Royal families: de Merodes

One of the most important noble families of Belgium certainly is
the noble House de Merode.

The de Merode family really has a long, interesting and even a royal
history, which started already in the Middle Ages.

Since a long time, their coat of arms had yellow and red colours
and their motto is:
"Plus d'honneur que d'honneur".

Coat of Arms of de Merode Family
Source picture: Wikipedia

Some Royal History of the family

de Merode came from a village located in Germany, in the city of
Düren, which lies between Aachen and Köln. In the Middle Ages it
was a part of the Duchy of Julich. Nowadays it is a part of the state:
North Rhine-Westphalia.

At the beginning de Merode family had the rank of Freiherr of the
Holy Roman Empire, the family had possessions and influence in
Köln and in the Rhineland.

It was from the sons of Werner III von Merode (born in 1278), that
the two branches of the noble house descended.

From the 14th century onwards, a branch of de Merode family gained
power and possessions in the Duchy of Brabant and the Prince-
Bishopric of Liège nowadays located in Belgium but then these regions
were a part of the Burgundian Netherlands and later the Habsburg 

When Richard de Merode married Margareth van Wesemael, the house
inherited important possessions such as Westerloo and the County of

In 1451 Jean I de Merode married Adelheid van Hoorn and she brought
Gheel, Diepenbeek and Duffel into the possessions of the noble family.

It was Jean II de Merode who held the position of Lord Chamberlain
of Archduke Philip the Handsome.

In 1626 King Philip IV of Spain granted to Philippe I de Merode the
title Marquis of Westerloo.

Through the marriage of Philippe-François de Merode with Louise-
Brigitte de Rubempré, they received the domains and titles of
Princes de Rubempré and Prince of Everberg.

Philippe François de Merode
Source picture: Wikipedia

Charles-Guillaume-Ghislain de Merode-Westerloo was mayor of
Brussels and senator of the French Empire. In 1815 he became
Grand Marshal of the court of King William I of the Netherlands.

Under the reign of King William I of the Netherlands, de Merode
family became counts.

His sons Henri, Félix, Frédéric and Werner would play an important
role in the Belgian revolution and the political life of the Kingdom of

Frédéric de Merode even became a new national hero when he was
killed in the battle near Berchem during the Belgian revolution.

It was Félix de Merode who searched for a new King of Belgium
after the revolution. He was a part of the delegation who went to
England to talk with Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Félix de Merode
Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1930 the family de Merode recieved the title Prince instead of the
title Count.

Other important family members

* Louise de Merode, who married Carlo Emmanuele dal Pozzo.
She was the mother of Maria Vittoria dal Pozzo, who later became Queen
Consort of Spain.

Louise de Merode, Source picture: Wikipedia

* Antoinette de Merode, who married Prince Charles III of Monaco

Antoinette de Merode tomb at the Cathedral in Monaco

In 2013, I had the chance to visit the tomb of Antoinette de Merode in the 
Cathedral of Monaco. 

* Prince Emmanuel de Merode, Director of the Virunga National Park
in Congo. Interested? Read this article of National Geographic about him
on this link.

* Princess Baudouin de Merode, lady-in-waiting of Queen Paola of


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