of the


1261 – 1453 The Dynasty of the PALEOLOGI ruled Byzantium (also called Constantinople or the New Rome) until the fall of Constantinople on the 29th May 1453.

 After the death of Constantine XII, who died defending his capital at the gate of San Romanus, and the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, the heir to the Throne was his younger brother, Thomas Paleologo the Despot of Morea.

 Thomas resisted in his tiny state until 1450 when Morea was overrun by the Turks. Thomas fled to Rome where he placed himself and his family under the protection of Pope Pius II and was proclaimed “Eastern Emperor in Exile”.  On 7th February 1461 Pope Pius II issued a plea to the “Florentine Lords to provide the Paleologos (or Paleologo as he was now called in, Italy) with men and weapons to liberate Byzantium from the Ottoman joke. In this document the Pope refers to Thomas Paleologo as the “Son and brother of an Emperor and future Emperor by right of succession”. Thus recognizing Thomas as an” Emperor in exile. Thomas died in 1465 and was buried at .St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, his tomb inscribed with the words “Thomas Paleologo Greek Emperor in exile”.

 On December 8th 1547 Charles V in Letters Patent signed in Augsburg .returned all his legitimate rights to the Crown of the Eastern Empire to Andreas Paleologo, the grand nephew and. heir of the Andres Paleologo who had bequeathed them to Ferdinand of Aragon and Castille in 1502 in exchange of a promise, later reneged, to finance and lead a crusade aimed at reconquering Byzantium. In these Letters Patent the Holy Roman Emperor restored to Andreas” Paleologos and to his descendants, kinsmen, heirs and legitimate successors of both sexes already born and still to be born and for all time, Imperial Rights of the Paleologi which “are legitimate and inestinguishable'” and the “Fons Honorum with hereditary right to create Nobles and Knights”. By the same Letters patent Andreas was granted the hereditary Title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

 Official recognition of the Imperial status of the Head of the House of Paleolego In exile was also extended by the Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand I, Ferdinand II’ and Leopold II as well as by Popes Julius II and Gregory XIII. . All the above mentioned acts of recognition put the Imperial status of the Family beyond any dispute

 In 1472 IVAN III Grand Prince of Moscow, married Princess SOPHIE (Zoe) daughter of Thomas (first Emperor in Exile) and on the basis of this marriage he adopted the Title of TSAR (Caesar) and in 1497, the double headed eagle of the Paleologo. Of course the male line of the Paleologo was still, growing strong in Thomas’ sons and successors and then any other pretension was dismissed.

 The 500 Anniversary of this historical event was celebrated in 1997 in St. Petersburg by all Russia, the Hermitage made a great, really unique exhibition and Prince Henri and Princess Francoise held in St. Petersburg, at the Imperial Palace Peterhof , the Imperial Byzantine Ball organized in a wonderful manner by the Russian Grand Priory of the Dynastic Orders of St. John and St. George. The Paleolego’s double-headed eagle is now also the State Coat -of -Arms of the Russian Federation as by Decree signed on 30 November 1993 by President, Boris Yeltsin.


 List of Recognition of the Imperial Dynasty of the

Vigo Aleramico Lascaris Paleologo



Holy Roman Emperor (in the West) granted recognition in 1576 to Gerolamo Palaeologo son of Gerolamo.



In 1583 the Roman Senate granted recognition to Gerolamo Palaeologo son of Gerolamo.



Holy Roman Emperor (in the West) granted recognition in 1630, to Gio’ Andrea Palaeologo son of Gerolamo.



In 1641 the Roman Senate granted recognition to Gio’ Andrea Palaeologo son of Gerolamo.



In 1718 the Roman Senate granted recognition to Gio’ Antonio Palaeologo (born: 1678)



Recognition in 1720 by CHARLES VI, King of Hungary (5Th April) of Gio’  Antonio Palaeologo.  This is recosred at the Budapest State Archives (ref. “Denizenship”, April 1720 – A35 and the “Libri Regni” of the Kindgom of Hungary Vol. XXXIII. 262)



Prince GIUSEPPE (1790 – 1860 was recognized in 1811 as an Imperial Palaeologo by the Gonfaloneiri of Oervito (13th November).



Recognition in 1869, 11th February  of Prince Gio’ Antonio (1816-1874) as head of the Lascaris Dynasty.

 Recognition in 1869, 2nd Decembers the Heraldic Congregation of the Senate of Rome (PIUX IX) of Gerolamo PALEOLOGO as “Roman Noble” and as “the descendent and heir to the Emperors of the Orient, the Palaeolugus” (AMAYDEN. “SORIA DELLA FAMIGLIA ROMANE”)



2nd December 1869 – Verdict of the Heraldic Congregation of the Senate of Rome, headed by His Holiness Pope Pius IX, in which Prince Henri’s Great Grandfather established his rights to Nobility, Fons Honorum and Jus Honorum, and the above Congretation decided;

“ to reintegrate Prince Gerolaino de Vigo Lascaris Paleologo descendant and heir to the Emperors of the Orient, the Palaeologus,his sons and descendants to the rank of roman nobility with all the honours enjoyed by his Ancestors”

 Gio’ Antonio Palaeologo (1816-74) as head of the Lascaris Dynasty, makes a will on the 6th August in favour of his cousin Gerolamo Palaeologo (1823-1903) the ascendant in the direct line of primo geniture of Prince Henri.



31st October 1961 ­

 Verdict of the Judge of Floridia, dr.Marco di Marco, ‘recognizing that “ Prince Henri’s late Father ,Prince Cesare,had the right of Marchional Sovereignity in Montferrat (Italy) Royal Sovereignity in Thessaly (Greece) and Imperial Soverignity in Constantinople with hereditary succession in perpetuity and the descendants of this Family have never lost the prerogative of the fons honorum and consequently of the jus honorum with the right to confer honours appertaining to Family Dynastic Orders”

 And on 24th March 1964­

 Verdict of the Judge of Syracuse, dr. G.Faranda , recognizing that;

“to Prince Henri, legitimate and only son of the late Prince Cesare, are transmitted ,jure sanguinis, the dynastic prerogatives already belonging to his parent, including the authority to bestow Titles and Honours “



Paris, 9th October 1990

 Verdict of THE SUPREME COURT ( Cour de Cassation) of France and

The Court of Appeal of Nimes(France), 16th April 1991

recognizing that;                                                                             

“even expired reigning Families or their Descendants have the ability to confer honorary distinctions in strict conditions, and moreover, it is clearly specified in legal decisions pronounced by Itallen jurisdictions that Henri de Vigo Aleramico Palologo belongs to an ex-reigning House which has conserved through the ages the right to attribute honorary Titles (jus honorum ); that it is further specified that the legitimate son and only heir of the late Prince Cesare has received jure sanguinis the dynastic prerogatives from which his father benefited including the right to confer hononary Titles….”



Tirana, 10th December 1992

 Decree signed by Dr. Virgil Karaj, Chief Jurist of THE ALBANIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURE and bearing the Seal of the HIGH COURT of the REPUBLIC, which declares that




28th May 1994


Decree signed by Dr.Francesco Viroli ,Doyen Judge and COMMISSAR OF LAW of the REPUBLIC OF SAN MARINO certifying that:

“ in juriidical consideration and reply to the petition of HENRI de VIGO PALEO LOGO to be recognized as SOVEREIGN PRINCE AND HEIR TO THE BYZANTINE THRONE with the qualification of Royal and Imperial Highness ,the above individual is confirmed in the titles mentioned in the said petition as set forth above ,to have and to hold now and for ever”



Moscow, DISTRICT COURT, 24th. July 1997

 Verdict of the Federal Judge Ye.Prokhorycheva

 “Henri de Vigo Paleologo is the Head of the former ruling House with the right to bestow noble and knightly Titles, which is recognised in many Countries and has adequate documentary proof…” .” …Prince Henri III is the Head of the Imperial Dynasty de Vi go Aleramico Paleologo and the only lawful Pretender to the Imperial Throne of Byzantium, the Royal Thrones of Thessaly and Jerusalem and the Marquisate of Monferrat…”