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