Genealogy of the Royal House of Aragon

The Royal House of Aragon was founded by Jaime I of Aragon

(“The Conqueror”) who reigned as King of Aragon 1213-1276.

The Kingdom of Aragon was one of the small Christian states

that arose in the Iberian Peninsula as a result of the gradual

expulsion of the Moors, who had dominated the area in the

stele of his conquest of the old Visigothic kingdom of Spain

in the 8th century.

Pedro III succeeded his father Jaime I to the throne in

1276, and for many years the succession continued without

problems. But when King Martín I (the Humanist) of Aragon

died in 1410, had no sons to succeed him, and had

No successor is named. The only written law of succession

It was the Will of James I that confirmed the principle of

male birthright, but this was not followed. Six claimants

to the throne he stepped forward. Through intrigues and

political control of the succession law was established

aside, and a group of nine electors gathered to

decide on the respective claims. They met in Caspe in

Aragon in 1412, and by the very composition of the group a

decision of one of the plaintiffs, Fernando de Antequera,

made sure in advance. Thus came to power in a way

similar to a coup in conflict with the prevailing order of


This point is also emphasized by TN Bisson, who for many

years he was professor of medieval history at Harvard

University. In discussing Caspe’s “commitment” in

his book “The medieval crown of Aragon” points out that

“… the issue was (or became) political rather than simply

legal, a utilitarian question of which candidate with some

the dynastic claim would make the best king “(op. cit., pp.


When James Count of Urgel, who should have inherited the

throne after Martin I, died in captivity in 1433 on

legitimate line passed to the Duke of Gandia who died

without heir in 1454. The legal succession thus passed in

1454 to the House of Ayerbe where the Princes of Cassano

were heads of the House until their line died with

the death of Joseph, the last prince of Cassano.

The succession passed from there to the cadet branch of the

Casa de Ayerbe, the line of Peter, the youngest son of

King James the Conqueror in his third marriage. Peter first

The Baron of Ayerbe had a son, Michael, who in turn fathered a child,

Giovanni the Elder born in 1347 and who in 1398 became Vicar

General of the Kingdom of Sicily. Giovanni married Sibilla

Spadafora and from that union steadily descend the line of

the House of Paternò.

Over the centuries, the descent had caused numerous

branches, many of whom have married. Therefore, when the

last Prince of Cassano died, it was unclear who exactly

had the dynastic right to the jus majestatis of the Lands

of the Crown of Aragon and it became urgently necessary that

the question is answered.

A family conclave, on the initiative of the 7th Duke of

Carcaci Don Francesco Paternò Castello e Sammartino, was

convened on June 14, 1853 and held in Palermo in the palace

of the Marquis of Spedalotto, head of one of the oldest

branches of the family. After a review of the

evidence and extensive discussion, was the finding

conclave that the royal rights, which had been the

subject to discussion, it must be confirmed as belonging to

Don Mario, son of the younger brother of the Duke of Carcaci, Don

Giovanni and his wife Donna Eleonora Guttadauro de Emmanuel

Riburdone, the heir to the House of Guttadauro. This

conclusion that he had received the assent of King Ferdinand

II of the Two Sicilies was achieved by recognizing that

Don Mario only had the royal blood of Aragon in his veins

from two sources, through the separate descents of their two

mother and father of King James the Conqueror.

A family compact was then signed and recorded on June 16, 1853.

in the Royal Chamber of Seals and Records of the Kingdom

of the Two Sicilies. It was decreed that during the minority

of Don Mario, his father Don Giovanni should be Regent.

The sealing of the family pact was just one of a series of

events after the death of the last prince of Cassano

that determined and confirmed the dynastic rights of the

House of Paternò Castello Guttadauro. The final guarantee

came on February 2, 1860 when the Royal Commission to

Titles of nobility recommended to the new King Francis II

that a request from “Ecc’mo Sig. Don Mario Paternò Castello

The Guttadauro dei Duchi di Carcaci is awarded. The request was

that the Prince should receive all confirmation from the

The assent of the sovereign to those “chivalric distinctions” that

wished to bestow. On February 11, 1860 the king

approved the recommendation of the Royal Commission and

ordered the Secretary of State for Sicilian Affairs to give

effect upon approval.

In 1996, after the abdication of his father, HRH Don

Francesco became Head of the Royal House of Aragon, Mallorca

and Sicily as Prince of Emanuel and Duke of Perpignan.

More information about the Royal House of Aragon, Mallorca

and Sicily, and its international commitment to cavalry

and charities, is available at

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