Charles III, Duke of Parma

Charles III, Duke of Parma
Charles III
Duke of Parma and Piacenza
Duke of Parma and Piacenza
Reign 17 May 1849–27 March 1854
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Robert I
Spouse Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France
Margherita, Duchess of Madrid
Robert I, Duke of Parma
Alice, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Henry, Count of Bardi
Full name
Italian: Ferdinando Carlo Giuseppe Maria Vittorio Baldassare
Father Charles II, Duke of Parma
Mother Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy
Born 14 January 1823(1823-01-14)
Villa delle Pianore, Lucca, Duchy of Parma
Died 27 March 1854(1854-03-27) (aged 31)
Parma, Duchy of Parma
Burial Cappella della Macchia, near Viareggio

Charles III (Italian: Carlo III; 14 January 1823 – 27 March 1854) was Duke of Parma from 1849 to 1854.



Early life

Charles III was born at the Villa delle Pianore near Lucca, the only son of Charles Louis, Prince of Lucca (later Duke of Lucca, and Duke of Parma) and his wife Princess Maria-Theresa of Savoy (daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia). He was given the baptismal names Ferdinando Carlo Vittorio Giuseppe Maria Baldassarre. Until his accession as Duke of Parma in 1849 he was called Ferdinando Carlo or Ferdinando. His family called him Danduccio. From 13 March 1824, he bore the title Hereditary Prince of Lucca.

Ferdinando Carlo spent much of the first ten years of his life in Germany and in Vienna. When he was four, the responsibility for his education was entrusted to a Hungarian priest Zsigmond Deáki. He was taught Italian history and language by Lazzaro Papi, Director of the Library of Lucca. He learnt French, Hungarian, German, English, and Spanish.

In 1841 Ferdinando Carlo was sent to Turin to be instructed in the military arts. He received a commission in the Piedmontese army with the rank of Captain in the Novara Cavalry.

Marriage and issue

On 10 November 1845, Ferdinando Carlo married Louise Marie Thérèse of France (1819–1864), the older sister of the Legitimist pretender to the throne of France, the Comte de Chambord. The ceremony took place at Schloss Frohsdorf near Lanzenkirchen in Austria. The couple spent their honeymoon at Üchendorff and then in England.

Ferdinando Carlo and Louise Marie Thérèse had four children:

Carlos, Duke of Madrid, Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne, had issue.
∞ Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (daughter of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and Maria Theresa of Austria), had issue.
∞ Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal (daughter of King Miguel of Portugal and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg), had issue.
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany, had issue.
∞ Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (daughter of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and Maria Theresa of Austria).
∞ Infanta Adelgundes of Portugal, Duchess of Guimarães (daughter of King Miguel of Portugal and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg).

Ferdinando Carlo travelled a great deal. Outside Italy he often used the title Marchese di Castiglione; in Italy he often used the title Conte di Mulazzo.

Acquisition of Parma

On 17 December 1847 Empress Marie Louise died and Ferdinando Carlo's father succeeded as Duke Charles II of Parma. The Duchy of Lucca was incorporated in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and Ferdinando Carlo ceased being Hereditary Prince of Lucca becoming instead Hereditary Prince of Parma.

Restoration and reign

Charles II only reigned for a few months in Parma. In March 1848 revolution broke out in Parma supported by King Charles Albert of Sardinia. Ferdinando Carlo escaped from Parma, but was taken prisoner at Cremona. He remained a prisoner at Milan for several months until the British government negotiated his release. After a brief sojourn on the island of Malta, he travelled to Naples and then Livorno where he was joined by his wife Louise Marie who had just given birth to their first son. Then the family sought refuge in England and Scotland.

In August 1848 the Austrian army entered Parma, and officially restored Charles II. Ferdinando Carlo and his family, however, remained in England, since hostilities continued between the Austrian and Piedmontese armies. For several years Charles II had considered abdicating in favour of Ferdinando Carlo, but he delayed in the hope that when he did so things would be more secure for his son.

On 24 March 1849 the abdication of Charles II was announced. Ferdinando Carlo, still living in England, succeeded to the title of Duke of Parma, Piacenza, and the Annexed States taking the name Charles III. On 18 May 1849 he re-entered Parma, but left again two days later. He did not take over the administration of the duchy until 25 August.

On the evening of 26 March 1854 Charles was taking a walk in the streets of Parma. He was stabbed by an assailant who escaped. He was taken to the Palazzo di Riserva where he died the following evening.

Charles' body was buried in the Cappella della Macchia near Viareggio. His heart was placed in an urn in the crypt of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma.

See also

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 13 March 1824 - 17 December 1847 His Royal Highness the Hereditary Prince of Lucca
  • 17 December 1847 - 17 May 1849 His Royal Highness the Hereditary Prince of Parma
  • 24 March 1849 His Royal Highness the Duke of Parma, Piacenza, and the Annexed States



  • Cecchini, Bianca Maria. La danza delle ombre: Carlo III di Borbone Parma, un regicidio nell'Italia del Risorgimento. Lucca: Istituto storico lucchese, 2001.
  • Franzè, Giuseppe. L'ultimo duca di Parma: potere, amministrazione e società dell'Ottocento. Modena: Artioli, 1984.
  • Myers, Jesse. Baron Ward and the Dukes of Parma. London: Longmans, Green, 1938.
  • Nettement, Alfred François. Madame la duchesse de Parme. Paris: J. Lecoffre, 1864.

Charles III, Duke of Parma
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 14 January 1823 Died: 27 March 1854
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles II
Duke of Parma and Piacenza
Succeeded by
Robert I

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