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Prince of Ligne
Reign1 May 1641 – 21 December 1679
PredecessorAlbert Henri
Born(1618-10-08)8 October 1618
Château de Belœil
Died21 December 1679(1679-12-21) (aged 61)
SpouseCountess Claire Marie of Nassau-Siegen
IssueHenri, 4th Prince of Ligne
Louise Claire, Duchess of Aveiro
Prince François Albert
Prince Nicolau
Claude Lamoral Alphonse, Count of Faucquenberg
Princess Marie Henriette
Princess Francisca
Procope Hyacinthe, Marquis of Moÿ
Princess Ernestina Francisca
Charles Joseph, 2nd Marquis of Arronches
Prince Vitor
Claude Lamoral de Ligne
HouseHouse of Ligne
FatherFlorent, 1st Prince of Amblise
MotherLouise de Lorraine, Lady of Busigny
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Claude Lamoral, Third Prince de Ligne, Belgian diplomate in the service of Philip IV and Charles II of Spain

Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne, Prince of Epinoy, Marquis of Roubaix and Count of Fauquemberg (8 October 1618 – 21 December 1679), was a nobleman from the Spanish Netherlands, a soldier and diplomat in the service of Philip IV of Spain and Charles II of Spain .


Born at Belœil, he succeeded his brother Albert Henry (1615–1641), as third Prince of Ligne. He married in 1642 his brother's widow Claire Marie of Nassau-Siegen, countess of Nassau (Brussels, October 1621 – Belœil, 2 September 1695). He was a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Grandee of Spain and Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece (1646).

Between 1649 and 1669, he was Captain General of the Spanish Cavalry in the Spanish Netherlands, which was the third highest military position after Captain General and Governor of the Arms.

Painting by François Duchatel commemorating the entry of Lamoral in London in 1660

In 1660, he was sent as representative of the Spanish King to the Royal court of Charles II of England as first foreign recognition of the newly restored English monarchy.

He became Viceroy of Sicily (1670–1674), where he fortified the coastal defences against Turkish pirates, who attacked the local population to abduct and sell them into slavery.[1]

Later he was appointed Governor of the Duchy of Milan (1674–1678).

Claude Lamoral, and after his death, his wife Claire Marie, enlarged the Chateau of Belœil and its spectacular French-styled 25 ha garden, which has a 6 ha. lake in front of the castle. Today the gardens are partially open to the public.[2] [3]

Coats of arms of Claude Lamoral de Ligne as Viceroy of Sicily, in Syracuse.


Their daughter Louise Claire de Ligne married on 1 April 1644 the Portuguese nobleman Raimundo de Lencastre, 4th marquess of Torres Novas, 1st duke of Torres Novas, 4th duke of Aveiro, Conselheiro de Estado. In Spain he was also duke of Ciudad Real, a Grandee of Spain in May 1664, 8th Duke of Maqueda, marquess de Montemayor, marquess of Elche and many other lesser titles, deceased in Guadix on 6 October 1666, aged 35. He had to flee to Spain after the Portuguese Secession of 1640.

She married again the Spanish nobleman Iñigo Manuel Velez Ladrón de Guevara y Tassis, 10th count of Oñate, a Grandee of Spain by king Philip IV of Spain to his ancestors in 1640 and a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Head of the Spanish Post Offices, deceased in 1699.

She had no issue, apparently, in the first marriage but issue on the second.



  1. ^ Description (in Italian) of the actions by the prince de Ligne in Sicily against the Turks. "Bando cluade lamoral principe di ligne". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
  2. ^ "History of the Chateau of Belœil, in English". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
  3. ^ A description of the present gardens of Belœil in The Telegraph

External links

5 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

the event by J. EvelynJ. 17th sept
Eveyln's version of this spendid event "Thence forth to see the Prince de Ligne, Spanish Embassador, come in to his Audience, which was done in very great state."
"I went to Lond: to see the Splendid audience of the Prince de Lignes Ambassador extraord: frome Spaine, who was accompanied with 17 Coaches 6 horses of his owne, besides a very greate Corteggio of English &c: greater bravery, in my whole life[had] I [never]seene: He was Gen: of the Span: Kings horse in Flanders, accompanied with divers greate persons of Flanders, & an innumerable retinue: The King receivd him in the Banqueting house in exceeding state , all the greate officers of Court &c: attending &c:
note spelling differences

Emilio  •  Link

This is the ambassador for the Spanish Netherlands in 1660. The event vincent refers to above is his state visit in Sept., which was the first foreign recognition of the newly restored English monarchy. For more info, see the annos for 1 Sept. 1660, especially this one from Paul Brewster:

per Wheatley (Braybrooke): "Charles Lamoral, Prince de Ligne, had commanded the cavalry in the Low Countries, was afterwards Viceroy of Sicily and Governor of Milan. He died at Madrid in 1679. He had married, by dispensation, his cousin Maria Clara of Nassau, widow of his brother Albert Henry, who had died without issue. In our own time his descendant, the Prince de Ligne was Ambassador Extraordinary from Belgium at the coronation of Queen Victoria."

Emilio  •  Link

This Prince is the 3rd of the line, which continues to this day. Not to be confused with Charles Lamoral II, 1685-1766, his great grandson and 6th Prince de Ligne. The most famous of the line is Charles-Joseph, well-known writer and the "charmer of Europe".

Here are some highlights from the family genealogy, to be found here -…

FLORENT [1588-1622] - Prince de Ligne et du Saint Empire
ALBERT HENRI [1615-1641] - 2e Prince de Ligne Pce du Saint Empire
CLAUDE LAMORAL I [1618-1679] - 3e Prince de Ligne et du Saint Empire
CLAUDE LAMORAL II [1685-1766] - 6e Prince de Ligne et du Saint Empire
CHARLES-JOSEPH [1735-1814] - 7e Prince de Ligne et du Saint Empire

Here’s a picture of our Prince:…

Emilio  •  Link

That would be Claude Lamoral, not Charles of course.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne. Born 8 October 1618 in Beloil, Belgium. Died 21 December 1679 in Madrid -- Statesman, Diplomat, Military leader, Governor of the Duchy of Milan, Viceroy of Sicily, Prince of Ligne, Prince of Epinoy, Marquis of Roubaix, Count of Fauquemberg, and Captain General of the Spanish Cavalry in the Spanish Netherlands.

His portrait at…

Only Wiki biographies seem to exist on line.

James, Duke of York in 1655 had fought against the Prince of Ligne during the Battle of the Dunes, although York's memoirs report a conversation with him, so I presume they met and broke bread together some time later.
For more about this, see
The Memoirs of JAMES II
Translated by A. LYTTON SELLS
from the Bouillon Manuscript…

I think the Prince was a curious choice for Ambassador. A message from Philip IV, King of Spain perhaps?

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.