House of Este

Old Italian noble family, dynastic House

The 'House of Este is a European princely dynasty. It is split into two branches. The elder branch known as the "House of Welf-Este" or "House of Welf" (Guelf or Guelph). The younger branch is known as the "House of Fulc-Este" or later simply as the "House of Este".

Early coat of arms (until 1431)

The elder branch of the House of Este included the dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg (1208–1918). It also produced Britain's Hanoverian monarchs and one Emperor of Russia (Ivan VI). The younger branch of the House of Este included the Sovereign Dukes of Ferrara (1240–1597), and Modena and Reggio (1288–1796). Following the marriage of Maria Beatrice d'Este to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (1771) the House of Austria-Este was formed.

The House of Este has a long history. The earliest known ancestor is Albert of Este, who died in 938.[1] He was the Count of Este and Marquis of Tuscany.[1] His great-grandson Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan is considered the founder of the House of Este.[2]

Este dukes of Modena


(reign length in parentheses)

  1. Cesare d'Este (1597–1628)
  2. Alfonso d'Este (1628–1629)
  3. Francesco I d'Este, (1629–1658)
  4. Alfonso IV d'Este (1658–1662)
  5. Francesco II d'Este (1662–1694)
  6. Rinaldo d'Este (1695–1737)
  7. Francesco III d'Este (1737–1780)
  8. Ercole III d'Este (1780-1796)
  9. Francis IV (1814–1846)
  10. Francesco V (1846-1859) Modena was incorporated into the newly formed "Kingdom of Italy" in 1859.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Herbert A Grueber, Exhibition of the Royal House of Guelph (London: The New Gallery, 1891), p. viii
  2. The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, Vol. 8, (Philadelphia: Maxwell Sommerville, 1894), p. 493