|Birth||July 9, 1848 (Florence)|
|Death||November 16, 1907 (Lucca)|
Robert I (Italian: Roberto I Carlo Luigi Maria di Borbone, Duca di Parma e Piacenza; 9 July 1848 – 16 November 1907) was the last sovereign Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1854 to 1859, when the duchy was annexed to Sardinia-Piedmont during the unification of Italy. He was a member of the House of Bourbon, descended from Philip, Duke of Parma the third son of King Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese.
Born in Florence, Robert was the son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and Louise Marie Thérèse d'Artois, daughter of Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry and granddaughter of King Charles X of France. He succeeded his father to the ducal throne in 1854 upon the latter's assassination, when he was only six, while his mother stood as regent.
When Duke Robert was eleven years old he was deposed, as Piedmontese troops annexed other Italian states, ultimately to form the Kingdom of Italy.
Despite losing his throne, Robert and his family enjoyed considerable wealth, traveling in a private train of more than a dozen cars from his castles at Schwarzau am Steinfeld near Vienna, to Villa Pianore in northwest Italy, and the magnificent château de Chambord in France.
Less than four months after Duke Robert's death in 1907 the Grand Marshal of the Austrian court declared six of the children of his first marriage legally incompetent (they had learning difficulties), at the behest of his widow, Duchess Maria Antonia. Nonetheless, Robert's primary heir was Elias of Parma (1880–1959), the youngest son of his first marriage and the only one of his sons by that marriage to beget children of his own. Elias also became the legal guardian of his six elder siblings. Although the eldest half-brothers, Sixte and Xavier, eventually sued their half-brother Elias for trying to obtain a greater share of the ducal fortune, they lost in the French courts, leaving the issue of Robert's second marriage with modest prospects. Some of his younger sons served in the Austrian armed forces.
In 1869, in exile, he married Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1849–1882), daughter of king Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. She was his half first cousin once removed, as her father (Ferdinand II) and Robert's maternal grandmother (Princess Caroline Ferdinande of Bourbon-Two Sicilies) were half-siblings, both children of Francis I of the Two Sicilies. Maria Pia belonged to the deposed Royal Family of the Two Sicilies, and was thus a Bourbon, like her husband. She bore him 12 children, before dying in childbirth:
|Princess Marie Louise||17 January 1870||31 January 1899(aged 29)||Married Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and had issue.|
|Prince Ferdinando||5 March 1871||14 April 1871(aged 0)||Died in infancy.|
|Princess Luisa Maria||24 March 1872||22 June 1943(aged 71)|
|Prince Henry (Principe Enrico)||13 June 1873||16 November 1939(aged 66)||Titular pretender of Parma 1907-1939. From 1907 (his father's death), his brother Elias took up the role as head of the family, although Enrico continued to be considered the nominal pretender to the ducal throne. He held the title till his death.|
|Princess Maria Immacolata||21 July 1874||16 May 1914(aged 39)|
|Prince Joseph (Principe Giuseppe)||30 June 1875||7 January 1950(aged 74)||Titular pretender to the throne of Parma 1939-1950. His brother Elias continued the role as head of the family as he had done with their brother Enrico.|
|Princess Maria Teresa||15 October 1876||25 January 1959(aged 82)|
|Princess Maria Pia||9 October 1877||29 January 1915(aged 37)|
|Princess Beatrice||9 January 1879||11 March 1946(aged 67)||Married Pietro Lucchesi-Palli (a grandson of Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily and her second husband) and had issue.|
|Prince Elias (Principe Elia)||23 July 1880||27 June 1959(aged 78)||Head of the Ducal Family of Parma (1950–1959). Married Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria and had issue.|
|Princess Maria Anastasia||25 August 1881||7 September 1881(aged 0)||Died in infancy.|
|Prince Augusto (or Princess Augusta)||22 September 1882||22 September 1882(aged 0)||(stillborn). Maria Pia died giving birth to this child.|
After his first wife's death in childbirth, he remarried in 1884 to Maria Antonia of Portugal, daughter of the deposed Miguel I of Portugal and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Maria Antonia was his second cousin once removed, as her paternal grandmother (Charlotte of Spain) and Robert's paternal great-grandmother (Maria Luisa of Spain) were siblings, both children of Charles IV of Spain and Maria Luisa of Parma. She bore him another 12 children:
|Princess Maria della Neve Adelaide||5 August 1885||6 February 1959(aged 73)||A Benedictine nun at St. Cecilia's Abbey, Solesmes.|
|Prince Sixtus (Sisto, "Sixte")||1 August 1886||14 March 1934(aged 47)||Married Hedwige de La Rochefoucauld and had a daughter, Isabelle.|
|Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma||25 May 1889||7 May 1977(aged 87)||Married Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset and had issue. Head of the Ducal Family of Parma (1974–77). Carlist pretender to the throne of Spain.|
|Princess Francesca||22 April 1890||7 October 1978(aged 88)||A Benedictine nun at St. Cecilia's Abbey, Solesmes.|
|Princess Zita||9 May 1892||14 March 1989(aged 96)||Married Emperor Karl of Austria.|
|Prince Felix||28 October 1893||8 April 1970(aged 76)||Married Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, his first cousin (their mothers were sisters).|
|Prince René||17 October 1894||30 July 1962(aged 67)||Married Princess Margrethe of Denmark and has issue.|
|Princess Maria Antonia||7 November 1895||19 October 1977(aged 81)||A Benedictine nun at St. Cecilia's Abbey, Solesmes.|
|Princess Isabella||14 June 1898||28 July 1984(aged 86)||Died unmarried.|
|Prince Louis (Luigi)||5 December 1899||4 December 1967(aged 67)||Married Princess Maria Francesca of Savoy and had issue.|
|Princess Henrietta||8 March 1903||13 June 1987(aged 84)||Died unmarried, was deaf.|
|Prince Gaetano||11 June 1905||9 March 1958(aged 52)||Married Princess Margarete of Thurn and Taxis, daughter of Alessandro, 1st Duke of Castel Duino. They had a daughter, Diana (who married Prince Franz Joseph, son of Frederick, Prince of Hohenzollern) and later divorced.|
|Ancestors of Robert I, Duke of Parma|
Robert's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.
Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations - which means that if Duke Robert were to choose an historically accurate house name it would be Robert, as all his male-line ancestors have been of that house.
Robert is a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma, a sub-branch of the House of Bourbon-Spain, itself originally a branch of the House of Bourbon, and thus of the Capetian dynasty and of the Robertians.
Robert's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Dukes of Parma as well as the Kings of Spain, France, and Navarre. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years from Robert of Hesbaye to the present day, through Kings of France & Navarre, Spain and Two-Sicilies, Dukes of Parma and Grand-Dukes of Luxembourg, Princes of Orléans and Emperors of Brazil. It is one of the oldest in Europe.