vendôme (23 April 1598-8 February 1629) legitimized April 1599. After the 1626 plot with his brother César, he was held in prison until his death.

Illegitimate Children of Henri IV by Henriette d'Entragues, Marquise de Verneuil

Gaston Henri, Duc de Verneuil (3 November 1601-28 May 1682) legitimized January 1603. Married Charlotte Seguier, daughter of Pierre Séguier, Duc de Villemor.

Gabrielle Angelique, called Mademoiselle de Verneuil (21 January 1603-24 April 1627) legitimized, unknown date. Married Bernard de Nogaret de Foix, Duc de La Valette et d'Epernon

Illegitimate Children of Henri IV by Jacqueline de Bueil, Countess of Moret

Antoine, Count de Moret (9 May 1607-1 September 1632) legitimized January 1608. Abbot of St. Etienne. Died from wounds received in action,

Illegitimate Children of Henri IV by Charlotte des Essarts, Countess of Romorantin

Jeanne Baptiste (early January 1608-16 January 1670) legitimized May 1608. Abbess of Fontevrault.

Marie Henriette 1609 Unknown, but her birth was legitimized. 10 February 1629 Abbess of Chelles.

Orléans-Longueville   SR-15

The branch of the ducs de Longueville bore the surname d'Orléans, as legitimized descendants of Jean, bâtard d'Orléans, the natural son of a Valois prince who held the appanage of Orléans before the Bourbons did. Non-legitimized natural children of royalty took whatever surname the king permitted, which might or might not be that of the dynasty.

Noble Naming Customs

This naming custom of referring to the eldest son as Monsieur and the eldest daughter as Mademoiselle is not confined to the royal family. Even untitled noble families followed the same habit.


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