Belgium Substates

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Female Heads of Belgium Substates

See also Belgium Heads, Belgium Eccleastical Territories and Netherlands Substates

A B C F  H L M N


Amblise (Hainaut)

Antoinette d'Apremont, Princesse d'Amblise
Gobert d'Apremont was styled prince d'Amblise in 1416 and passed to the Anglure family when she married  René d'Anglure, baron de Bourlemont. Claude d'Anglure sold Amblise to Florent de Ligne (d. 1622).


1180-90 Dame Isabelle de Hainault d'Artois
Daughter of Baudouin V-VIII of Flanders and Hainault and Margareta of Flanders. She was married to Philippe II August of France, and her son, Louis, was created Count d'Artois. She died after having given birth stillborn twins. She lived (1170-90)

1302-29 Countess Mahaut
She succeeded father and lived (1268-1329)



1142-55? Dowager Countess Lutgardis von Sulzbach

1329-30 Countess Jeanne I of Artois-Flanders
Countess of Franche-Comté  1315-29/30.

1330-47 Countess Jeanne II of Artois-Flanders and Franche-Comté

1355-1404 Duchess Jeanne III of Brabant-Limbourg-Durby-Larche etc.
She died 1406. Her sister Marguerite de Brabant-Limbourg was Dame of Mechelen and Antwerpen

1404-05 Countess Marguerite de Male 
She was also Countess of Flanders, Artois and Franche-Comté


1331-1395 Sovereign Countess Jolanta van Flanders-Cassel of Cassel, Marle, Nogent, Bourbourg, Montmirail and Allauye
1344-52 and 1356-59 Regent Countess of Bar
Only daughter and heir of Count Robert van Flandern-Cassel (died in 1331). First married to Heinrich IV, Count of Bar (circa 1312-44) and in 1352 Philippe d’Évreux, Comte de Longueville (1336-63). Her son, Eduard II of Bar, lived (1344-1352). Her second son was Robert I of Bar. In 1352-56 she fought for the regency with her sister-in-law, Jeanne. She lived (1324-95).

Chimay (Hainaut)

The principality passed from the de Cro˙-family to the house of Ligne-Arenberg in 1612, and in 1686 to the house of Hennin-Lietart. It became extinct in 1806 when the Caraman-Riquet family, heir of the Hennin-Lietard through Marie-Anne-Gabrielle, inherited the title. They received the Dutch title of prince of Caraman-Chimay in 1824.

---Jean I de Cro˙ was responsible for the ascendancy of his family to a position of supreme power in medieval Burgundy. He served Philip the Bold and his son John the Fearless in the capacity of councillor and chamberlain. In 1384 he married a wealthy heiress, Marie de Craon, successfully suing her first husband's family upon her death. In 1397, Jean acquired the lordship of Chimay, which was to become a core dominion of the Cro˙ family. Four years later, he was appointed Governor of Artois and led the ducal armies against the rebellious citizens of Liege. He was recorded as the Grand Bouteiller of the King of France in 1412 when he laid siege to Bourges. The following year, Isabeau of Bavaria had him apprehended and incarcerated in the castle of Montlhéry, from where he escaped. Jean, together with two of his sons, was killed in the Battle of Agincourt on October 25, 1415.

---The line of Cro˙-Aerschot

Philippe III was succeeded by his only son, Charles II de Cro˙ (1560-1612), who was created Duke of Cro˙ by Henri IV of France in 1598. As Charles was childless, the duchy of Arschot passed to his sister Anna de Cro˙, who had married Karl, Prince of Arenberg, thus bringing Aerschot to the House of Arenberg. Another sister, Marguerite, inherited the lordships of Halewyn and Commines, which passed to her husband, Wratislaw, Count of Fürstenberg.

Louise Elisabeth de Cro˙-Havré (1749-1832), is best known for her book of memoirs on the French Revolution and the years of emigration that followed. A close friend of Queen Marie Antoinette, she was appointed by her to the vacant post of Royal Governess, with particular care for the future Louis XVII. During the revolution, she was incarcerated with her own daughter and already prepared to meet a guillotine, when a mysterious gentleman smuggled them out of the prison. After one of her pupils ascended the throne as Charles X he created her a hereditary duchess of Tourzel in her own right. Louise Elisabeth de Cro˙, 1st Duchess of Tourzel died in the Château de Groussay on May 15, 1832.


Until circa 992 Sovereign Countess Mathilde
Until his death in 982, she ruled jointly with Arnold I Lahngau and 971-1013 with Otto I de Warcq.

Sovereign Countess Johanna
In 1228-1272/3 she ruled jointly with Arnold III, Count of Loon 1220-1272/3. She ( d. 1271




844-ca.870 Countess Judith

Around 1035 Regent Dowager Countess Rozala-Suzanna of Italy
For son Boudewijn IV

1070-71 Regent Dowager Countess Ricildis
For son Arnold III after the death of her husband, Boudewijn IV

1096-1100 Regent Countess Clementia de Bourgogne of Flandern (Belgium)
She was regent during her husband, Robert II's, absence during the 1. Crusade. She paved the way for the Gregorian reform in Flanders and played a role by the election of Johannes von Warneton as Bishop of Therouanne in 1099. Also active during the first years of her son, Baldouis VII's regency from 1115, and after his death she supported the claims of Guillaume d'Ypres (Wilhelm von Ypern) against Karl of Denmark (son of Adela of Flanders), who did become Count. Her dowry was one third of Flanders. Around 1121 she married Gottfried I of Brabant, count of Leuven (Löven, Liege) Daughter of Count Guillaume I Testardita of Bourgogne and Stefanie von Llongwy, she lived (circa 1065/70-1133).

1138-39 Regent  Countess Sibylla d'Anjou
1147-49 Regent
She was regent during her husband, Diedrik's participation in the crusades. In 1157 she moved to Jerusalem with her husband. She died in the Convent Bethani in 1165.

1191-94 Countess Marguerite (Margaretha) I van den Elzas
She succeeded her brother Baudouin V de Hainault. 

1204-circa 05 Regent Dowager Countess Mathilda of Portugal 
She was very influential during the reign of her husband Filips (d. 1191) and her sister-in-law Marguerite and again during the reign of son her, Baudouin IX of Constantinople, and regent during his participation in the 5th crusade. 

1206-44 Countess Jeanne de Constantinople
She was succeeded by sister, Marguerite.

1244-78 Countess Marguerite II de Constantinople of Hainault
She succeeded sister also as Countess of Hainault/Henegouwen. Died two years after her abdication. 

1315-29/30 Countess Jeanne I 
Also Countess of Artois and Franché Compte 1329-20

1330-47 Countess Jeanne II 
Also Countess of Artois and Franché Compte

1384-1405 Countess Marguerite III de Male
1404 Duchess of Brabant etc.
Also Countess of Artois and Franche-Comté, Countess of Nevers and Rethel, Dame of Antwerpen, Mechelen of Salins. Married to Philippe II the Bold of France, Duke of Burgundy

Franché-Comte/Upper Burgundy

1140-84 Countess Beatrix I

1200/20-31 Countess Beatrix II

1248-79 Countess Alisa

1315-29/30 Countess Jeanne I 
Countess of Artois-Flanders 1329-20

1356-58 Dowager Countess Jeanne de Boulogne of Franche-Comté and Artois-Flanders
She was regent for her son Philippe who succeeded his grandmother. Since 1346 she had been regent for him in Rouvers

1361-82 Duchess Marguerite I of Franche-Comté and Artois

1482-1530 Countess Margaretha III von Habsburg
She was daughter of Emperor Maximilian, Dowager Duchess of Savoy and 1507-15 and 1518-30 Governor of the Netherlands.  She lived (1480-1530)

1559-67 Governor Margarethe de Parma

1598-1621 Duchess of Luxembourg and Franche-Comté Isabella Clara Eugenia of Habsburg-Spain
Governor/Stadtholder of the Netherlands 1621-33. Daughter of Felipe II of Spain. She lived (1566-1633)


Gent (Ghent)

1200-08 Regent Dowager Burgavine Petronella van Kortrijk
Her husband Zeger II was a tempelar from 1200 and in 1202 he died, and she continued as regent for their son Zeger III (1190-1227). She remained influential after her son took over the government and for example donated some lands to a abbey in 1214.

Arond 1318 Burgravin Marie d'Enghien, Burgravine,Lady of Zotteghen
Married to Guy de Dampierre, Lord de Richebourg (1286-1345) and mother of Alix, Heiress de Ricebourg (1322-46), who married Jean I de Luxembourg, Lord de Ligny

Until 1364 Burgravine Isabou D'Antoing, Heiress of Antoing.
Also known as Isabelle, she was married Infant Alfonso of Castille e Leon, de la Cerda, Lord de Lunel, Governor de Langedoc (1310-27).



1049/50-86 Regent Dowager Countess Richildis
1071-76 Regent for son
She succeeded her husband. Regent of Flanders 1070-71

1089-1103 Regent Dowager Countess Ida
She was regent for son Baudouin III. She died 1107.

1120-25 Regent Dowager Countess Yolande de Geldre

1202-04 Regent Countess Marie de Champagne of Flanderen-Hainaut
Regent during husband, Count Baldwin IX's participation in the 5th crusade. He later became Emperor of Constantinople. She traveled to Jerusalem and died shortly after her arrival after having given birth to her second daughter, the later Marguerite II. Her husband died in 1205 and was succeeded by daughter Jeanne. 

1206-44 Countess Jeanne de Constantinople 
Also Countess of Flanders and Namur

1257-89 Countess Marguerite I

1345-56 Countess Marguerite II d'Avernes of Hainault and Flanderen
Also Countess of Flanders and Holland (until 1354

1417-20 Countess Jacobäa of Bavaria and Holland
1428-33 Titular Countess
Also Duchess of Bavaria and Countess of Holland

Haut-Lorraine/Higher Lothringa

1431-53 Duchess Isabella 
1435-38 Regent Dowager Queen of Napoli

1470-73/83 Duchess Yolande

Titular dignities of Princess of Hornes, Overisque and of Evere, Countess of Rennenberg, Altena, Baucignies, Bailleul, Houtekerke, Brederode, Malignant, Melsbroeck, Nerpelt, Piermonte, Solre-the-Castle, Stryen of Weert, of Wessen and Zuphten, Baroness of free the baronnie of Boxtel, Lores, Batemburg, Eyne, Gaesbeck, Ghoor, Hees, Lesdaing, Lokeren, etc. Grandee of Spain of 1èr. class

1229-61 Dame Philippa d'Hornes
She lived (1215-61)

1764-83 Princess of the Realm Maria Theresa Josepha d'Hornes of Hornes
Her father, Prince Maximilian Emanuel zu Salm-Kyburg, Count of Baucignies and Prince d'Hornes (1695-163)had named her as sole heiress of his principalities, counties, baronies, lands and manors situated in the Austrian and Dutch Brabant and in the Belgian Flanders and Artois provinces. Her sister Princess Elisabeth Philippine Claude of Hornes and Dowager Princess of Stolberg-Gedern had accepted the new will and testament in the presence of her sister and irrevocably transferred and relinquished by notorized document to the Serene Princes of Salm-kyrburg and Hornes, all rights to said claims. With this document and agreement the dispute over the paternal inheritance regarding properties, but not over the titles of nobility, is deemed to have been finalized. She lived (1725-83)

1905-43 H.S.H Princesse Ivonne zu Salm-Kyburg Udvary
She inherited the Spanish-Brabant dignities by will of 1904, her father Fürst Friedrich V Salm-Kyrburg and of Hornes  (1845-1905) with authorization to transmit the titles and the dignity of Grandee of Spain. She was married to Karl Baron Udvary de Udvard, and mother of one daughter, Princess Margarita, who received all the dignities of the house of Hornes under the Spanish law, in a Notary  Act given in Liechtenstein in 1943. Ivone Ernestine Eleonore Rosalie Marie Cornelie lived (1885-1953).

1943-62 Guardian Princess Marguerite Udvary de Udvary of Hornes
Confirmed as Heiress of the titles and dignities of the Hornes family of the Spanish and Austrian Brabant, Spanish Netherlands, Limbourg, Luxembourg and Artois in a Notary  Act given in Liechtenstein in 1943, but the following year she and her mother appointed her son, Andreas von Wernitz zu Salm-Kyrburg as heir and Marguerite became guardian for her son. In 1986 she confirmed to her son, Baron Andreas v. Wernitz zu Salm-Kyrburg (b. 1943-) with the dignities in front of the Spanish  justice Ministry according the new nobility law regulation and she kept the title of Princess of Hornes til her dead in 1995. She lived (1909-95)



1226 Duchess Sophia
She was married to Friedrich Graf de Altena-Isenburg, succeeded by son Dietrich I von Isenburg-Limburg

1280-82 Duchess Ermengarde
She died 1283



1257-80 Dame Margaretha de Brabant of Mechelen and Antwerpen
Second daughter of Duke Jean III de Brabant and married to Louis de Male, count of Flanders, Nevers und Rethel. After the Brabrandian succession-war she got the title of Dame de Mechelen and Antwerpen. She was heiress-presumptive of Limburg and Brabant after her sister, Duchess Jeanne. Mother of Margaretha II de Male, who succeeded her aunt. She lived (1323-80).

1332-33 Hereditary Lady and Steward Margareta of Mecheln
She was daughter of Sophie de Berthout (d. 1329) the first wife of Rainald, Duke of Geldern and Count of Zutphen. Sophie was daughter of Lord Floris de Berthout of Mecheln (d. 1332). Margareta's fathers second wife was Eleonore of England, who was Guardian and Regent of Geldern (1343-44). Margareta married Count Gerhard von Jülich. 1333 she sold the Lordship and Stewardship of  Mecheln to the county of Flandern. She lived (circa 1320-44)



Namur (Namen)

1212-17 Sovereign Margravine Yolanda de Flandres of Namur (Belgium)
1216-19 Empress of Constantinople
(1216-19 Sovereign Countess of Flanders)
Also known as Violante or Jolanta. After her brother, Henri's death in June 1216 the Barons of the Empire offered her and her husband, the crown, and they both accepted. In 1217 Jolanta and Pierre left for Constantinople to take over the throne there, and she seeded the marquisate in favour of her oldest son. They were crowned in Rome by Pope Honrius III, and continued their journey, Pierre over land and he was taken prisoner, she was pregant and travelled by sea. In Morea she married her daughter Anges with Gottfried II., the future Prince of Achaia. In Constantinopel she gave birth to the heir to the throne, Baudouin II. (1228-1261), and took ver the regency. Just before her dath she married her daughter Maria to Emperor Theodor I. Laskaris of Nikĉa.She was mother of 9 children and daughter of Count Baudouin V of Flanders and Hainault and she lived (circa 1175-1219).

1229-37 Countess Marguerite de Courtenay-Holland
Her claim to the duchy was disputed among various pretenders. (d. 1270).

1256-98 Margravine Regnant Isabella van Luxembourg
She was daughter of Hendrik V and Marguerite de Bar and succeeded after a succession between her father and Guy de Dampierre, her later husband and they co-ruled the Margravate. Mother of three children, and lived (1247-98).

1330-circa 63 Regent Dowager Countess Marie d'Artois

Nevers and Rethel

1265-89 Yolande de Bourgogne de Nevers 
Daughter of Eudes de Bourgogne and Mahaut II de Bourbon d'Auxerre.

1243-45 Countess Marie de Rethel
Succeeded her father

1290-1322 Countess Jeanne de Rethel
Succeeded father. Married Louis de Nevers

1384 Marguerite de Nevers-Rethel

1491-1500 Countess Charlotte de Rethel

1500/24-40 Countess Maria d'Albert de Rethel

1549-1601 Duchess Henriette de Clèves of Nevers
1564-1601 Duchess de Rethel
From 1549-64 she was Countess de Rethel

1631-47 Regent Dowager Maria Gonzaga
Succeeded her father, Duke Francesco IV Gonzaga as Duchess of Mantua and Monferrato in 1612. He had only reigned 10 months, but she was soon replaced by uncle, Ferdinando I, who had renounced his position of Cardinal. He died in 1615 and was succeeded by his brother, Vinzenco II, also a former Cardinal. She was engaged to Carlo Emanuele I of Savoia, but married Carlo Gonzaga Nevers, Duke de Nevers et Rethel, de Mayenne et d'Aiguillon, Marquis de Villars, Comte du Maine, de Tende et de Sommerive in 1627 (d. 1631), and their son, Caro II (1629-65), inherited Mantua in 1637 from her father-in-law, Carlo I Gonzaga, who had inherited the Duchy in 1627 from Vinzenco II, but Mantua was conquered by one of the other rulers in Italy. She was regent of Monferrato until 1651 when she handed the Duchy to her son. Also mother of one daughter, Eleonore, she lived (1609-60).

Rache (Hainaut)

Philippe-Ignace de Berghes had the lordship of Boubers (Artois) raised to a principality by Louis XIV by letters patent of April 1701 for his heirs male and female. His daughter Marie-Joseph-Isabelle married her uncle Jean-Joseph de Berghes, who became prince de Rache, and had issue. The Berghes Saint-Winoch who were made dukes in France in 1827 belonged to a junior branch.


1665-73 Regent Isabella Henrietta d'Aspremont-Lynden
Princesse-Abbesse Munsterbilzen 1641-86. Reigned jointly with Franz Egon von Fürstenberg for her nephew Count Maximiliaan Frans Gobert of Reckheim (1649-1665-1703).

Rochefort (In the Ardennes)

1613-26 Sovereign Countess Josina von der Marck
It is not quite clear to me if she succeeded her father, Philipp von der Marck, Baron von Lummen, who died 1613, or another relative. Her mother was Katharina von Manderscheid (d. 1594) and she was married to Johann Dietrich von Löwenstein-Wertheim (d. 1644), who added her name to his, and she lived (1583-1626).

Minor areas

1093-1127/28 Dame Sara de Lillers

1110-16/32 Dame Mathilde van Oudenaarde and Avocatissa van Ename

1137 Dame Giesela de Petegem et Cysoing

1149-around 1159 Dame Emma de Lillers

1156 Dame Verginia van Welden

1185-1202 Dame Elisabet de Petegem et Cysoing

1191/94-1224 Dame Mathilde de Dendenmonde
1211-24 Dame de Buischeure
Succeeded mother in Buischeure

1193-96 Dame Ansilia (Usilia) de Wavrin (Flanderen)

1194-1241 Dame Agnes de Fenaing et la Comté (Flanderen)

1197-? Dame de Bourcheuil

1197-1211 Dame Adelaide de Buischeure
Succeeded by daughter Mathilde de Dendenmonde

1199-1254 Castellana Beatrice de Saint-Omer and Dame de la Jumelle et de Gaugnembergues

Around 1200 Elisabeth de Drongen et Herseaux
Married to Daniel de Kortrijk (1198-1233)

Circa 1205-39/40 Dame Alice de Boelarre
She lived (1181-1239/40)

1205 Dame Beatrice van Poele

1209-16 Dame Gertrude van Ooigen

1213-22 Dame Beatrice de Massemen et Laarne

1217-69 Dame Adelissa van Oosteetern en Westouter

1220 Dame Helia de Schelderode

1224-38 Dame Marguerite de Dendenmonde et Buischeure
Succeeded sister. Daughter of Walter II de D. and Dame Adela de B.

1226-before 1268 Dame Mabilia van Oosterzeleen en Scheldewindeke

1352-54 Countess Philipotte von der land der Anderen Meise (Rolduc, Dälhem und Fauquemont).
She gave her counties to Reinold van Schönvoorst and in 1364 to the Duke of Brabant.


Last update 20.09.09