Duke of Burgundy

Duke of Burgundy (French: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishment in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1482–1556).

Dukedom of Burgundy

Creation date880
PeeragePeerage of France
First holderRichard the Justiciar
Last holder
StatusExtinct
Extinction date
  • 5 January 1477 (fief)
  • 22 March 1761 (courtesy title)
Seat(s)

The Duchy of Burgundy was a small portion of the traditional lands of the Burgundians west of the river Saône which, in 843, was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks. Under the Ancien Régime, the Duke of Burgundy was the premier lay peer of the kingdom of France. Beginning with Robert II of France, the title was held by the Capetians, the French royal family. It was granted to Robert's younger son, Robert, who founded the House of Burgundy. When the senior line of the House of Burgundy became extinct, it was inherited by John II of France through proximity of blood. John granted the duchy to his younger son, Philip the Bold. The Valois Dukes of Burgundy gradually ruled over a vast complex of territories known as the Burgundian State, and became dangerous rivals to the senior line of the House of Valois.

When the male line of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy became extinct in 1477, the Duchy of Burgundy was confiscated by Louis XI of France. The title Duke of Burgundy passed to Habsburg monarchs via marriage. The Habsburgs used it to have a claim on Burgundy proper and to rule their Burgundian Inheritance. Today, the title is used by the House of Bourbon as a revived courtesy title.


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