The Imperial Family

Imperial Family SealMembers of the Imperial House of Lascaris-Comnenus were emperors of Byzantium since Isaac I Comnenus was proclaimed emperor in 1057 and until John IV Lascaris, who reigned until 1261 when he was blinded and imprisoned by the usurper Michael Palaeologos. This treason provoked a general rebellion which was brutally suppressed. In this form was initiated the rule of the Palaeologos dynasty in Byzantium.

Under the traditions of Royal Prerogative, if a title is obtained by illegal means, it signifies that the old ruling house retains all its honors, titles and rights, including the granting of titles, honors and offices. With the death of John IV, the right of succession (according to Roman-Bzyantine law) devolved upon his kinsman Emmanuel II. After the fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Turks in 1453, the surviving members of the Palaeologos dynasty did not have legitimate heirs and they transferred their rights to the heir of the Lascaris-Comnenus dynasty, Theodore IV. It should also be noted that with the extintion of the last Palaeologos, the Sovereign Grand Mastery was claimed by and was confirmed upon the person of Porfyrogennitos Prince Jean Theodore IV Lascaris-Comnenos-Palaeologos by the Roman Senate; Act 16-V-1525, Lib. Decr., 1515/1526, folio 142.

The successors of Theodore IV continued the dynasty and at various times lived in Italy, Cyprus, and Dalmatia. By the 1600's they were once again in the residence in Constantinople. In the 1700's they joined the "Society of Friends" (Filiki Eteria), a Greek patriotic organization, for which they were accused of conspiring against the Ottoman Empire and had to escape to Crete.

At this point in their history, the imperial, royal and princely titles of the Lascaris-Comnenus family and descendants had been confirmed by the German Emperor Frederick III in Linz, Maximillian II in Ratisbon, Ferdinand II in 1630, Leopold I, Charles II as King of Hungary on April 5, 1720 and Joseph I on March 27, 1710. Such titles were also confirmed by the Popes Calixtus III, Pius II, Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, Leo X, Paul III, Marcellus II, Paul IV, Pius V, Sixtus V, and Clement XI.

The Lascaris-Comnenus family took active part in the conflict for Greek independence, and the heir Andronicus IV Theodore was gravely wounded during that struggle for power and was forced to flee to Spain where he settled in 1870.

It was in the city of Zaragoza, Spain where the heir to the Byzantine crown, Eugene II was offered the Greek crown by a delegation in 1923. At that time it was neither politically nor militarily possible, given the foreign interference prevailing, especially that of Great Britain, who were determined to maintain kinsmen of the English royal family on the throne.

Today H.I. & R.H. Prince Eugene III Theodore Emmanuel Hegemon is the actual heir to the Byzantine Imperial Crown of Trebizond. He is also Grand Master of the Imperial Order of Saints Constantine the Great and Helen. The Order of Saint Constantine was founded in 312 A.D. with the Order of Saint Helen being formed some years later after her trip to the Holy Land and discovery of the True Cross. Prince Eugene III is also the High Protector of the Imperial Order of Saint Eugene of Trebizond. His cousin, H.I. & R.H. Princess Maria Elena Lascaris Monroy, is the Princess Grand Lady of the Imperial Order of Saint Eugene of Trebizond.

Seal of the Union of Byzantine Aristocracy

This is the seal of the Union of Byzantine Aristocracy. Its' membership is only by appointment from the Imperial Family and ratified by the council of the union. A certificate is issued by the secretary. A member must have noble status of Byzantine royal bloodlines. Currently, there are only five members living in the North American Exarchate; two Counts, one Marquis, one Duke and one Grand Duke.


 
Oil Portriats of the Imperial Family

 
Prince Andronikos

Great, Great Grandfather of H.I. & R. H. la Princesa
Maria Eugenia Isabel Láscaris Comneno Monroy,
Suprema Gran Dama de la Orden
   
Prince Alexios VI Emmanuel

Great Grandfather of H.I. & R.H. la Princesa Maria
Eugenia Isabel Láscaris Comneno Monroy,
Suprema Gran Dama de la Orden
   
Prince Eugene II

Grandfather of H.I. & R.H. la Princesa Maria Eugenia
Isabel Láscaris Comneno Monroy, Suprema Gran Dama de la Orden
   
Prince Juan Arcadio Basilio (1926-2013)

Father of H.I. & R.H. la Princesa Maria Eugenia
Láscaris Comneno Monroy, Suprema Gran Dama de la Orden
   
H.I. & R.H. la Princesa Maria Eugenia Isabel
Láscaris-Comneno Monroy


Suprema Gran Dama de la Orden
   
H.I. & R.H. la Princesa Helena Isabel Irene
Láscaris-Comneno Monroy


Lugarteniente General de la Orden