European Royalty: The Bourbon Orleans Line

Figure 1.--The Duchess de Vendome with her son Prince Charles, photographed in 1912. She was the sister of King Albert I of the Belgians married to Prince Emmanuel of the Orleanist (French) line of the House of Bourbon, great grandson of Louis Philippe, the last King of France who died in 1850).

Conditions in France deteriorated for the common people during the reign of Louis XV. This led during the reign of Louis XVI the outbreak of the French Revolution. Louis XVI was forced to abdicate and was eventually execulted at the guillotine. A brother of Louis XIV, Philip, Duke of Orleans, was the founder of the collateral branch of Bourbons known as the House of Orleans. A grandson of Louis XIV, Philip, Duke of Anjou, became King Philip V of Spain, the founder of the Spanish House of Bourbon.

Philippe I duc d'Orleans (1640-1701)

Louis XIV assended the throne of France at age 5 when his brother Philippe was 3. I think this was painted years after the event, so Louie was probably made to look older than he actually was at the time. Philippe, although only about 3 or 4 in this painting, reportedly wore dresses, was kept in the company of woman and girls and was treated as a little girl by his mother, Anne, for many years. She even referred to him as 'her little girl'. This was said to have been done at the instigation of Mazarin who feared Philippe would become a threat to Louie as Louis' father's bother had become to him. Philippe duc d'Orleans founded the Orleans line of the Bourbons who were to become Italian (Sicily and Naples) and Spanish kings. The house of Orléans, had the title of first princes of the blood in France. The only male descendant to survive the Revolution was Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), who became King of the French after the revolution of 1830, replacing Charles X. Louis-Philippe was himself overthrown in the Revolution of 1848. Louis-Philippe had several sons.

Philippe II duc d'Orleans

Louis XV at the age of 5 years became King of France in 1715. He inherited the throne because of the death of his older brother. As his mother had died earlier (1712), until he attained his legal majority in Feb. 1723, France was governed by a regent, Philippe II, duc d'Orleans.

Count Louis Phillipe Joseph d'Orleans

Count Louis Phillipe Joseph d'Orleans: was born in 1747 at Saint-Cloud. He was guillotened during the Terror in 1793, Paris. He was a Bourbon prince who became a supporter of popular democracy during the Revolution of 1789. The cousin of Louis XVI, as well as of the lineage of the old Valois dynasty, he succeeded to his father's title of duc d'Orleans in 1785. Orleans's hostility to Louis XVI's queen, Marie Antoinette, caused him to live away from the royal court of Versailles. In the 1780s, he became leader of the nobles who opposed the King through the Paris parliament, and his Paris residence became a center of popular agitation. During the Revolution, he took a seat in the National Assembly, and after the fall of the monarchy in August 1792, he renounced his nobility and took the name Phillipe-Egalite. He supported the more radical democratic elements, and voted in favor for the execution of Louis. However, he fell under suspicion when his son defected to Austria. Placed under arrest in April 1793, he was sent to the guillotine in November.

Louis Philippe (1830-48)

Louis Phillipe was the only member of the Bourbon Orleans line to reign as King of France. The Revolution against Charles established Louis Phillipe as a constitutional monarch. The event was remembered by Delacroix in his painting Liberty leading the people. Honore Daumier, the famed plitical cartooniost, liked to draw Louis, the Bourguoise Monarch, as a large pear in a top hat. The King was furious about it. It was not likely that the part which Louis Philippe played in the revolution of 1789, his share in the republican victories of Jemappes and of Valmy, would be forgotten by those who saw in him only a pseudo-republican, a "citizen king" in name only, and who seized eagerly upon the opportunity of mocking at his youthful espousal of republicanism. The Belgian drive for independence was inspired by the July Revolution in France that put Louis Phillipe on the throne. In August, 1830 an uprising began in which a unique coalition of Catholics and liberals proclaimed its independence which was accepted by the Great Powers in the Treaty of London, over Dutch protests. There were six sons and four daughters by his marriage to Marie Amlie. I know very little about Louis Fellipe's family and how the children were dressed. One author notes the children, or at least some of them, were sent to public school. This wss at the time quite a symbolic step. The British monarcy at the time was not even sending the children to private schools. Louis Phillipe became king of France after the July Revolution drove Charles X from Paris. It was Phillipe's actions as king which put his government out of touch with the need of the changing society and economy of France. Phillipe ignored the principals behind parliamentary government. He appointed first ministers that agreed with his decisions. He also manipulated elections, as well as, gave judiciary favors. Phillipe stubbornly resisted attempts to make government more representative and responsive. It is one of the many little ironies of Louis Philippe's reign that, after having owed his election to his supposed advocacy of freedom of the press, he should in less than two years take vigorous measures to stifle it. Some of the best known cartoons that appeared in La Caricature deal with this very subject. Louis Phillipe's actions as king clearly sparked the revolution in France, which sparked revolutions in Germany, Austria, and Italy. It comes as no surprise that Phillipe was not a very good king. His only real previous experience in leadership was as an officer in the royal. He was also involved in politics, although not significantly until he became king. The major factor in his becoming king was that he was a member of the Orlean family, a branch of the ruling family, the Bourbons.

Phillipe VII

Ferdinard, Duc D'Orleans, was Louis Philippe's eldest son. His mother was Queen Marie-Amélie de Bourbon (1782- ). He died in a carriage accident in 1842. As a result, the royal line was continued by Ferdinand's son, Phillipe VII, Comte de Paris (1838-1894), The latter's son was, Phillipe VIII, Duc D'Orleans (1869-1899).

Prince Emmanuel

Prince Emmanuel was the great grandson of King Louis Philippe. He married the Duchess de Vendome who can be seen here her son Prince Charles, photographed in 1912. She was the sister of King Albert I of the Belgians.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles' full name was Charles Philippe. I do not know anything of Prince Charles' childhood. The one available image shows him wearing a kneepants suit. It looks to be white or a very light color. I am not sure what material thde suit is, bit it looks to be satin. He wears it with long white stockings. He has short hair which may be curled on top. I assume that Charles and his parents were living in France at the time. I am still not sdure about the dynastic line, such as the link between Charles and Henri d'Orleans. One deposed these dynastic lines become somewhat more difficult to research.

Henri d'Orleans

The Count of Paris, Henri d'Orleans, pretender to the French throne, was laid to rest in 1999, never having realized his dream of restoring the monarchy. European royalty sent family representatives and elaborate floral wreaths to honor the count, who died at age 90 on June 19 at his home outside the northwestern French city of Dreux. The funeral ceremony in the town's cathedral coincided with an editorial by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing describing the count's unfulfilled desire to found a constitutional monarchy. The count, whose full name was Henri Robert Ferdinand Marie Louis-Philippe d'Orleans, was a direct descendant of Louis-Phillipe, the last king of France who abdicated in 1848. Writing in the conservative Le Figaro, Giscard recalled meeting privately with the count at his home for the last time on April 15. According to Giscard, the count described an aborted plan to run for the presidency in the early 1960s. Giscard said the count had approached then-President Gen. Charles de Gaulle, asking to be appointed president of the French Red Cross--which he said would be the ideal platform from which to promote his royalist views. If elected, the count would have proposed a constitutional reform to set up a monarchy similar to Britain's, Giscard wrote. De Gaulle didn't try to talk the count out of his plan, but said he could not give him the post, Giscard wrote. The count then abandoned the project.


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Created: April 2, 2000
Last updated: 5:17 AM 11/27/2007