House of Ligne

The House of Ligne is one of the oldest Belgian noble families, dating back to the eleventh century.[1] The family's name comes from the village of Ligne [fr] where it originated,[2] between Ath and Tournai in what is now the Hainaut province of Belgium.

House of Ligne
Prince of Ligne.svg
Current regionBelgium
Place of originLigne in Hainaut
Founded11th century
Current headMichel, 14th Prince of Ligne
TitlesPrince de Ligne
Prince d'Épinoy
Prince d'Amblise
Estate(s)Château de Belœil


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, Moÿ, Ham and Arenberg, La Trémoïlle.

Abbots and abbessesEdit

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 LigneEdit

[3][better source needed][4][better source needed]

Other members of the familyEdit

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

  • Charles-Antoine, Prince de Ligne de La Trémoïlle (1946–), third cousin once removed of Michel, 14th Prince de Ligne, see above
    • Prince Edouard Lamoral de Ligne de La Trémoïlle (1976–), heir
      • Prince Antoine de Ligne-la Tremoille (born 2019)
    • Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne-La Trémoïlle (born 1980).
      • Prince Amadeo Joseph de Ligne-La Trémoïlle (born 2012)

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

Archduchess Yolande of Austria (b.1923), daughter of the 11th Prince of Ligne, was the daughter-in-law of Emperor Charles I of Austria.

Alix, Princess of Ligne (1929–2019), wife of the 13th Prince of Ligne was born Princess of Luxembourg as daughter of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and Felix of Bourbon-Parma.

Her daughter is Princess Yolande de Ligne (b.1963), daughter-in-law of Peter Townsend (RAF officer), linked romantically with Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, sister of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne-La Trémoïlle married at Antoing Castle on 20 November 2010 to Ran Li (currently called Princess Ran), who is a Chinese. She is Europe's first Chinese Princess.

The current (14th) Prince of Ligne is husband of a Princess of the Imperial Family of Brazil

Arms of the House of LigneEdit

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

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Castle history". Château de Belœil. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  3. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "ligne/ligne2.html".[self-published source]
  4. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "ligne/ligne3.html".[self-published source]
  5. ^ Arnaud Bunel. "Maison de Ligne". Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2008-02-04.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit