Louis, Duke of Nemours

Louis, Duke of Nemours

Louis Charles Philippe Raphael d'Orléans, duc de Nemours (October 25, 1814 – June 26, 1896) was the second son of the duc d'Orleans, afterwards King Louis-Philippe of France, and his wife Marie Amalie of Bourbon-Sicilies, duchesse d'Orléans then Queen of the French. Under the reign of his father from 1830 - 1848, he was titled as Prince Louis, duc de Nemours.



He was born at the Palais Royal, in Paris. At twelve years of age he was nominated colonel of the first regiment of chasseurs, and in 1830 he became a chevalier of the Order of the Saint Esprit and entered the "Chambre des Pairs".

As early as 1825 his name was mentioned as a possible candidate for the throne of Greece, and in February 1831 he was nominated king of the Belgians, but international considerations deterred Louis-Philippe from accepting the honour for his son, who was accompanying the French army that entered Belgium to support the new kingdom in its separation from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands; there he took part in the siege of Antwerp.

He accompanied the Algerian expedition against the town of Constantine in the autumn of 1836, and in a second expedition (1837) he was entrusted with the command of a brigade and with the direction of the siege operations before Constantine. General Damrémont was killed at his side on October 12, and the place was taken by assault on the 13th.

He sailed a third time for Algeria in 1841, and served under General Bugeaud, taking part in the expedition to revictual Medea on April 29, and in sharp fighting near Miliana on the 3rd to 5th of May. In the expedition against the fortified town of Takdempt he commanded the 1st infantry division. On his return to France he became commandant of the camp of Compiègne. He had been employed on missions of courtesy to England in 1835, in 1838 and in 1845, and to Berlin and Vienna in 1836.


On April 26, 1840, he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary at the Saint-Cloud. The occasion of his marriage in 1840 with Victoria was marked by a check to Louis-Philippe's government in the form of a refusal to bestow the marriage dowry proposed by Adolphe Thiers in the Chamber of Deputies.


* Louis Philippe Marie Ferdinand Gaston d'Orléans (1842-1922),
**Titled as "comte d'Eu"
**Married Isabella, eldest daughter of Don Pedro II of Brazil. His great-grandson, Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza is the current presumptive heir to the throne of Portugal.
* Ferdinand Philippe Marie d'Orléans (July 12, 1844 - June 29, 1910)
**Titled as "duc d'Alençon"
**Married Sophie Charlotte Augustine of Wittelsbach (1847-1897), sister of the empress Elizabeth of Austria ("Sisi"), and who had been for a time engaged to Ludwig II of Bavaria
* Margaret (1846-1893),
**Married Prince Ladislaus Czartoryski
* Blanche (1857-1932).

The death of his elder brother, Ferdinand, duke of Orleans, in 1842 gave him a position of greater importance as the natural regent in the case of the accession of his nephew, the young count of Paris. His reserve, and dislike of public functions, with a certain haughtiness of manner, however, made him unpopular.

On the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 he held the Tuileries long enough to cover the king's retreat, but refrained from initiating active measures against the mob. He followed his sister-in-law, Hélèn Louise d'Orleans, duchesse d'Orléans, and her two sons to the chamber of deputies, but was separated from them by the rioters, and only escaped finally by disguising himself in the uniform of a national guard.

Later life


He embarked for England, where he settled with his parents at Claremont. His chief aim during his exile, especially after his father's death, was a reconciliation between the two branches of the house of Bourbon, as indispensable to the re-establishment of the French monarchy in any form. These wishes were frustrated on the one hand by the attitude of the comte de Chambord, and on the other by the determination of the duchess of Orleans to maintain the pretensions of the count of Paris. Nemours was prepared to go further than the other princes of his family in accepting the principles of the legitimists.

Lengthy negotiations ended in 1857 with a letter, written by Nemours, as he subsequently explained, at the dictation of his brother, François, prince de Joinville, in which he insisted that Chambord should express his adherence to the tricolour flag and to the principles of constitutional government. In 1871 the Orléans princes renewed their professions of allegiance to the senior branch of their house, but they were not consulted when the count of Chambord came to Paris in 1873, and their political differences remained until his death in 1883.

Nemours had lived at Bushy House after the death in 1866 of Queen Marie Amélie, widow of Louis Philippe.

Return to France

In 1871 the exile imposed on the French princes was withdrawn, but he only transferred his establishment to Paris after their disabilities were also removed. In March 1872 he was restored to his rank in the army as general of division, and placed in the first section of the general staff. After his retirement from the active list he continued to act as president of the Red Cross Society until 1881, when new decrees against the princes of the blood led to his withdrawal from Parisian society.


During the presidency of Marshal MacMahon, he had appeared from time to time at the Elysée. He died at Versailles on June 26, 1896 at the age of 82, the duchess having died at Claremont on November 10, 1857. He outlived all of his siblings apart from Princess Clémentine of Orléans and François d'Orléans the "prince de Joinville"


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1= 1. Louis, Duke of Nemours
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


*René Bazin, "Le Duc de Nemours" (1907); Paul Thureau-Dangin, "Histoire de la monarchie de France" (4 vols., 1884, etc.).

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