Prince Ferdinando Pio, Duke of Castro

Prince Ferdinand Pius (Ferdinando Pio Maria), Duke of Castro (25 July 1869, Rome – 7 January 1960, Lindau), was head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and pretender to the throne of the extinct Kingdom of the Two Sicilies from 1934 to 1960.

Prince Ferdinand Pius
Duke of Castro, Duke of Calabria
Ferdinando Pius.jpg
Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Tenure26 May 1934 – 7 January 1960
PredecessorPrince Alfonso
Prince Ranieri (brother)
Infante Alfonso (nephew)
Born(1869-07-25)25 July 1869
Rome, Papal States
Died7 January 1960(1960-01-07) (aged 90)
Lindau, Bavaria, Germany
Filialkirche St. Peter und Paul, Rieden, Swabia, Germany
SpousePrincess Maria Ludwiga Theresia of Bavaria
IssuePrincess Maria Antonietta
Princess Maria Cristina
Prince Ruggiero Maria, Duke of Noto
Princess Barbara Maria
Princess Lucia, Duchess of Genoa
Princess Urraca Maria
Italian: Ferdinando Pio Maria
HouseBourbon-Two Sicilies
FatherPrince Alfonso, Count of Caserta
MotherPrincess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Ferdinand was the eldest child and son of Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta and his wife Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. He was a grandson of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and an older brother of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Maria Immaculata, Princess Johann Georg of Saxony, Maria Cristina, Archduchess Peter Ferdinand of Austria, Maria di Grazia, Princess Imperial of Brazil, Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, Prince Philip of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and Prince Gabriel of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Marriage and issueEdit

Ferdinand married Princess Maria Ludwiga Theresia of Bavaria, daughter of King Ludwig III of Bavaria on 31 May 1897. They had six children:[1][2]

Ferdinand and Maria lived for many years at Villa Amsee, Lindau. It was there that he died in 1960.

Disputed successionEdit

Following Ferdinand's death, the headship of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was claimed by both his nephew Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, and his brother Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, and remains disputed between their descendants. The basis of Alfonso’s claim was that his late father, Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1870–1949), had been Ferdinand's next oldest brother.[3] But Henri, Count of Paris, upheld the claim of Ferdinand's younger brother, Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro (1883–1973), contending that Carlos had renounced his rights of succession for himself and his descendants in 1901 when he married the Spanish heiress presumptive María de las Mercedes, Princess of Asturias. The Count of Paris was well aware that his own claim to the French throne depended on the validity of the renunciation in 1713 of Philippe, Duc d'Anjou, in favor of the junior House of Orléans.[3]

In 1900, Prince Carlos had executed the Act of Cannes, in anticipation of his marriage to María de las Mercedes, and in 1901 he became a Spanish subject and accepted the title of Infante. The position of Ranieri was that by so doing Carlos had renounced any claim to the throne of the Two Sicilies. But Alfonso had a different interpretation, which was that the Act of Cannes would have taken effect only if Mercedes and Carlos had succeeded to the Spanish throne. He also argued that the Act of Cannes was invalid under the succession rules of the house of Two Sicilies. The dispute remains unresolved.[4]





  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved 2006-03-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2010-07-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  3. ^ a b Philippe de Montjouvent, Le Comte de Paris et sa Descendance (Charenton: Editions du Chaney, 1998 ISBN 2-913211-00-3), pp. 251-261, 264-265, 270-272
  4. ^ Olga S. Opfell, Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2001), pp. 37–38
Prince Ferdinando Pio, Duke of Castro
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 25 July 1869 Died: 7 January 1960
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of the Two Sicilies
26 May 1934 – 7 January 1960
Reason for succession failure:
Italian Unification under the House of Savoy
Succeeded by