HRH Prince Ferdinand Pius, Duke of Castro
On 28 May 1934 Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, and Head of the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies since 1894, died. Prince Alfonso was immediately succeeded as Head of the Royal House by his son, Prince Ferdinand Pius of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, (de jure, Ferdinando III) (left). Prince Ferdinand Pius had earlier succeeded to the Grand Mastership of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House by order and letter of his father, Prince Alfonso, dated 27 December 1931. This public letter was written some three years before his death. Prince Ferdinand Pius in his capacity as Grand Master issued new Statutes for the Constantinian Order of Saint George.
Born in 1869, Prince Ferdinand lived in Bavaria and had a life of sincere Christian piety. During his lifetime he reconciled his differences with the Savoy dynasty of Italy, having for a long time publicly protested at the forced annexation of the Bourbon territories to the Kingdom of Italy. The exile of the Bourbon Two Sicilies Royal Family, in force since 1861, finally came to an end following the Allied occupation and liberation of Italy from 1943-1945.
Prince Ferdinand Pius donated part of the Bourbon Archive to the Italian Republic whom he recognised as the legitimate successor to the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Italian Republic and the House of Bourbon Two Sicilies continue to have an excellent working relationship to this day.
Prince Ferdinand Pius died heirless on 7 January 1960 (his only son had died at the age of 13 in 1914), and therefore all his dynastic rights went to his brother, His Royal Highness Prince Ranieri of Bourbon Two Sicilies (Prince Carlos having renounced all his dynastic rights for himself and all his descendants to become Infante of Spain some years earlier).