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René of Chalon

René of Châlon, Prince of Orange
René of Châlon
Spouse(s) Anna of Lorraine
Noble family Châlon-Arlay and Nassau-Breda
Father Henry III of Nassau-Breda
Mother Claudia of Châlon
Born 5 February 1519
Breda, Duchy of Brabant
Died 15 July 1544 (aged 25)
Saint-Dizier, Kingdom of France
Buried Grote Kerk (Breda)

René of Châlon (5 February 1519 – 15 July 1544), also known as Renatus of Châlon, was a Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelre.

René was born in Breda, the only son of Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda and Claudia of Châlon. Claudia's brother, Philibert of Châlon, was the last Prince of Orange from the house of Châlon. When Philibert died in 1530, René inherited the Princedom of Orange on condition that he used the name and coat of arms of the Châlon-Orange family. History knows him therefore as René of Châlon instead of as "René of Nassau-Breda." [1]

Coat of arms of Rene of Chalons as Prince of Orange. The 1st and 4th grand quarters show the arms of the Chalons-Arlay (the gold bend) princes of Orange (the bugle). The blue and gold checkers represent the arms of Jeanne of Geneva, who married one of the Chalons prices. The 2nd and 3rd show the quarterings of Brittany and Luxembourg-St. Pol. The inescutcheon overall is his paternal arms quartered of Nassau and Breda.[2]

René of Châlon married Anna of Lorraine (1522–1568) on 20 August 1540 at Bar-le-Duc. They had only one child, a daughter named Maria, who lived only 3 weeks and was buried in the Grote Kerk in Breda.

In 1544, René took part in the siege of St. Dizier in the service of Emperor Charles V. He was mortally wounded in battle and died with the Emperor attending at his bedside.[3] René was buried in Grote Kerk in Breda, near the resting-place of his short-lived daughter. A commemorative cenotaph stands in the church of St. Etienne in Bar-le-Duc.

René of Châlon, as the last descendant of the original princes, left the principality to his first cousin William of Nassau-Dillenburg (better known as "William the Silent"), who was not a descendant of the original Orange family but the legal heir to the principality of Orange, and heir of all of René's lands.

The principality of Orange had already passed, through the female line, from the first dynasty of Orange to the families Les Baux, and De Châlon.[4] William added the name of Orange to his own paternal dignities and thus became in 1544 the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau.



  1. ^ Grew, Marion Ethel (1947). The House of Orange. 36 Essex Street, Strand, London W.C.2: Methuen & Co. Ltd. 
  2. ^ Rietstap, Johannes Baptist (2003). Armorial general. vol.2. Genealogical Publishing Co. p. 297.  
  3. ^ Rowen, Herbert H. (1988). The princes of Orange: the stadholders in the Dutch Republic. Cambridge University Press. p. 11.  
  4. ^ Motley, John Lothrop (1855). The Rise of the Dutch Republic. vol.1. Harper Brothers Publishers. p. 235. 
René of Chalon
Born: 5 February 1519 Died: 15 July 1544
Preceded by
Philibert of Châlon
Prince of Orange
Succeeded by
William of Orange-Nassau
Preceded by
Henry III of Nassau-Breda
Baron of Breda
Succeeded by
William of Orange-Nassau
Preceded by
Antoine de Lalaing
Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht
Succeeded by
Louis of Praet
Preceded by
Floris van Egmont
Stadtholder of Guelders
Succeeded by
Philippe de Lalaing
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