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European Royals

The royals that everyone’s talking about this summer: who are the Bourbon-Two Sicilies?

They’ve been a fixture of the tabloids this summer, holidaying with fellow royals and even at the centre of rumours of a romance with a future king. If you’ve seen article after article about the Bourbon Two-Sicilies and find yourself wondering who they are, look no further, here’s your explainer.

The House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is a cadet branch of the Bourbon family that once reigned over southern Italy and Sicily. Today, their throne no longer exists and the family is split into two factions over who the main claimant is.

The Calabrian line is considered the senior line, and at its head is Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria. The Castro line is the junior line, and at its head is Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro.

Prince Carlo is married to Camilla Crociani and they have two daughters, Princess Maria Carolina, Duchess of Calabria, Duchess of Palermo; and Princess Maria Chiara, Duchess of Noto, Duchess of Capri.

Succession to the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is limited to male heirs, which Prince Carlo does not have and Prince Pedro does. The Castro line argues that their line should continue with Princess Maria Carolina eventually succeeding her father as claimant.

Princess Maria Chiara, who is usually known as Chiara, sparked romance rumours this summer when Prince Christian of Denmark appeared on her Instagram account. The princess and her sister are successful influencers on social media: at the time of publication, Chiara has nearly 90,000 followers on Instagram. Princess Maria Carolina has over 110,000 followers.

After a summer of speculation that she might one day be a future queen of Denmark, Chiara posted a statement to her Instagram saying that “At first, this situation made me smile; however, over time, this rumour has exceeded the limits of common sense and has spiralled becoming at odds with reality.”

She added that “When important events will occur in my life, I will be happy to share them with you. While we all enjoy dreaming of fairy tales, what truly matters is reality.”

Chiara splits her time between Paris, Monte Carlo and Rome, according to her official website, and takes an active interest in wildlife and the environment, acting as a patron of the World Wildlife Fund in Italy and France. She is also involved with the Red Cross, various oceanographic charities, and humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.

Princess Maria Carolina, who goes by Carolina on social media, is also very involved in charitable causes supporting animal rescue and adoption, violence against women, and breast cancer research and awareness.

Elsewhere this summer, the Castro family have been spotted on holiday with Prince Michael of Kent and with Prince Laurent of Belgium and his family in Saint-Tropez.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.