King of Hungary

King of Hungary

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The King of Hungary was the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 from 1000 (or 1001) to 1918.
The style of title "Apostolic King
Apostolic King
Apostolic King was a hereditary title borne by the King of Hungary. Saint Stephen was supposed to have received it from Pope Sylvester II. The king's efforts to Christianize his people led to his comparison to one of the apostles. It was first used by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I as King of...

"
was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII , born Carlo della Torre di Rezzonico, was Pope from 16 July 1758 to 2 February 1769....

 in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary, so after this date the kings are referred to as "Apostolic King of Hungary".

Establishment of the Title


Before the 1000 AD, Hungary wasn't yet recognized as a Kingdom and the ruler of the Hungarians was styled Grand Prince of the Hungarians
Grand Prince of the Hungarians
Grand Prince was the title used by contemporary sources to name the leader of the federation of the Hungarian tribes in the tenth century.-The title:...

. The first King of Hungary, Stephen I. was crowned on 25 December 1000 (or 1 January 1001) with the crown Pope Sylvester II had sent him with the consent of Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III , a King of Germany, was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. He was elected King in 983 on the death of his father Otto II and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996.-Early reign:...

.

Following King Stephen I's coronation, all the monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 used the title of "King". However not all rulers of Hungary were Kings for example Stephen Bocskai and Francis II Rákóczi
Francis II Rákóczi
Francis II Rákóczi Hungarian aristocrat, he was the leader of the Hungarian uprising against the Habsburgs in 1703-11 as the prince of the Estates Confederated for Liberty of the Kingdom of Hungary. He was also Prince of Transylvania, an Imperial Prince, and a member of the Order of the Golden...

 were proclaimed rulers as "High Princes of Hungary", and there were also three Governors of Hungary, sometimes styled as "regents", János Hunyadi, Lajos Kossuth and Miklós Horthy.

Legal requirements for the King of Hungary's coronation to be legitimate


From the 13th century a certain process was established to confirm the legitimacy of the King. No person could become the legitimate King of Hungary without fulfilling the following criteria:
  • coronation by the Archbishop of Esztergom;
  • coronation with the Holy Crown of Hungary;
  • coronation in Székesfehérvár
    Székesfehérvár
    Székesfehérvár is a city in central Hungary and is the 9th largest in the country. Located around southwest of Budapest. It is inhabited by 101,973 people , with 136,995 in the Székesfehérvár Subregion. The city is the centre of Fejér county and the regional centre of Central Transdanubia...

    .

This meant a certain level of protection to the integrity of the Kingdom such as that for example stealing the Holy Crown of Hungary was no longer enough to become legitimate King.
The first requirement (coronation by the Archbishop of Esztergom) was confirmed by Béla III
Béla III of Hungary
Béla III was King of Hungary and Croatia . He was educated in the court of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I who was planning to ensure his succession in the Byzantine Empire till the birth of his own son...

, who had been crowned by the Archbishop of Kalocsa based on the special authorisation of Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III , born Rolando of Siena, was Pope from 1159 to 1181. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.-Church career:...

, but after his coronation he declared that his coronation would not harm the customary claim of the Archbishops of Esztergom to crown the kings. In 1211, Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death. His birth name was Lotario dei Conti di Segni, sometimes anglicised to Lothar of Segni....

 denied to confirm the agreement of Archbishop John of Esztergom and Archbishop Berthold of Kalocsa on the transfer of the claim, and he declared that it is only the Archbishop of Esztergom who is entitled to crown the King of Hungary.

The King Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

 was crowned in may of 1301 with a provisional crown in Esztergom by the Archbishop of this city, that lead to his second coronation in June of 1309. In this time the Holy Crown wasn't used and he was crowned in Buda by the archbishop of Esztergom. However his third coronation was finally in 1301, in the city of Székesfehérvár, with the Holy Crown and effectuated by the archbishop of Esztergom. Then the King's coronation was considered absolutely legitimate.

In the other hand, in 1439 the queen Elisabeth of Luxemburg ordered to one of her handmaidens to steal the Holy Crown from the palace of Visegrád, and then promoted the coronation of his newborn son Ladislaus V of Hungary, which was effectuated legitimately in Székesfehérvár by the Archbishop of Esztergom.

A similar situation occurred with the King Matthias Corvinus, when he negotiated with all his influences for getting back the Holy Crown which was on hands of the German emperor Friedrick III of Habsburg. Then after obtaining it he was legitimately crowned.

Inheriting the Throne


As in all the traditional monarchies, the heir descended in a masculine branch from a previous King of Hungary. Due the Hungarian traditions, usually this right passed to younger brothers, before passing the direct son of the previous King, which created in many occasions familiar disputes. The founder of the first Hungarian royal house was the Prince Árpád, who led his people to Europe in 895. His descendants, who ruled for more than 400 years, included the King Saint Stephen I of Hungary, the King Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary, Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II the Jerosolimitan was King of Hungary and Croatia . He was the younger son of King Béla III of Hungary, who invested him with the government of the Principality of Halych...

, and Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV , King of Hungary and of Croatia , duke of Styria 1254–58. One of the most famous kings of Hungary, he distinguished himself through his policy of strengthening of the royal power following the example of his grandfather Bela III, and by the rebuilding Hungary after the catastrophe of the...

. In 1301 the last member of the House of Árpád died, and Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

 was crowned claiming the throne in the name of his maternal grandmother, the daughter of the King Stephen V of Hungary
Stephen V of Hungary
Stephen V , was King of Hungary from 1270 to 1272.-Early years:...

. With the death of Mary, the grand daughter of the King Charles I 1395, again the direct line was interrupted, and Mary's husband was crowned as Sigismund of Hungary, after being elected by the nobility of the Kingdom in the name of the Holy Crown.

Later the King Matthias Corvinus was elected by the nobles of the Kingdom, being the first Hungarian monarch which descended from an aristocratic family, and not from a royal family that inherited the title by blood traces. The same happened decades later with the King John I of Hungary, who was elected in 1526 after the death of the King Louis II of Hungary in the battle of Mohács.

After this, the House of Habsburg inherited the throne, and ruled Hungary from Austria during almost 500 years until 1918.

Other titles used by the King of Hungary



Over the centuries, the Kings of Hungary acquired or claimed the crowns of several neighboring countries, and they began to use the royal titles connected to those countries. By the time of the last kings, their precise style was: "By the Grace of God, Apostolic King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria, Grand Prince of Transylvania, Count of the Szeklers".

The terms Nobilissimus (most noble) and nobilissima familia (most noble family)
Nobilissima familia (Hungary)
The terms Nobilissimus and nobilissima familia have been used since the 11th century for the King of Hungary and his family...

 have been used since the 11th century for the King of Hungary and his family, but it were then only a few that were mentioned in official documents as such.

The title "Apostolic King
Apostolic King
Apostolic King was a hereditary title borne by the King of Hungary. Saint Stephen was supposed to have received it from Pope Sylvester II. The king's efforts to Christianize his people led to his comparison to one of the apostles. It was first used by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I as King of...

"
was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII , born Carlo della Torre di Rezzonico, was Pope from 16 July 1758 to 2 February 1769....

 in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary.

The title of "King of Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

"
referred to the territories between the Drava
Drava
Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe, a tributary of the Danube. It sources in Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, and flows east through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria, into Slovenia , and then southeast, passing through Croatia and forming most of the border between Croatia and...

 and the Sava Rivers. That title was first used by Ladislaus I of Hungary. It was also Ladislaus I who adopted the title "King of Croatia" in 1091. Coloman of Hungary added the phrase "King of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

"
to the royal style in 1105.

The title "King of Rama", referring to the claim to Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

, was first used by Béla II of Hungary
Béla II of Hungary
Béla II the Blind , King of Hungary and Croatia . Still as a child, Béla was blinded by his uncle, King Coloman who wanted to ensure the succession of his own son, the future King Stephen II...

 in 1136. It was Emeric of Hungary
Emeric of Hungary
Emeric I , , King of Hungary and Croatia . He was crowned during his father's lifetime, but after his father's death he had to fight against his brother, Andrew, who forced Emeric to assign the government of Croatia and Dalmatia to him...

 who adopted the title "King of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

"
. The phrase "King of Galicia" was used to indicate the supremacy over Halych
Halych
Halych is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The town gave its name to the historic province and kingdom of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, of which it was the capital until the early 14th century, when the seat of the local princes was moved to Lviv...

, while the title "King of Lodomeria" referred to Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

; both titles were adopted by Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II the Jerosolimitan was King of Hungary and Croatia . He was the younger son of King Béla III of Hungary, who invested him with the government of the Principality of Halych...

 in 1205. In 1233, Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV , King of Hungary and of Croatia , duke of Styria 1254–58. One of the most famous kings of Hungary, he distinguished himself through his policy of strengthening of the royal power following the example of his grandfather Bela III, and by the rebuilding Hungary after the catastrophe of the...

 began to use the title "King of Cumania" which expressed the rule over the territories settled by the Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 (i.e., Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

) at that time. The phrase "King of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

"
was added to the royal style by Stephen V of Hungary
Stephen V of Hungary
Stephen V , was King of Hungary from 1270 to 1272.-Early years:...

.

Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 was originally a province of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 ruled by a voivode, but after 1526 became a semi-independent principality subordinated to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and later to the Habsburg Empire. In 1696, after dethroning Prince Michael II Apafi
Michael II Apafi
Michael Apafi was the son of the Hungarian Michael I Apafi and Anna Bornemissza. Following his father, he was Prince of Transylvania from 10 June 1690 to 1699....

, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

 took the title "Prince of Transylvania". In 1765, Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

 elevated Transylvania to Grand Principality. The Count of the Szeklers  was originally a dignitary of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, but the title was later used by the Princes of Transylvania.

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