Prince étranger

Foreign Princeprinces étrangersprincelyforeign princesprinces étrangerPrincessprincesse étrangèreForeignforeign" princeFrench princely family
Prince étranger (English: "foreign prince") was a high, though somewhat ambiguous, rank at the French royal court of the Ancien Régime.wikipedia
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Royal court

courtimperial courtcourts
This hierarchy in France evolved slowly at the king's court, barely taking into account any more exalted status a foreign prince might enjoy in his own dynasty's realm.
Foreign princes and foreign nobility in exile may also seek refuge at a court.

Prince

princelyprincessovereign prince
In medieval Europe, a nobleman bore the title of prince as an indication of sovereignty, either actual or potential.
Cadets of France's other princes étrangers affected similar usage under the Bourbon kings.

House of Guise

GuiseGuisesGuise family
Most renowned among the foreign princes was the militantly Roman Catholic House of Guise which, as the Valois kings approached extinction and the Huguenots aggrandized in defense of Protestantism, cast ambitious eyes upon the throne itself, hoping to occupy it but determined to dominate it.
The family's high rank was due not to possession of the Guise dukedom but to their membership in a sovereign dynasty, which procured for them the rank of prince étranger at the royal court of France.

House of Rohan

Rohande RohanViscount of Rohan
In the 17th century, members of the Rohan family began to use their genealogy and their power at the French Court to obtain the rank of prince étranger, thus coming second after the princes du sang before all dukes and peers.

Suzanne Henriette of Lorraine

Suzanne Henriette de LorraineSusanne Henrietta of LorraineSuzanne Henriette
Queen Christina of Sweden, Duchess Suzanne-Henriette of Mantua, etc.), ranked above the foreign princes, and were usually accorded full protocolar courtesies at court, for as long as they remained welcome in France.
Although the Lorraine-Elbeufs were reckoned among the princes etrangers at the court of France, as a cadet branch of a non-reigning cadet branch (Guise) of the House of Lorraine, it was not their custom to marry crowned heads.

Marie de Rohan

duchesse de ChevreuseMadame de ChevreuseMarie de Rohan-Montbazon, duchesse de Chevreuse
Sometimes they defied the royal will and barricaded themselves in their provincial castles (e.g., Philippe Emmanuel of Lorraine, duc de Mercœur), occasionally waging open war on the king (e.g., the La Tour d'Auvergne dukes of Bouillon), or intriguing against him with other French princes (e.g., during the Frondes) or with foreign powers (e.g., Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, duchesse de Chevreuse).
Marie de Rohan, styled Mademoiselle de Montbazon, was the daughter of Hercule de Rohan, Duke of Montbazon and head of the House of Rohan, possessed of great estates in Brittany and Anjou, enjoying princely rank at the French court.

Marie Anne de La Trémoille, princesse des Ursins

Princesse des UrsinsMarie Anne de La TrémoilleMarie-Anne de la Trémoille, Princesse des Ursins
Most found that, with assiduity and patience, they were well received by France's king as living adornments to his majesty and, if they remained in attendance at court, were often gifted with high office (the princesse de Lamballe, the princesse des Ursins), military command (Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne), estates, governorships, embassies, church sinecures (the Rohans in the Archbishopric of Strasbourg), titles and, sometimes, splendid dowries as the consorts of royal princesses (e.g. Louis Joseph de Lorraine, Duke of Guise).
She belonged to a cadet branch of the La Trémoille family, which held the exalted rank of prince étranger in France.

Edward, Count Palatine of Simmern

Prince Palatine EdwardEdward of the Palatinate-SimmernEdward
Still others came to France as relatively destitute refugees (e.g. Queen Henrietta Maria of England, the Prince Palatine Eduard).
On 24 April 1645, Edward married in Paris a French princess of Italian extraction, Anna Gonzaga (1616–1684).

Louis XIV of France

Louis XIVKing Louis XIVKing Louis XIV of France
It was headed by the highest-ranking French nobles, among them Louis' uncle Gaston, Duke of Orléans and first cousin Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier, known as la Grande Mademoiselle; Princes of the Blood such as Condé, his brother Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, and their sister the Duchess of Longueville; dukes of legitimised royal descent, such as Henri, Duke of Longueville, and François, Duke of Beaufort; so-called "foreign princes" such as Frédéric Maurice, Duke of Bouillon, his brother Marshal Turenne, and Marie de Rohan, Duchess of Chevreuse; and scions of France's oldest families, such as François de La Rochefoucauld.

La Trémoille family

La TrémoilleHouse of La TrémoilleLa Trémoïlle
Henri-Charles (1599-1674), duc de Thouars, received royal confirmation of the rank of foreign prince in 1651; he bore as arms Quarterly Or a chevron gules between three eagles azure (La Trémoïlle), France, Bourbon-Montpensier and Montmorency-Laval.

Louis Joseph, Duke of Guise

Louis JosephLouis Joseph de Lorraine, Duke of GuiseLouis Joseph de Lorraine
Most found that, with assiduity and patience, they were well received by France's king as living adornments to his majesty and, if they remained in attendance at court, were often gifted with high office (the princesse de Lamballe, the princesse des Ursins), military command (Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne), estates, governorships, embassies, church sinecures (the Rohans in the Archbishopric of Strasbourg), titles and, sometimes, splendid dowries as the consorts of royal princesses (e.g. Louis Joseph de Lorraine, Duke of Guise).
As she was a petite-fille de France, the marriage was considered a coup for the House of Guise, for the bridegroom was a mere prince étranger: Saint-Simon noted that she was a stickler for receiving the honours due her rank, even at the expense of her husband's dignity at the court of Louis XIV, inasmuch as he "was only entitled to a folding stool."

Cardinal de Bouillon

Emmanuel Théodose de La Tour d'AuvergneEmmanuel Théodose de la Tour d'Auvergne de BouillonEmmanuel-Theódose de la Tour d'Auvergne de Bouillon
Although his elder brother ruled Bouillon, his younger brother became Grand Almoner and a cardinal, and Auvergne himself held as sinecures the governorship of Limousin and colonel generalship of the French Light Cavalry, when neither his birth rank nor his wife's Brabantine domain persuaded Louis XIV to allow him precedence before knights of the Order of the Saint Esprit, let alone to share in Bouillon's rank above ducal peers, Auvergne refused to attend the Order's presentations at court.
As a member of the House of La Tour d'Auvergne, he was a Foreign Prince and entitled to the style of Highness.

House of Savoy-Carignano

Prince of CarignanoSavoy-CarignanoPrince of Carignan
His descendants were accepted as princes étrangers at the court of France, where some held prominent positions.

La Tour d'Auvergne

House of La Tour d'Auvergneduc de BouillonViscounty of Turenne
The family were created Foreign Princes in France in 1651, this entitled them to the style of [Most Serene] Highness at the French court in which they lived.

Prince du sang

Princes of the Bloodprince of the bloodprincesse du sang
Their notorious disputes with ducal peers of the realm, remembered thanks to the memoirs of the duc de Saint-Simon, were due to the princes' lack of rank per se in the Parlement, where peers (the highest tier of French nobility, mostly dukes) held precedence immediately after the princes du sang (or, from 4 May 1610, after the legitimised princes).

Ancien Régime

ancien regimeOld RegimeAncien Régime in France
Prince étranger (English: "foreign prince") was a high, though somewhat ambiguous, rank at the French royal court of the Ancien Régime.

Middle Ages

medievalmediaevalmedieval Europe
In medieval Europe, a nobleman bore the title of prince as an indication of sovereignty, either actual or potential.

Nobility

noblemannoblenobles
In medieval Europe, a nobleman bore the title of prince as an indication of sovereignty, either actual or potential.

Sovereignty

sovereignsovereign entitysovereign nation
In medieval Europe, a nobleman bore the title of prince as an indication of sovereignty, either actual or potential.

Monarchy

kingdommonarchieskingdoms
Aside from those who were or claimed to be monarchs, it belonged to those who were in line to succeed to a royal or independent throne.

King

kingshipMaiRex
Aside from those who were or claimed to be monarchs, it belonged to those who were in line to succeed to a royal or independent throne.

Early modern period

early moderncolonial eraearly modern era
France had several categories of prince in the early modern period.

Order of precedence

precedenceorders of precedencerank
They frequently quarrelled, and sometimes sued each other and members of the nobility, over precedence and distinctions.

Protocol (diplomacy)

protocoldiplomatic protocolprotocols
Queen Christina of Sweden, Duchess Suzanne-Henriette of Mantua, etc.), ranked above the foreign princes, and were usually accorded full protocolar courtesies at court, for as long as they remained welcome in France. They frequently quarrelled, and sometimes sued each other and members of the nobility, over precedence and distinctions.