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Part 1





The House of Baux

The House of Chalons

The House of Nassau

The Department Vaucluse

Titulary Princes of Orange

The House of Orange-Nassau

The House of Hohenzollern

Back to France

Back to Nederland



The Principality of Orange

In the 11th and 12th century the city of Orange and its surroundings were ruled by the descendants of a certain William IV Bertrand. They called themselves counts of Orange but also princes referring to a direct subordination to the king of Burgundy respectively the Roman Emperor. The counts of Orange have clinged to the title of prince even after they had payed homage to the count of Provence for a part of their territory. In any case, after the reorganisation of the class of the Imperial Princes  in 1180 they have not been princes in the sense of Imperial Princes.  [1]

In 1146 the principality was partitioned between the brothers William Adhemar and Rambaud. The grandson of William Adhemar left his part in 1218 to the Order of St. John of Jeruzalem which ruled there until 1307.

The part of Rambaud came by marriage in 1173 to the House of Baux. After the death of William I in 1218 it was partitioned between his sons William II and Raymond II.

After the death of William III in 1256 the parts were united again. Pending from the treaty between Raymond II and William III from 1256 are the seals of  the uncle and his nephew. In the field is a bugle horn, the bandoleer enclosing an eight-pointed star. [2]

The bugle horn was on the seals of the successive rulers of Orange, reunited after a treaty between Charles of Anjou, the successor of the Knights of St. John and Bertrand IV in 1308.  The exact colors are known from the reign of Raymond IV (1340-’93) when it is depicted in the armorials of Belklenville and Gelre.


The House of Châlons

Raymond IV was married with Joanne heiresws of Geneve. By marriage in 1388 of their daughter Mary and John of Chalons the principality and the claim on Geneve came  to the House of Chalons-Arlay in 1393. In the will of John, who succeeded his wife in the title in 1417, it was decided that the princes of Orange had also to bear the arms of Chalons. [3] On the seal of Louis (1418-’63) this decision is obeyed. In the field is a shield quarterly of the arms of Chalons and Orange with the arms of Geneve in the middle. It is crested with a pair of antlers, which was the crest of Chalons, and is supported by two lions which returned as supporters of much of the shields of the later princes of Orange. [4]. On his later equestrian seals however, the prince is depicted with the arms showing the bugle horn only. [5]

The son of Louis,William succeeded him in 1463. He bore the same arms as his father. His son John however augmented it by quartering it with the arms of his mother Catherine a sister of the last duke of Bretagne, Francis II. Becuase John was a knoght of the order of St. Michael he surrounded his arms with the collar of this order.

Philibert (1502-’30) the last prince of Orange from the House of Chalons augmented the arms again. On an escutcheon came the arems of his mother, Philiberte of Luxemburg: a red lion on a white field. When he was made a knight of the Fleece in 1516 he surrounded his arms with the collar of this order. [6]


The House of Orange-Nassau

After the death of Philibert his nephew René of Nassau inherited the principality. Traditionally he adopted the name of Chalons. His arms are quarterly of Chalons-Orange-Geneve as before and the arms of Bretagne-Luxemburg. He also added the crests of Nassau and Luxemburg. In the middle are his personal arms quarterly of Nassau and Vianden. Around the shield is the collar of the Order of the Fleece. [7] In 1541 René changed the quarter of Luxemburg into a quarter for Katzenellnbogen: a red crowned lion on a golden field.

In his will René  bequeathed the principality to William of Nassau, later, at the Revolt in the Netherlands of which he was the main leader, called ‘The Silent”. After William had come in the possession of the principality he augmented his own arms with a shield of Chalons-Orange-Geneve in the middle. The other quarters of the arms of René he omitted because he was not a descendant of  Philiberte of Bretagne. On the shield are the crests of Orange, Nassau and Katzenellnbogen and around it is the collar of the Order of the Fleece. [8] Supporters are on his seal of 1562. They are two griffins. [9]

The successors in the principality, also stadholders and supreme commanders of the Republic of the United Netherlands augmented the arms with several other quarters arranged in different ways. [10]


The Titulary Princes of Orange

After the death of William III, king and stadholder in 1701, a dispute arose between the claimants of his heritage. [11]

The princ eof Conti, already granted the possession of the principality by king Louis XIV, founded his claims on his relation with the house of Chalons. He ceded them to Louis XIV who then occupied the principality.

About the title “Prince of Orange” to which the other possessions of William III were connected. John William Friso and Frederick I of Prussia and their descendants litigated for thirty years. They were a grand-grand son and a grandson respectively in the female line of Frederick Henry.  In 1713 at the Treaty of Utrecht it was decided that the principality itself was allotted to the prince of Conti. Title and arms came to the king of Prussia. By Treaty of Berlin of 16 June 1732 the possessions were partitioned between king Frederick William I and William IV, the German possessions being allotted to the first and the Dutch possessions to the last. Both received teh right to bear title and arms of Orange.

Already in the first larger achievement of the King of Prussia the shield quarterly of Orange was included. It is on a little shield in the lower part of the shield. In the arms of Frederick II the arms of Neuchatel are in the fourth quarter. In later arms the arms of Orange were reduced to the bugle horn only. In the arms of 1873 it is in the 26th quarter.

Not included in the larger arms of state are the arms of Orange for the title Prince of Orange of the Prussian king. This consists of the Chalons-Orange-Geneve arms and its two crests of Chalons and Orange.

John William Friso bore from 1702 his personal arms augmented with the arms of Orange on a little shield in the middle. The backshield is divided in six parts of which of the first four are the arms of Nassau-Katzneellnbogen-Vianden-Dietz of the Nassau-family. In the fifth is a deer and in the sixth two bushes of reed for Spiegelberg and Liesveld which were possessions of the Frisian Nassaus since 1631 and 1636. On two other little shields there are the arms of Meurs and Buren which were also claimed by John William Friso. 

The son of John William Friso, William IV continued the use of the arms of his father unchanged. After his wedding in 1734 he changed it by omitting the arms of  Spiegelberg, Liesveld, Meurs and Buren. These somewhat simplified arms were also used by his son and grandson. It is surrounded by the strap of the Order of the Garter and supported by two crowned lions. Sometimes the external ornaments are extended by a trophy which refers to their function as a captain admiral general of the Union.

On May 23, 1802, France and Prussia concluded a treaty in which Fulda and some other areas were promised to William V Prince of Orange as compensation for the loss of his domains in the Low Countries. He refused at first, but later accepted the offer in favour for his son Prince William Frederick to become the ruler of the new formed principality. On October 22, Prussian troops occupied the Diocese of Fulda to secure the interests of the prince and on 6 December Prince Willem Frederik held his entry in Fulda. The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss on 25 February 1803, legalized the redistribution of the territories. According to section 12 of this resolution the Diocese of Fulda, Corvey Abbey, Free Imperial City of Dortmund and Weingarten Abbey were transferred to the rule of the new Prince of Nassau-Orange-Fulda.

After the military defeat of Prussia by France, the Prince of Orange subsequently lost his remaining possessions (including the mediated ones). Fulda was occupied by the French troops on 27 October 1806. It remained under French rule until 19 May 1810, when it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Subsequently, Corvey was incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia on 7 December 1807 and Dortmund into the Grand Duchy of Berg on 1 March 1808.

After the defeat of France William Frederick was invited by a dutch triumvirate to accept the rule of the Netherlands as its sovereign. On 1 december he was proclaimed as a sovereign which was accpted by him on the next day.

Still a prince of Orange he quartered the arms of the Netherlands with his princely arms, augmented with the arms of Nassau. When inaugurated as a king of the Netherlands however, he bore a combination of the arms of Nassau and the arms of the Netherlands. At the same time his son and successor was made a prince of Orange, a title which was given to all male successors of the kings of the Netherland by constitution of 1815. which reads: “The eldest son of the King or later male descendants, probable successors of the Crown, is the first subject of the King and bears the title of Prince of Orange.” According to this law the title was not borne by Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix. The provision was deleted in the constitution of 17 Februari 1983. For that reason the present female successor bears the title of Princess of Orange. [12] 

However, the successors of the crown, not bearing the title of princess of Orange, included the bugle horn of Orange in their arms, a tradition which is continued by the present descendants of the King, including the princess of Orange. [13]


At the beginning of the 18th  cetury the Principality of Orange itself first became a province of France and during the First French Republic a part of a newly formed département Vaucluse so that at the end of the 18th century not only the Princes of Orange had disappeared but also the principality from which they had been the rulers.




The emblem of the rulers of Orange was a bugle horn, a hunting horn or a cornet.

A horn is a military music instrument used from ancient times in battle to give the signal for attack and for other tactical signals.

Celts, Germans and Gauls had trumpets of different shapes, the trunk ending in animals’ heads or simply in a flange.


Irish trumpet from Armagh (Ireland), 1st century BC.


Bronze age lur from Scandinavia

Trumpets with animals’ heads

on the Triumphal Arch of Orange


The Triumphal Arch of Orange was built during the reign of Augustus (27 BC - AD 14) on the former via Agrippa to honor the veterans of the Gallic Wars and Legio II Augusta. It was later reconstructed by emperor Tiberius to celebrate the victories of Germanicus over the German tribes in Rhineland. The arch contains an inscription dedicated to emperor Tiberius in AD 27.

The trophies carved on the arch contain shields, spears and banners but also trumpets with animals’ heads apparently used by the Gallic troops.


In Roman times a horn was blown by the tubicines and the cornicines who blew horns of different shape like these hornblowers on the column of Trajan (98-117). Publius Vegetius (late 4th century) devotes a short section to the function of these hornblowers in his Epitoma rei Militaris :


“The music of the legion consists of trumpets, cornets and buccinae. The trumpet sounds the charge  and the retreat. The cornets are used only to regulate the motions of the colors; the trumpets serve when the soldiers are ordered out to any work without the colors; but in time of action, the  trumpets and cornets sound together. The classicum, which is a particular sound of the buccina or horn, is appropriated to the commander-in-chief and is used in the presence of the general, or at  the execution of a soldier, as a mark of its being done by his authority. The ordinary guards and outposts are always mounted and relieved by the sound of trumpet, which also directs the motions of the soldiers on working parties and on field days. The cornets sound whenever the colors are to be struck or planted. These rules must be punctually observed in all exercises and reviews so that the soldiers may be ready to obey them in action without hesitation according to the general's orders either to charge or halt, to pursue the enemy or to retire. For reason will convince us that what is necessary to be performed in the heat of action should constantly be practiced in the  leisure of peace”. [14]


Hornblowers on the column of Trajan


In the middle ages another type of horn appeared. This was a horn of large dimensions often made from an elephants’ tusk and for that reason also called an oliphant. It was often hooped with metal to attach a bandeleer. The oliphant was a horn for war and hunt, as the horns before it served to give signals for rallying the troops and to announce the approach of the ennemy.

The oliphant was an instrument of commanders or of those who followed them and blew it in war to unite their troops or to warn them. The watchman of the castle only had a horn to give signals and the oliphant was the trumpet of the nobleman, of the lord having the command of warriors. It was a badge of distinction of command and of dignity which was only borne by the great in war and it was dishonourable to be robbed of this noble instrument.

The value of such horns is illustrated in the Chanson de Roland, a medieval legend telling the sory of a warrior who clinged until the last to his sword and horn.

Several of such horns are preserved from all over Europe, a famous one claimed to be the horn of Roland himself (or of William of Gellone) in the Musée Dupuy in Toulouse.



The horn of Orange has probably been inspired by the medieval Chansons de Geste about William of Orange, also called Guillaume Fièrebrace, Guillaume de Rodès, Guillaume au Court Nez or Guillaume au Cornet in french. This romantic William of Orange was based on the historic William of Gellone (750-814ca) who was made count of Toulouse in 790. He is the hero in the 12th century Chanson de Guillaume au Cort Nès. In it he earned his nickname when, defending Rome, a part of his nose was cut off in a fight with the saracen king Corsolt. 

Whatever his nickname, it apparently was interpreted by his 12th century namesake William del Cornas (IV of Baux) of Orange as Guillaume au Cornet which would explain the horn (cornet) in his arms and on his seal. We may be sure that William IV has taken his romantic predecessor as an inspiring example, also in the matter of loyalty to his king which in the end has earned him the vice-royalty of the Kingdom of Burgundy.

Remains the question if the bugle horn is the badge of his supposed office of hornblower or is referring to his nickname.


The Martial Arms


The House of Adhemar





Tiburge III



¥ Betrand of Baux  1173-1181


After the death of Bertrand his sons Hugues and William each took different arms, the arms of Hugues and his successors, counts of Marseille being a sixteen-pointed star or sun, known from his seal dated 1214.

The arms of William being a bugle horn.


Princes and Co-princes from the House of Baux-Orange [15]

William I



*1173 ca-†1218


(Vice-)King of Burgundy 1215-1218


The arms and emblem of William occur on his seal dated 1193.



Equestrian seal: Knight on horseback

Arms & Emblem: Bugle horn


Date: June 1193


In 1215 when the Emperor Frederick II sought to make his power effective in the Kingdom of Burgundy, he granted to William at Metz the whole “Kingdom of Arles and Vienne”, probably referring to the viceroyalty of the kingdom. [16] He was called an imperial vicar from 8 January 1215 until his death. William was imprisoned in Avignon in the summer of 1216 and remained there until his death. in June 1218. His descendants continued to claim the Kingdom of Arles until 1393.


According to german sources the arms of William as a (vice-)king of Burgundy showed a golden star on a blue field. See below.


After his death the principality was partitioned in three parts, of which two parts came to his sons William and Raymond I and the third part to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In this third part Charles II of Anjou succeeded in 1307 and it was united with the other parts in 1308. 


2nd Generation


Sons of William I

William II  1215-† before 1239

Bertrand II  1224-?

Raymond I  1224-†1282


William II


King of Burgundy 1218-1239



The arms of the titulary (vice-)kings of Burgundy after 1218 are documented in about 1240 by Conrad von Mure:


50 Orlens Wilhelmi clipeo qui blavus habetur

Aut de lasurio nitet, aurea stella videtur.[17]


(William of Orange bears a golden star in a blue shield shining blue)




Such a coat of arms is also in a german version of the romance of William of Orange by Wolfram von Eschenbach, called “Willehalm”. Here, the arms are not the arms with the cornet of Orange but of the sun or 8-pointed star of Baux.

William of Orange

in Wolfram von Eschenbachs

“Willehalm”. [18]

An eight-pointed star is the (biblical) star of Bethlehem and is often represented in connection with the three magicians or kings of epiphany. In this case it is the emblem of one of the three kings of the Hohenstaufen empire consisting of Germany, Italy and Burgundy and in particular of the vice-king of Burgundy. [19]


The adoration of the kings guided by the Star of Bethleham

“Urkunde de Kölner Dreikönigsbruderschaft”, 1250 ca..  Hannover Kestner Museum. Inv. Nr. 3986.



Seal of William of Baux and the Order of St. John.


Obv.: Emblem: Bugle horn. Legend: X S· W· DE BAVCIO PRINCIPIS AVRASICE

Rev.: Emblem: Square cross patée. Legend: X S. HOSPITAŁS - I · IOHIS IN AVRASICE


Seal of William II, his brother Raymond I and the Order of St. John


Obv.:  Bugle horn, stringed and tasseled. L.: X S R ET G D BAVCIO PRINCIPII AVRASICE

Rev.: Square cross patée. L.: X S HOSPITAŁS IHNSINAVRASICE





Å Banner of the Order of St. John of Jeruzalem at the Battle of Gaza, 1239: Red, a white cross. Legend: vexillŭ hospitalis. (As by Matthew Paris).


Raymond I


King of Burgundy 1254-1257


Seal of Raymond I, 1253


Seal: Knight on horseback. Rev.: Bugle-horn stringed and tasseled. L.: X S · R · DE BAVCIO PRIN CIPISAVRANCE.



In 1257 Raymond I of Baux explicitely renounced his claims to the kingship of Burgundy to Charles of Anjou (then count of Provence): “in regno predicto Vienne et Arelates ex donatione collatione seu concessione olim facta predicto domine Guillelmo quondam patri nostro a serenissimo domino F. quondam Romanorum rege et Sicilie”.


Twenty-four years later Charles I of Anjou (king of Naples) was invested with the “Regnum Viennense quod et Arelatensis nomine nuncupatur” (Burgundy) by the Roman King Rudolf of Habsburg.

This investment explains the arms Azure, an 8-pointed star Or behind the royal throne in Monreale Cathedral (Sicily).


Back of the Sicilian Throne, Monreale Cathedral



Order of St. John of Jeruzalem




Arms of the Order of St. John (1218-1307) and Charles II of Anjou (1307-1308).


3rd Generation


Sons of William II

William III 1239-†after 1256

Raymond II 1246-†1279


Sons of Raymond I

William IV 1246-†before 1281

Bertrand IV 1257-†1311


William III



Probably until the renunciation of his claims on Burgundy the seals of the sons of Raymond I showed the royal star of Burgundy:

1256 Seal of William III of Baux


Emblem: Bugle horn, within the string an 8-pointed star.

Legend: S· W: DE BA(ucio pr)incipis: avrasia.

Date: 01.07.1256. (Arch. N. de Paris D.936)


Raymond II



Seal of Raymond II of Baux


Emblem: Bugle horn, within the string an 8-pointed star.

Legend: s. r.: de: bavcio: princip(is Aurasi)ce.

Date: 01.07.1256. (Arch. N. de Paris D.935).


After the renunciation of the claims on the royal title of Burgundy the eight-pointed star disappeared from the seals of the House of Baux-Orange. On the seals and arms of the italian branch of the Baux-family however, the star was maintained but was placed on a red field.


William IV



Bertrand IV



By Bertrand IV the bugle horn was displayed on his shield again, thus creating the arms of Orange for the second time.


Reunion of the parts 1308


Equestrian Seal of Bertrand III,

A.R.A. Nass. Domeinr. inv. n°  1161


Arms: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled.

Counter seal: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled


Date: 01.03.1305


4th Generation


Sons of Raymond II

Bertrand III 1279-†after 1302

Raymond 1279-† before 1339



Son of Bertrand IV

Raymond IV 1314-†1340


Bertrand III



Seal of Bertrand III


Seal: Obv.: Bugle horn, stringed and tasseled. Rev.: Knight on horseback. Arms: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled. Legend: X S B’DOMIN BREVIS AVRASICE / PRINCEPS AVRASICE.  





Seal of Raymond


Equestrian seal: Knight on horseback. Arms: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled. L.:  X RA DE BAUCIO DEI GRA PNCEPS AVRASICE. Rev.: Bugle horn, stringed and tasseled.


Equestrian seal: Knight on horseback. Arms: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled. L.:  X RA DE BAUCIO DEI GRA PNCIPIS AVR. Rev.: Bugle horn, stringed and tasseled.


Equestrian seal: Knight on horseback. Arms: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled. L.:  X RA DE BAUCIO DEI GRA PNCEPS AVRASICE. Rev.: Bugle horn, stringed and tasseled.


Raymond IV



Equestrian seal and Counter Seal of Raymond IV


Arms: Bugle horn on shield and horse clothes.

Counter seal: Bugle horn stringed and tasseled.

Date: 01.03.1325. [20] (A.R.A. Nass. Domeinr. inv.   1161)


5th Generation


Son of Bertrand III

Raymond III 1300-†1335


Son of Raymond IV

Raymond V 1339-†1393


Raymond V


∞ 1358 Jeanne of Genève



1365 ca

Arms: Or, a bugle horn Azure stringed Gules. (Gelre  fol. 67 v°,   738: grave van oringhen. [21])


1367 Tomb on the courtyard of Salerno cathedral:

Arms: On the tomb are three shields: 1. A bugle horn, 2. 1|2 a fess within a bordure compony and a bugle horn; 3. a fess within a bordure compony.

Legend: X hic  jacet magnificia mulier dna marqvisia de baucio comitissa mileci et terrenove que obit anno domini mccclxvii mensis septembris vimo cvi aia requiescat in pace.


6th Generation


Mary of Baux (daughter of Raymond V) 1380-





¥ 1382 John I of Châlons-Arlay 1393-1418


John I of Chalon Arlay prescribed in his will that the arms of Orange should be quartered with the arms of Châlons.


... Le même avons nous en la Principauté d'Aurange; de sorte que certuy qui en est Prince, doit porter le nom et armes de Châlons, sous peine d'en estre privé comme appert par le testament de Jean de Chalon premier Prince d'Aurange de cette famille en date du 21. d'Octobre 1417. Item par le testament du Guillaume Prince d'Aurange, fils de Louis fils de Jean susdit, en date du 15  de Juin 1459. Item par le testament de Jean fils de Guillaume en date du 6 d'Avril 1502. Item par le testament de Philbert fils de Jean en date du 3. de May 1520. Laquelle ordonnance fut mise en execution par René fils de Henry, Comte de Nassau et de Dame Claude de Châlons lequel laissant le nom et armes de Nassau, a retenu le nom et armes de Chalon et mourant sans generation le 15. de Juillet 1544 aagé de 26. ans, avec permission et consentement de feu de tres-heureuse memoire Charles le V. Empereur par son testament en date du 20. de Juing 1544 institua Guillaume Comte de Nassau, son cousin germain, Prince d'Auranche, lequel porta ses armes escartellées de Nassau, Catzen-Ellebogen, Vianden, et Brvnsvic (sic!) à l'escu escartellé de Châlons et d'Auranche sur tout et surchargé de Genève. [22]


The House of Châlons

Louis the Good

† 1463



In 1436 Louis bought Orange from the Count of Provence, René of Anjou.


Arms of the ancestors of louis the good


Seal of  Amadeus III of Geneve, 1346

Arch. Nat. Paris, D. 11581




The arms of  Chalons, Genevois and Orange

«Armorial Bellenville» (or) «Armorial Beaulaincourt», 1386 [BNF Ms Fr 5230]


1st row n° 2. Chalons: aucshoren: Gules, a bend Or. Louis of Chalons †1398 (father of John I of Chalons Arlay)

3rd row n° 2. Genevois: geneue genevre: Equipollé Or and Azure. Amadeus III of Geneve †1367 (father of Jeanne of Geneve)

5th row n° 1. Orange: vã orge: Or, a cornet garnished Sable, jessed Argent. Raymond V †1393 (father of Mary of Baux)



According to the will of his father Louis quartered the arms of Orange with the arms of Chalons but added also the arms of his grandfather Amadeus III on an escutcheon in nombril point. These arms are documented in about 1440 in the Bergshammar Vapenboken, fol. 113v°, n° 1620 with the legend: die prinche van oraengen. [23]


Arms: ¼: 1&4: Gules a bend Or (Châlons); 2&3: Or a bugle horn Azure stringed Gules (Orange). In nombril point: equipollé Azure and Or (Genève).


Equestrian seal & Counter seal

(A.N.P., F. 270 & 270bis A.R.A.)


Arms: On shield and horse clothes a bugle horn.

Legend: ....principis auraice.

Counter seal:  Bugle horn.

Legend: bulla curie auraice. (A.N.P.,  F 270 bis. A.R.A) .

Date: 1447.12.17.

Equestrian seal and counter seal of 1452 as 1447.

K.H.A., inv. 20-41. A.R.A.


 By Louis the Good an achievement was introduced consisting of the crested arms and supporters:

1432 Heraldic seal:

Arms: ¼ Châlons-Orange, esc.: Genève.

Crest: Antlers.

Supporters: Two lions.

Legend: s. loys. de chalon prince (d'Oran)ges et s(ire) darlay.

Date: 22.06.1­432. (Arch. N. de Paris D.937, Arch. de l'Emp. J. 251 n°  32)


Louis of Châlons

Lord of Chateau-Guyon *1448-†1476

Knight T.d’O. n° 66. Brugge 1468


Son of preceding and Eléonore d'Armagnac (1423-‘56).

Armorial of the Order of the Fleece

Vienna and Royal Library, The Hague.


Arms: ¼ Châlons and Orange esc. Genève.

Crest: Antlers

Order: T.d’O..

Legend: Me Loys de chalon seigr de chasteau gyon.


Coat of arms of Louis of Chalons, 1476

(Burgunderbeute Kat. nr 61 j - k.)

Louis was killed at Grandson.


William VII



Arms of William VI in the Armorial of Conrad Grüneberg about 1480   [24]


John II

Philip of Baden-Hochberg

John II






† 03.08.1530


Knight T. d’O. n°142, Brussels 1516



Arms: ¼: 1&4: ¼ Châlons-Orange with escutcheon Genève. 2&3: Bretagne; In nombril point: Argent, a lion Gules, unguled Or and langued Azure (Luxemburg-St. Pol).

Crest: Antlers.

Order: T.d’O..

Legend: Meßire Philebert prince Dorenges.



Gaspard de Coligny







Continued the use of his arms in his second term.

In his will Philibert made his nephew René, son of his sister and Henry of Nassau-Breda his heir.



House of Nassau





Knight T. d’O. n° 191 Doornik, 1531*1519



After he had accepted his inheritance in 1530 René bore:


A modern rendering of the arms of René of Chalons [25]


Arms: ¼: 1&4: ¼ Châlons-Orange esc. Genève. 2&3: ¼ Bretagne-St. Pol; in nombril point ¼ Nassau-Vianden: Rood, een witte balk.

Crest: A pair of  Antlers Or. (Orange)


Great seal of René of Châlons dated. 1543.03.14.

(R.A. in Gelderland, Oud-archief van Harderwijk, inv. nr. 1355, reg. nr. 803.)


Arms: ¼: 1&4: ¼ Châlons-Orange esc. Genève. 2&3: ¼ Bretagne-St. Pol; in nombril point ¼ Nassau-Vianden: Rood, een witte balk.

Crest: I. Antlers (Orange); II. A pair of wings per fess Gules and Or (Châlons); III. A of wings (Nassau).

Legend: s. renati a cabilone principis auraicae comitis a nassav catzenelnbogen vianden tonerra et ponthivra dni in breda &c.  



In 1531 the collar of the Order of the Fleece was added:


Armorial of the Order of the Fleece. Vienna/The Hague

On the version on the right the motto je restaindray (I will survive) added.


Arms: ¼: 1&4: ¼ Châlons-Orange esc. Genève. 2&3: ¼ Bretagne-St. Pol; in nombril point ¼ Nassau-Vianden: Rood, een witte balk.

Crest: I. Antlers (Orange); II. A pair of wings per fess Gules and Or (Châlons); III. A of wings (Nassau).

Order: T.d’O..

Legend: Meße Rene de chalon prince Dorenges conte de Naßau.


In the time of René a crown was introduced to replace the crests:




Arms of René in the ms. Minnedichten addressed to Anne de Lorraine

the crests replaced by a crown with pearls. [26]


A modern rendering by Godschalk [27]




William I (VIII) the Silent



Knight T.d’O.   226. Antwerpen, 1556

Stadholder of Holland etc. 1559



 Æ Part 2




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© Hubert de Vries 2014-06-04



[1] For the title of prince and the question if the Princes of Orange were considered to be imperial princes see Ficker: Vom Reichsfürstenstande. Aalen 19??, p. 228 (180). In 1337 the Dauphin Hubert reckons the “dominus Princeps Auraycæ"  as his vassal. At the same time the Prince of Orange was a vassal of the Count of Provence for the territory formerly the possession of the Order of St. John (from the treaty of 22.03.1308). For that reason the arms in Gelre are depicted together with the vassals of the kings of Sicily. In 1436 the count (prince) of Orange bought the territory from René of Anjou the then count of Provence.

[2] Roo van Alderwelt, J.K.H. de: De voorgeschiedenis van het wapen gevoerd door de eerste prins van Orange uit het geslacht van de graven van Nassau. In: Genealogisch Jaarboek, 1971. Noot 26.

[3] Seyler Geschichte p. 420.

[4] ANP, D 937 Arch. De l’Empire, J. 251 n° 32.

[5] ANP, F 270 en 270bis. KHA inv. n° 20-41. 

[6] Hoop, E.J.T. à Thuessink van der: Het wapen van Oranje Nassau in zijn historische ontwikkeling. In: De Nederlandsche Leeuw, 1933 kol. 147-167.

[7] Ibid. Kol. 151-152. In 1531 René was made the 191st knight of the Fleece.

[8] Ibid. Kol. 159-160. William I became the 226th knight of the Fleece in 1556.  When he was outlawed in 1580 by king Philip II he omitted the colar around his arms which should mean that he was also expelled from the order. 

[9] K.H.A. Prins Willem I, 1561. Alg. Rijksarchief Nassausche Domeinen fol. 1820 v° n° IX, 25.VIII.1562.

[10] For the arms of the Princes of Orange from the House of Nassau until 1702 see: Laars, T. van der : Wapens, Vlaggen en Zegels van Nederland.  Amsterdam, 1913. Hoop, E.J. à Thuessink van der: Het wapen van Maurits, Prins van Oranje. In: De Nederlandsche Leeuw, 1925, kol. 131-141.

[11] Dorp, L. Van: De titel “Prins van Oranje”. In: De  Nederlandsche Leeuw, 1988, kol. 265-273.

[12] Dorp, L. Van. Op.cit kol. 272.

[13] For the arms of the princes of Orange, crown princes of the Netherlands: Laars, T. Van der: op.cit.. Dik, A.W.E.: Genealogie van het Vorstenhuis Nassau. Zaltbommel, 1970.  the arms were adopted by K.B. van 24.08.1815 art 2 & 7;  K.B. van 10.071907 art. 2;  K.B. van 13.07I.1909 art. 5 & 6;  K.B. van 18.02.1938;  K.B. van 26.04.1966.   

[14] 2,22: Habet praeterea legio tubicine cornicines bucinatores. Tubicen ad bellum vocat milites et rursum receptui canit. Cornicines quotiens canunt, non milites sed signa ad eorum obtemperant nutum. Ergo quotiens ad aliquod opus exituri sunt soli milites, tubicines canunt, quotiens movenda sunt signa, cornicines canunt; quotiens autem pugnatur, et tubicines et cornicines paritur canunt. Classicum item appellatur quod bucinatores per cornu dicunt. Hoc insigne videtur imperii, quia classicum canitur imperatore praesent vel cum in militem capitaliter animadvertitur, quia hoc ex imperatoris legibus fieri necesse est. Sive ergo ad vigilias vel agrarias faciendas sive ad opus aliquod vel ad decursionem exeunt milites, tubicine vocante operantur et rursus tubicine admonente cessant. Cum autem moventur signa autiam mota figenda sunt, cornicines canunt.”

[15] After: Barthélemy, L.: Inventaire Chronologique et Analytique des Chartes de la Maison de Baux. Marseille 1882. Quatrième Tableau: Branch des Baux d’Orange.

[16] Barthélemy, L.: op. cit. 1882. P. 16: 1215-8 janvier. Privilege de Frederic II, roi des Romains et de Sicile, concédant le royaume de Vienne et d’Arles à Guillaume de Baux I, prince d’Orange, à cause des nombreux et grands services rendus à sa famille, et de ceux que lui ou ses successeurs pourront lui frendre àl’avenir, avec promesse de le faire couronner; ordonnant à tous les habitants de ce royaume, clercs ou laïques, nobles ou roturiers, de lui obéir et prêter le serment de fidélité. - Donné a Metz.

Reg. II 175 f° 1 6 v°. - B-du- R. - publiée par M. Blancard dans la Revue des Sociétés savantes, 1875.

[17] Ganz, P.: Geschichte der heraldischen Kunst in der Schweiz im 12. und 13. Jahrh. Frauenfeld, 1899. Pp. 180-181, n° 50

[18] München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, cgm 193. III fol. 1r. The manuscript is dated 1250-'70 

[19] An eight-pointed sun was created in the 2nd millennium BC to symbolize the (eight points of the compass of the) empire. In the time of the Persian empire the star was made 16-pointed or more. In the European middle ages a multi-pointed sun was also the symbol of the empire. Such a sun was on the shields of the House of Baux italian branch, consequently symbolizing the (roman?) empire.

[20] Drossaers, S.W.A. Archief van de Nassausche Domeinraad, Dl. I. Inv. n° 1161, reg n° 167.

[21] Brussel K.B. Ms. 15652-56, fol. 67 v°.

[22] Seyler, Gesch. p. 420.

[23] Raneke, Jan: Bergshammar Vapenboken - En Medeltidsheraldisk Studie. Lund, 1975. The armorial is in the Riksarkivet Stockholm: Bergshammarsamlingen.

[24] Grünenberg, Konrad: Das Wappenbuch Conrads von Grünenberg, Ritters und Bürgers zu Constanz - BSB Cgm 145, [S.l.], um 1480 [BSB-Hss Cgm 145]


[25] Laars, T. van der: Wapens, Vlaggen en Zegels van Nederland. Amsterdam, 1913. fig 267

[26] KB. Den Haag

[27] Laars, op.cit 1913, fig 280

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