Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans

Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans

HRH Prince Ferdinand-Philippe of Orléans (September 3, 1810—July 13, 1842) was Prince Royal of France.

Born Ferdinand Philippe Louis Charles Henri Joseph of Orléans in Palermo, Italy, he was the eldest son of the then exiled future king Louis-Philippe of France and Princess Marie Amalie of Bourbon-Sicilies.

At his birth Ferdinand-Philippe was given the title of Duke of Chartres. In 1830 when his father was offered the French throne by the Chamber of Deputies, Ferdinand-Philippe received the title of Duke of Orléans.

During his youth, there was an extensive search for a suitable bride and among the various candidate that were mentioned at one time or another were Princess Marie of Württemberg, Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, Princess Juanaria of Brazil, Infanta Isabella of Spain, Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary. His marriage was arranged to the Duchess Helena Luisa Elizabeth of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (known as Hélène, January 24, 1814—May 18 1858).

They had two children:
*Philippe, Count of Paris (1838-1894), Prince Royal, who married Marie Isabelle of Orléans, Princess of Spain (1848—1919).
*Robert, Duke of Chartres (1840-1910), married Françoise of Orléans (b.1844-d.1925).

Hélène adored her husband, but when he was only 32 years old Ferdinand-Philippe died in a carriage accident in Sablonville in the Hauts-de-Seine "département". He was interred in an elaborate tomb in the Chapelle Royale, in Dreux, Eure-et-Loir.

Nearly 16 years later, Helene died, on May 18, 1858 in Richmond, Surrey, England, where members of the French royal family had been forced to flee after the revolt against King Louis-Philippe and the election of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as President of France. Because Hélène was a Protestant, she could not be buried in the Catholic Chapelle Royale at Dreux. Instead a room with a separate entrance was built attached to the chapel and a window was opened between her tomb and her husband's. The sculpture of the Protestant princess rests atop her tomb, depicting her reaching through the opening to the tomb of her beloved Catholic prince.


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1= 1. Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans
2= 2. Louis-Philippe of France
3= 3. Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies
4= 4. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
5= 5. Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre
6= 6. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
7= 7. Marie Caroline of Austria
8= 8. Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
9= 9. Louise Henriette de Bourbon-Conti
10= 10. Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre
11= 11. Maria Theresa Felicitas d'Este
12= 12. Charles III of Spain
13= 13. Maria Amalia of Saxony
14= 14. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
15= 15. Maria Theresa of Austria
16= 16. Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans
17= 17. Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden
18= 18. Louis Armand II de Bourbon, Prince of Conti
19= 19. Louise-Elisabeth de Bourbon-Condé
20= 20. Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse
21= 21. Marie-Victoiré-Sophie de Noailles
22= 22. Francesco III d'Este
23= 23. Charlotte Aglaé of Orléans
24= 24. Philip V of Spain
25= 25. Elisabeth of Parma
26= 26. Augustus III of Poland
27= 27. Maria Josepha of Austria
28= 28. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
29= 29. Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans
30= 30. Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
31= 31. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel


Ferdinand-Philippe was used by Hanns Heinz Ewers as a character in his novella "Die Herzen der Könige" (The Hearts of the Kings).

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