- Xavier, Duke of Parma
(Francis) Xavier, Duke of Parma and Piacenza (called "Francisco Javier de Borbón Parma y de Braganza" in
Spain; 25 May, 1889- 7 May, 1977) was the head of the ducal House of Bourbon-Parmaand Carlist claimant to the throne of Spainunder the name (Francisco) Javier I.
Xavier was the son of Robert, Duke of Parma, and of his second wife, Infanta
Maria Antonia of Portugal. He was born at Villa Pianore, near Viareggioin Italy. He had eleven brothers and sisters, including Empress Zita of Austria and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma(husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg). From his father's first marriage, he had a further twelve half-brothers and half-sisters including Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma(wife of the future Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria) and Duke Elias of Parma.
Xavier spent his earliest years at Villa Pianore and at
Schwarzau am Steinfeldein Austria. His first tutor was Father Sergio Alonso, a member of the Order of Saint Gabriel. Xavier and his older brother Sixtus studied at the Jesuitcollege Stella Matutina in Feldkirch in Austria and then in Carlsburg in Germany. He went to university in Pariswhere he obtained degrees in agriculture and political science.
World War IXavier and his brother Sixtus enlisted in the Belgian Army. Several of their older brothers were officers in the Austrian Army. Xavier received the French Croix de guerre and the Belgian Croix de guerre. He was also awarded the Cross of the Order of Leopold II.
In 1917 Xavier assisted his brother Sixtus in the so-called
Sixtus Affair, a failed attempt to arrange a peace treaty between Austria and France.
Marriage and family
November 12, 1927at Lignièresin France, Xavier married Madeleine de Bourbon Busset. Madeleine was a member of the Bourbon-Bussetfamily, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbongenerally regarded as non-dynastic in France.
Xavier and Madeleine had six children:
* Maria Francisca (born
August 19, 1928), married Prince Eduard of Lobkowicz.
* Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma (born
April 8, 1930), married Princess Irene of the Netherlands.
* Maria Teresa (born
July 28, 1933).
* Cecilia (born
April 12, 1935).
* Maria de las Nieves (born
April 29, 1937).
* Sixtus Henry (born
July 22, 1940).
Xavier's marriage to Madeleine was recognised as dynastic by the Carlist claimant to the throne of
Spain, Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime, who was married to the sister of Xavier's mother. However, Xavier's half-brother Elias - who was regent for their handicapped brother Duke Enrico of Parma - did not recognise the marriage as dynastic regarding the succession to the ducal throne of Parma. The reason for this lack of dynastic recognition was in part Madeleine's ancestry, but it was also influenced by other political and family differences. During the 1920s and 1930s Elias and Xavier were on opposing sides of a family legal battle over the ownership of the Château de Chambord. Elias had also recognised Alfonso XIII as constitutional king of Spain, in spite of the fact that his father Robert had supported the Carlist claimants.
In 1961 Elias' son Duke Robert II of Parma recognised the marriage between Xavier and Madeleine as dynastic regarding the succession to the ducal throne of Parma.
The early 1930s were years of both struggle and opportunity for the Carlists in Spain. Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime, was in his eighties and childless; he was the last male-line descendant of the first Carlist claimant,
Infante Carlos, Count of Molina. Some Carlists considered that Alfonso Carlos' heir was Alfonso XIII, the exiled constitutional king of Spain; but many believed that Alfonso and his family were all excluded from the succession.
Faced with this uncertainty Alfonso Carlos appointed Xavier regent of the Carlist Communion on
January 23, 1936. Alfonso Carlos considered that Xavier was the senior male Bourbon who believed in the Carlist ideals. Several months later the Spanish Civil Warbegan. Xavier was named commander-in-chief of the Carlist armies.
World War IIXavier returned to service as a colonel in the Fourth Division of the Belgian Army. After the fall of Belgium in May 1939, he retreated to Dunkirkwhere his division was incorporated in the 39th French Army. He was demobilized and joined the French maquis. General Francisco Francogave permission for Xavier's mother and sister Zita to travel through Spain to Portugal, but refused permission to Xavier. Instead he was forced to remain in Vichy France.
July 22, 1944Xavier was arrested by the Gestapo. He was imprisoned for a month at Vichyand then at Clermont-Ferrandwhere he was classified as a " Nacht und Nebel" political prisoner. On account of the approaching Allied armies Xavier was sent to Natzweiler-Struthof, then to Dachau, and then to Praxin the Tirol. On May 8, 1945he was liberated by the United States Army.
After the war Xavier re-established himself as the leader of the largest Carlist group in Spain. A minority of Carlists supported Juan, the son of Alfonso XIII. Others supported Archduke Karl Pius of Austria, a maternal grandson of
Carlos, Duke of Madrid.
May 20, 1952, the National Council of the Traditionalist Communion (the Carlists who supported Xavier) declared that the regency was over and that Xavier was the rightful successor to the Spanish throne. Henceforward Xavier claimed the throne as "Javier I".
Xavier kept up his political activities in Spain. He was generally opposed to the government of General Franco who lent his support more to Juan, son of Alfonso XIII, and Archduke Karl Pius of Austria. In 1956 the government expelled Xavier from Spain.
In 1962 Xavier allowed his elder son Carlos Hugo to meet Franco; this was the first of several meetings. Xavier and Carlos Hugo believed that there was a real possibility that Franco might name Carlos Hugo as his heir instead of Juan Carlos, the grandson of Alfonso XIII. Many Carlists disapproved of these negotiations with Franco.
February 22, 1972Xavier was injured in a traffic accident. Carlos Hugo became the active leader of Carlism. He initiated a new form of Carlism, transforming it into a socialist movement. Carlos Hugo was very successful in attracting new support for this socialist-Carlism, but also alienated many traditional Carlist supporters.
Abdication and death
April 20, 1975Xavier abdicated as Carlist king in favour of Carlos Hugo. His younger son Sixtus Henry opposed the succession of Carlos Hugo and presented himself as the "standard-bearer" ("abanderado") of traditional Carlism. Xavier issued a declaration affirming that his abdication had been voluntary, and that Sixtus Henry had separated himself from Carlism.
The battle between Xavier's sons continued with each claiming their father's support. Carlos Hugo was supported by his three unmarried sisters, while Sixtus Henry was supported by his mother.
Carlos Hugo accused Sixtus Henry of having abducted Xavier who was then in hospital. Sixtus Henry published a declaration from Xavier dated
March 4, 1977in which Xavier re-affirmed his support for traditional Carlism. In this document Xavier condemned the socialist form of Carlism which he described as "a very serious doctrinal error". [ [http://www.geocities.com/montejurra1976/donjavier4marzo1977.html "Declaración de S.M.C. Don Javier de Borbón"] ] Three days later on March 7, 1977, Xavier's daughter Cecilia took Xavier out of hospital in order to take him to mass. On this occasion Xavier signed another declaration published by Carlos Hugo in which he confirmed Carlos Hugo as his heir. ["Última Declaración Política de Don Javier", in "Don Javier: una vida al servicio de la libertad", 417.] The next day Xavier's wife Madeleine published a declaration condemning Carlos Hugo and Cecilia. [ [http://www.geocities.com/montejurra1976/donamagdalena8marzo1977.html "Declaración de Doña Magdalena de Borbón"] ]
May 7, 1977Xavier died of a heart attack in a hospital at Zizersnear Churin Switzerland; he had been visiting his sister the Empress Zita of Austria. Xavier was buried at St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmeswhere three of his sisters had been nuns.
The television series "
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" presents Xavier (played by Matthew Wait) and his brother Sixtus (played by Benedict Taylor) as Belgian officers in World War I who help the young Indiana Jones.
Xavier wrote several scholarly works:
* "Les accords secrets franco-anglais de décembre 1940". Paris: Plon, 1949.
* "Les chevaliers du Saint-Sépulcre". Paris: A. Fayard, 1957.
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
1= 1. Xavier, Duke of Parma
Robert I, Duke of Parma
Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal
Charles III, Duke of Parma
5= 5. Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France
Miguel of Portugal
7= 7. Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
Charles II, Duke of Parma
Maria Teresa of Savoy
Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry
11= 11. Princess Caroline Ferdinande Louise of the Two Sicilies
John VI of Portugal
13= 13. Infanta Charlotte of Spain
Constantine, Hereditary Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
15= 15. Princess Marie Agnes Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Louis of Etruria
17= 17. Infanta Maria Louisa of Spain
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
19= 19. Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este
Charles X of France
21= 21. Princess Marie Thérèse of Savoy
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria
Peter III of Portugal
Maria I of Portugal
Charles IV of Spain
27= 27. Princess Maria Luisa of Parma
28= 28. Karl V, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
29= 29. Countess Sophie Luise of Windisch-Graetz
30= 30. Carl Ludwig III, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
31= 31. Countess Amalie Henriette Charlotte of Solms-Baruth
* Beeck, Evrard op de. "Z. K. H. Prins Xavier de Bourbon-Parma: Biografisch Essai". Aarschot, 1970.
* Borbón Parma, María Teresa, Josep Carles Clemente, and Joaquín Cubero Sánchez. "Don Javier: una vida al servico de la libertad". Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1997. ISBN 8401530180.
* Griesser-Pečar, Tamara. "Die Mission Sixtus: Österreichs Friedensversuch im Ersten Weltkrieg". München: Amalthea, 1988. ISBN 3850022455.
* "Father of Claimant to Spanish Throne Dies in Switzerland." "The New York Times" (May 8, 1977): 20.
* "Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma." "The Times" (May 9, 1977): 16.
* [http://www.carlismo.es Comunión Tradicionalista]
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