Principality of Orange (French: la Principauté d'Orange) was,
from 1163 to 1713, a feudal state in Provence, in the south of
modern-day France, on the east bank of the river Rhone, north of the
city of Avignon, and surrounded by the independent papal state of
It was constituted in 1163, when
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I
elevated the Burgundian County of Orange (consisting of the city of
Orange and the land surrounding it) to a sovereign principality within
the Empire. The principality became part of the scattered holdings of
the house of Orange-Nassau from the time that William I "the Silent"
inherited the title of
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange from his cousin in 1544, until
it was finally ceded to
France in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht.
Although permanently lost by the Nassaus then, this fief gave its name
to the extant Royal House of the Netherlands. The area of the
principality was approximately 12 miles (19 km) long by 9 miles
(14 km) wide, or 108 square miles (280 km2).
1.1 Later uses
3 See also
The Carolingian counts of Orange had their origin in the 8th century,
and the fief passed into the family of the lords of Baux. The Baux
counts of Orange became fully independent with the breakup of the
Kingdom of Arles
Kingdom of Arles after 1033. In 1163 Orange was raised to a
principality, as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1365, Orange university was founded by Charles IV when he was in
Arles for his coronation as king of Arles.
Orange within papal
Comtat Venaissin as of 1547
In 1431 the Count of
Provence waived taxation duties for Orange’s
Mary of Baux-Orange and Jean de Châlons of Burgundy) in
exchange for liquid assets to be used for a ransom. The town and
principality of Orange was a part of administration and province of
In 1544, William I "the Silent", count of Nassau, with large
properties in the Netherlands, inherited the title Prince of Orange.
William, 11 years old at the time, was the cousin of René of Châlon
who died without an heir when he was shot at St. Dizier in 1544 during
the Franco-Imperial wars. René, it turned out, willed his entire
fortune to this very young relative. Among those titles and estates
Principality of Orange. René’s mother, Claudia, had held
the title prior to it being passed to young William since Philibert de
Châlon was her brother.
When William inherited the Principality, it was incorporated into the
holdings of what became the House of Orange. This pitched it into the
Protestant side in the Wars of Religion, during which the town was
badly damaged. In 1568 the
Eighty Years' War
Eighty Years' War began with William as
Stadtholder of Holland leading the bid for independence of the
Netherlands from Spain.
William the Silent
William the Silent was assassinated in Delft
in 1584. It was his son,
Maurice of Nassau (
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange after his
elder brother died in 1618), with the help of Johan van
Oldenbarnevelt, who solidified the independence of the Dutch republic.
As an independent enclave within France, Orange became an attractive
destination for Protestants and a
Huguenot stronghold. William III of
Orange, who ruled England as William III of England, was the last
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange to rule the principality. The principality was
captured by the forces of Louis XIV under François Adhémar de
Monteil Comte de Grignan, in 1672 during the Franco-Dutch War, and
again in August 1682, but William did not concede his claim to rule.
In 1702, William III died childless and the right to the principality
became a matter of dispute between
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I of Prussia and John
William Friso of Nassau-Dietz, who both claimed the title 'Prince of
Orange'. In 1702 also, Louis XIV of
France enfeoffed François Louis,
Prince of Conti, a relative of the Châlon dynasty, with the
Principality of Orange, so that there were three claimants to the
Finally in 1713 in the Treaty of Utrecht,
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I of Prussia ceded
France (without surrendering the princely title)
in which cession the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire as suzerain concurred, though
John William Friso of Nassau-Dietz, the other claimant to the
principality, did not concur. Only in 1732, with the Treaty of
Partage, did John William'is successor William IV renounce all his
claims to the territory, but again (like Frederick I) he did not
renounce his claim to the title. In the same treaty an agreement was
made between both claimants, stipulating that both houses be allowed
to use the title.
In 1713, after Orange was officially ceded to France, it became a part
of the Province of the Dauphiné.
French Revolution of 1789, Orange was absorbed into the
French département of
Drôme in 1790, then Bouches-du-Rhône, then
In 1814 after the defeat of Napoleon, the United Provinces was not
revived but replaced into the Kingdom of the United Netherlands, under
a King of the House of Orange-Nassau. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna
took care of a French sensitivity by stipulating that the Kingdom of
the Netherlands would be ruled by the
House of Oranje-Nassau
House of Oranje-Nassau –
"Oranje", not "Orange" as had been the custom until then. The English
language, however, continues to use the term Orange-Nassau.
Nowadays, both Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Dutch crown princess
Amalia carry the title "Prince(ss) of Orange", Amalia in the official
form of Prinses van Oranje.
People dressed in orange in
Amsterdam during Queen's Day in 2007
Due to its connection with the Dutch royal family, Orange gave its
name to other Dutch-influenced parts of the world, such as the Orange
River and the
Orange Free State
Orange Free State in South Africa, and Orange County in
the U.S. state of New York. The orange portion of the flag of Ireland,
invented in 1848, represents Irish Protestants, who were grateful for
their rescue by
William III of England
William III of England in 1689–1691. The flag of New
York City and the flag of Albany, New York (which was originally known
as Fort Orange) also each have an orange stripe to reflect the Dutch
origins of those cities. The color orange is still the national color
of the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch flag originally
had an orange stripe instead of a red, and today an orange pennant is
still flown above the flag on Koningsdag. Dutch national sports teams
usually compete in orange, and a wide variety of orange-colored items
are displayed by Dutch people on occasions of national pride or
festivity. The flag of
South Africa from 1928 to 1994 had an orange
upper stripe and was very similar to the old Dutch flag also called
Prince's Flag, because it was inspired in the history of the
Afrikaners, who are chiefly of Dutch descent.
The town of Orange, Connecticut, is named after the principality.
^ George Ripley And Charles A. Dana (1873). The New American
Cyclopædia. 16 volumes complete. article on
Principality of Orange:
D. Appleton And Company.
^ Couvée, D.H.; G. Pikkemaat (1963). 1813-15, ons koninkrijk geboren.
Alphen aan den Rijn: N. Samsom nv. pp. 119–139.
Prince of Orange
Coordinates: 44°08′N 4°49′E / 44.14°N 4.81°