House of Arenberg

A number of great families have marked our past and made important contributions to our cultural heritage. Among these, the House of Arenberg.

From its origins in the Eifel, the house of Arenberg came to influence political decision-making in the Middle Ages and up to the 19th century. This European dynastic family moved its power centre to the southern Netherlands during the 16th century. Their fidelity to the Habsburgs was rewarded during that period by elevation to the rank of prince in 1576 and to that of duke in 1644. The House of Arenberg has produced generations of political, military and ecclesiastical dignitaries and numerous patrons of the arts. Palaces, gardens, and 'objets d’art' remain today the tangible witnesses to this glorious past.

Vienna, 5 March 1576, Emperor Maximilien II - Elevation of the Westphalian county of Arenberg to princely status

Philippe-François (1625-1674)

Philippe-François (1625-1674), 1st sovereign duke of Arenberg and 7the duke of Aarschot. Married Marie Madeleine de Borja y Doria in 1642. Soldier. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut.


Charles-Eugène (1633-1681)

Charles-Eugène (1633-1681), brother of the above, second sovereign duke of Arenberg and 8th duke of Aarschot. Married Marie-Henriette de Cusance, marquise de Varambon in 1660. Their two sons Philippe-Charles-François and Alexandre fell in battle in 1691 and 1683. Soldier. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut.


Philippe-François-Charles (1663-1691)

Philippe-François-Charles (1663-1691), third sovereign duke of Arenberg and 9th duke of Aarschot. Married Marie-Henriette d'Alcaretto, marquise de Grana y Savona in 1684. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut. The youngest general in the imperial army at the battle of Salankemen, where he died from his wounds.


Leopold-Philippe (1690-1754)

Leopold-Philippe (1690-1754), fourth sovereign duke of Arenberg and 10th duke of Aarschot. Married Marie-Françoise Pignatelli, princess of Bisaccia and countess d'Egmont. Last surviving member of the d'Arenberg family after the death of his cousin Octave, killed in the battle of Neerwinden in 1693. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut. Marshal and commander in chief of the imperial troops in the Austrian Netherlands. Seriously wounded at Malplaquet (1709), Temeschvar (1718), Dettingen (1743).


Charles-Marie-Raymond (1721-1778)

Charles-Marie-Raymond (1721-1778), fifth sovereign duke of Arenberg, 11th duke of Aarschot. Married in 1748 Louise-Marguerite, countess de La Marck. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine Général of Hainaut. Marshal in the Austrian army. Seriously wounded at Leuthen then at Torgau during the 7 Years' War.


Louis-Engelbert (1750-1820)

Louis-Engelbert (1750-1820), sixth sovereign duke of Arenberg and 12th duke of Aarschot, 1st duke of Meppen and 1st prince of Recklinghausen. Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut. Married Louise-Pauline de Lauraguais, daughter of the duke of Brancas in 1773. Blinded in a hunting accident two years later. Victim of sequester by the French in 1794. Last reigning duke of Arenberg in the old duchy in the Eifel mountains.


Prosper-Louis (1785-1861)

Prosper-Louis (1785-1861), seventh sovereign duke of Arenberg and 13th duke of Aarschot, 2nd duke of Meppen and 2nd prince of Recklinghausen. Second marriage to princess Ludmille de Lobkowicz in 1819. Colonel of the Belgian Chevau-Légers d'Arenberg. Wounded and captured by the English at Arroyo-Molinos on 28 October 1811 during the war in Spain. In 1801, lost the former Duchy of Arenberg on the left bank of the Rhine but received a larger duchy on the right bank in 1803, lost in its turn in 1815, overrun by the Prussians and the Hanoverians.


Engelbert Auguste

Engelbert-Auguste (1824-1875), eighth sovereign duke of Arenberg and 14th duke of Aarschot, 3rd duke of Meppen and 3rd prince of Recklinghausen. Married his cousin, princess Marie-Eléonore d'Arenberg in 1868. Great patron of the arts. Last duke of Arenberg to hold sovereign rights in the duchy of Arenberg-Meppen, until 1875.


Engelbert-Marie (1872-1949)

Engelbert-Marie (1872-1949), ninth sovereign duke of Arenberg and 15th duke of Aarschot, 4th duke of Meppen and 4th prince of Recklinghausen. Married princess Hedwige de Ligne in 1897. Victim of French (1919) and Belgian (1921) sequesters after the First World War. Great patron of the arts.


Charles-Engelbert of Arenberg (1899-1974)

Engelbert-Charles of Arenberg (1899-1974), tenth duke of Arenberg, sixteenth duke of Aarschot, fifth duke of Meppen, fifth prince of Recklinghausen. Married princess Valerie of Schleswig-Holstein in 1940.


Eric-Charles of Arenberg (1901-1992)

Eric-Charles of Arenberg (1901-1992), eleventh duke of Arenberg,  seventienth duke of Aarschot, sixth duke of Meppen, sixth prince of Recklinghausen, dr. re.pol., knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta, co founder of the „Studium Arenbergense“. Married countess Marie-Thérèse de La Poëze d’Harambure in 1949.


Jean-Engelbert (1921-2011)

John-Engelbert (1921-2011), twelfth duke of Arenberg, 18th duke of Aarschot, 7th duke of Meppen and 7th prince of Recklinghausen. Married princess Sophie of Bavaria, daughter of crown prince Rupprecht and princess Antonia of Luxemburg in 1955. Dr. iur, master of Arts (Georgetown University), dr. honoris causa Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Honorary citizen of the Belgian cities of Enghien and Aarschot. Officer of the (Belgian) Order of Leopold and the Order of the Crown. Knight of  the Sovereign Order of Malta. Knight of the Bavarian Order of  St Georges. Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Former company director.


Leopold-Engelbert of Arenberg (1956)

Leopold-Engelbert of Arenberg (1956), thirteenth duke of Arenberg, 19th duke of Aarschot, 8th duke of Meppen and 8th prince of Recklinghausen. Married countess Isabel zu Stolberg-Stolberg in 1995. Lic. Jur, M.B.A, former ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Portugal, chief executive officer of the Arenberg Foundation, company director.