Louis-Philippe of France

Louis-Philippe of France

Infobox French Royalty|monarch
name =Louis-Philippe
title =King of the French

caption =
reign =9 August 1830 – 24 February 1848
coronation =
predecessor = Charles X
successor ="Second Republic"
Philippe VII "(Orléanist pretender)"
spouse =Marie Amalie of Bourbon-Sicilies
issue =Ferdinand-Philippe, Prince Royal
Louise-Marie, Queen of the Belgians
Princess Marie
Prince Louis, Duke of Nemours
Clémentine, Princess of Kohary
François, Prince of Joinville
Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale
Prince Antoine, Duke of Montpensier
issue-link = #Marriage
issue-pipe = among others...
royal house =House of Orléans
royal anthem =
father =Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
mother =Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre
date of birth =birth date|1773|10|6|df=y
place of birth = Paris, France
date of death =death date and age|1850|8|26|1773|10|6|df=y
place of death = Claremont, Surrey, England
buried =

Louis Philippe (6 October 1773 –26 August 1850) was "King of the French" from 1830 to 1848 in what was known as the July Monarchy. He was the last king to rule France.

Before the Revolution (1773–1789)

Early life

Louis Philippe was born at the Palais Royal in Paris to Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of Chartres (later Duke of Orléans) and Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince du Sang. He was the first of three sons and a daughter of the Orléans family, a family that was to have erratic fortunes for the next court years.

The elder branch of the House of Bourbon, to which the Kings belonged, deeply distrusted the intentions of the cadet branch, which would succeed to the French throne should the senior branch die out. Louis Philippe's father, exiled from the royal court, the Orléans confined themselves to studies of the literature and sciences emerging from the Enlightenment.


Louis Philippe was tutored by the Countess of Genlis, beginning in 1782. She instilled in him a fondness for liberal thought; it is probably during this period that Louis Philippe picked up his slightly Voltaireanclarifyme brand of Catholicism. When Louis Philippe's grandfather died in 1785, his father succeeded him as Duke of Orléans and Louis Philippe succeeded his father as Duke of Chartres.

In 1788, with the Revolution looming, the young Louis Philippe showed his liberal sympathies when he helped break down the door of a prison cell in Mont Saint-Michel, during a visit there with the Countess of Genlis. From October 1788 to October 1789 the "Palais-Royal", the Paris home of the Orléans family, was a meeting-place for the revolutionaries.

Revolution (1789–1793)

Louis Philippe grew up in a period that changed Europe as a whole and following his father's strong support for the revolution, he involved himself completely in those changes. In his diary, he reports that he himself took the initiative to join the Jacobin Club, a move that his father supported.

Military Service

In June 1791, Louis Philippe got his first opportunity to become involved in the affairs of France. In 1785, he had been given the hereditary appointment of Colonel of the 14th Regiment of Dragoons ("Chartres-Dragons").

With war on the horizon in 1791, all proprietary colonels were ordered to join their regiments. Louis Philippe showed himself to be a model officer, and he demonstrated his personal bravery in two famous instances. First, three days after Louis XVI's flight to Varennes, a quarrel between two local priests and one of the new "constitutional" vicars became heated, and a crowd surrounded the inn where the priests were staying, demanding blood. The young Colonel broke through the crowd and extricated the two priests, who then fled. At a river crossing on the same day, another crowd threatened to harm the priests. Louis Philippe put himself between a peasant armed with a carbine and the priests, saving their lives. The next day, Louis Philippe dived into a river to save a drowning local engineer. For this action, he received a civic crown from the local municipality. His regiment was moved north to Flanders at the end of 1791 after the Declaration of Pillnitz.

Louis Philippe served under his father's crony, the Duke of Biron, along with several officers who later gained distinction in Napoleon's empire and afterwards. These included Colonel Berthier and Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre de Beauharnais (husband of the future Empress Joséphine). Louis Philippe saw the first exchanges of fire of the Revolutionary Wars at Boussu and Quaragnon and a few days later fought at Quiévrain near Jemappes, where he was instrumental in rallying a unit of retreating soldiers. Biron wrote to War Minister de Grave, praising the young colonel, who was then promoted to brigadier, commanding a brigade of cavalry in Lückner's Army of the North.In the Army of the North, Louis Philippe served with four future Marshals of France: Macdonald, Mortier (who would later be killed in an assassination attempt on Louis Philippe), Davout, and Oudinot. Dumouriez was appointed to command the Army of the North in August 1792. Louis Philippe commanded a division under him in the Valmy campaign.

At Valmy, Louis Philippe was ordered to place a battery of artillery on the crest of the hill of Valmy. The battle of Valmy was inconclusive, but the Austrian-Prussian army, short of supplies, was forced back across the Rhine river. Once again, Louis Philippe was praised in a letter by Dumouriez after the battle. Louis Philippe was then recalled to Paris to give an account of the Battle at Valmy to the French government. There he had a rather trying interview with Danton, Minister of Justice, which he later fondly re-told to his children.

While in Paris, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. In October he returned to the Army of the North, where Dumouriez had begun a march into Belgium. Louis Philippe again commanded a division. Dumouriez chose to attack an Austrian force in a strong position on the heights of Cuesmes and Jemappes to the west of Mons. Louis Philippe's division sustained heavy casualties as it attacked through a wood, retreating in disorder. Louis Philippe rallied a group of units, dubbing them "the battalion of Mons" and pushed forward along with other French units, finally overwhelming the outnumbered Austrians.

Events in Paris undermined the budding military career of Louis Philippe. The incompetence of Jean-Nicolas Pache, the new Girondist appointee, left the Army of the North almost without supplies. Soon thousands of troops were deserting the army. Louis Philippe was alienated by the more radical policies of the Republic. After the National Convention decided to put the deposed King to death - Louis Philippe's father - by then known as "Philippe Égalité" - voted in favour of that act, Louis Philippe began to consider leaving France.

Louis Philippe was willing to stay in France to fulfill his duties in the army. But he was implicated in Dumouriez's plot, who had planned to ally with the Austrians, march his army on Paris, and restore the Constitution of 1791. Dumouriez had met with Louis Philippe on 22 March 1793 and urged his subordinate to join in the attempt.

With the French government slowly falling into the Terror, he decided to leave France to save his life. On 4 April Dumouriez and Louis Philippe left for the Austrian camp. They were intercepted by Lieutenant-Colonel Louis Nicolas Davout, who had served at Jemappes with Louis Philippe. As Dumouriez ordered the Colonel back to the camp, some of his soldiers cried out against the General, now declared a traitor by the National Convention. Shots rang out as they fled towards the Austrian camp. The next day, Dumouriez again tried to rally soldiers against the Convention; however, he found that the artillery had declared for the Republic, leaving him and Louis Philippe with no choice but to go into exile. At the age of 19, Louis Philippe left France; it was some 21 years before he again set foot on French soil.

Exile (1793–1815)

The reaction in Paris to Louis Philippe's involvement in Dumouriez's treason inevitably resulted in misfortunes for the Orléans family. Philippe spoke in the National Convention, condemning his son for his actions, asserting that he would not spare his son, much akin to the Roman consul Brutus and his sons. However, letters from Louis Philippe to his father were discovered in transit and were read out to the Convention. Philippe was then put under continuous surveillance. Shortly thereafter, the Girondists moved to arrest Philippe and the two younger brothers of Louis Philippe, Louis-Charles and Antoine Philippe; the latter had been serving in Biron's Army of the North. The three were interned in Fort Saint-Jean.

Meanwhile, Louis Philippe was forced to live in the shadows, avoiding both pro-Republican revolutionaries and Legitimist French "" centers in various parts of Europe and also in the Austrian army. He first moved to Switzerland under an assumed name, and met up with the Countess of Genlis and his sister Adélaïde at Schaffhausen. From there they went to Zürich, where the Swiss authorities decreed that to protect Swiss neutrality, Louis Philippe would have to leave the city. They went to Zug, where Louis Philippe was discovered by a group of "émigrés".

It became quite apparent that for the ladies to settle peacefully anywhere, they would have to separate from Louis Philippe. He then left with his faithful valet Baudouin for the heights of the Alps, and then to Basel, where he sold all but one of his horses. Now moving from town to town throughout Switzerland, he and Baudouin were found themselves very much exposed to all the distresses of extended travelling. They were refused entry to a monastery by monks who believed them to be young vagabonds. Another time, he woke up after spending a night in a barn to find himself at the far end of a musket, confronted by a man attempting to keep away thieves.

Throughout this period, he never stayed in one place more than 48 hours. Finally, in October 1793, Louis Philippe was appointed a teacher of geography, history, mathematics, and modern languages at a boys' boarding school. The school, owned by a Monsieur Jost, was in Reichenau, a village on the upper Rhine, across from Switzerland. His salary was 1,400 francs and he taught under the name "Monsieur Chabos". He had been at the school for a month when he heard the news from Paris: his father was guillotined on 6 November 1793 after a trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal.


In early 1794, Louis Philippe began courting Marianne Banzori, the cook of the Reichenau schoolmaster. After Louis Philippe ended his academic career in late 1794, Jost discovered that Marianne was pregnant. Upset with Louis Philippe, Jost sent Marianne to Milan where the child was born in December 1794, and then placed in an orphanage.

After Louis Philippe left Reichenau, he separated the now 16-year old Adélaïde from the Countess of Genlis, who had fallen out with Louis Philippe. Adélaïde went to live with her great-aunt the Princess of Conti at Fribourg, then to Bavaria and finally to Hungary. Later she went to her mother in Spain.

Louis Philippe travelled extensively. He visited Scandinavia in 1795. For about a year, he stayed in Muonio (Torne Valley), a remote town at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, living in the rectory under the name Müller as a guest of the local Lutheran vicar. Here he metclarifyme the vicar's wife's sister, Beata Caisa Wahlbom, who was a housekeeper in the rectory. Not long after Louis Philippe left Scandinavia, Beata Caisa Wahlbom gave birth to a son, whom she named Erik.

Louis Philippe also visited the United States for four years, staying in Philadelphia (where his brothers Antoine Philippe and Louis-Charles were in exile), New York City (where he most likely stayed at the Somerindyck family estate on Broadway and 75th Street with other exiled princes), and Boston. In Boston, he taught French for a time and lived in lodgings over what is now the Union Oyster House, Boston's oldest restaurant. During his time in the United States, Louis Philippe met with American politicians and people of high society, including George Clinton, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington.

His visit to Cape Cod in 1797 coincided with the division of the town of Eastham into two towns, one of which took the name of Orleans, possibly in his honour. During their sojourn, the Orléans princes travelled throughout the country, visiting as far south as Nashville and as far north as Maine. The brothers were even held in Philadelphia briefly during an outbreak of yellow fever. He is also thought to have met Isaac Snow of Orleans, Massachusetts, who escaped to France from a British prison hulk during the American Revolution. In 1839, while reflecting on his visit to the United States, Louis Philippe explained in a letter to Guizot that his three years there had a large influence on his later political beliefs and judgements when he became king.

In Boston, Louis Philippe learned of the coup of 18 Fructidor (September 4, 1797) and the exile of his mother to Spain. He and his brothers then decided to return to Europe. They went to New Orleans, planning to sail to Havana and thence to Spain. This however was a troubled journey, as Spain and Great Britain were then at war.

They sailed for Havana in an American corvette, but the ship was stopped in the Gulf of Mexico by a British warship. The British seized the three brothers, but took them to Havana anyway. Unable to find passage to Europe, the three brothers spent a year in Cuba, until they were unexpectedly expelled by the Spanish authorities. They sailed via the Bahamas to Nova Scotia. There they were received by the Duke of Kent, son of King George III and later father of Queen Victoria. Louis Philippe struck up a lasting friendship with the British royal. Eventually, the brothers sailed back to New York, and in January 1800, they arrived in England, where they stayed for the next 15 years.


In 1809 Louis Philippe married Princess Marie Amalie, daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Marie Caroline of Austria. They had the following ten children:
# Ferdinand-Philippe (3 September 1810–1842) married Helena of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
# Louise-Marie (3 April 1812–1850), who married Leopold I of Belgium
# Marie (12 April 1813–1839), who married Duke Alexander of Württemberg (1804–1881)
# Louis Charles Philippe Raphael, Duke of Nemours (25 October 1814–1896), who married Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary
# Francisca of Orléans (28 March 1816–1818)
# Clémentine of Orléans (3 June 1817–1907), who married August of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary
# François, Prince of Joinville (14 August 1818–1900), who married Francisca of Brazil
# Charles, Duke of Penthièvre (1 January 1820–1828)
# Henri, Duke of Aumale (16 June 1822–1897), who married Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
# Antoine, Duke of Montpensier (31 July 1824–1890), married Luisa Fernanda of Spain

Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)

After the abdication of Napoleon, Louis Philippe, known as "Louis Philippe III, Duke of Orléans", returned to France during the restoration of the monarchy under his cousin King Louis XVIII. Louis Philippe had reconciled the Orléans family with Louis XVIII in exile, and was once more to be found in the elaborate royal court. However, his resentment at the treatment of his family, the cadet branch of the House of Bourbon under the "Ancien Régime", caused friction between him and Louis XVIII. He openly sided with the liberal opposition.

Louis Philippe was on far friendlier terms with Charles X, who succeeded Louis in 1824. Louis Philippe dined and socialised often with him. However, his opposition to the policies of Villèle and later Jules de Polignac caused him to be a constant threat to the stability of Charles's government.

King of the French (1830–1848)

In 1830, the July Revolution overthrew Charles X. Charles abdicated in favor of his 10-year-old grandson, Henri, Duke of Bordeaux. Louis Philippe was charged by Charles X to announce to the popularly elected Chamber of Deputies his desire to have his grandson succeed him. Louis Philippe did not do this in order to increase his own chances of succession. As a consequence, because the chamber was aware of Louis Philippe's Liberal policies and his popularity with the masses, they proclaimed Louis Philippe, who for 11 days had been acting as the regent for his small cousin, as the new French king, displacing the senior branch of the House of Bourbon.

In anger over this betrayal, Charles X and his family, including his grandson, left for Great Britain. The grandson, better known as the Henri, Comte de Chambord, later became the pretender to Louis Philippe's throne and was supported by many nobles known as Legitimists.

Upon accession, Louis Philippe assumed the title of "King of the French" - a title already employed in the short-lived Constitution of 1791. Linking the monarchy to a people instead of a territory (as the previous designation "King of France and Navarra") aimed at undercutting the Legitimist claims of Charles X and his family.

By his ordinance of August 13, 1830, soon after his accession to the throne, it was decided that the king's sister and his children would continue to bear the arms of Orléans, that Louis Philippe's eldest son, as "Prince Royal", would bear the title "Duke of Orléans", that the younger sons would continue to have their previous titles, and that the sister and daughters of the king would only be styled "Princesses of Orléans", not "of France".

In 1832, his daughter, Princess Louise-Marie (1812–1850), married the first ruler of Belgium, Leopold I, King of the Belgians.

In July 1835 Louis Philippe survived an assassination attempt by Giuseppe Mario Fieschi on the boulevard du Temple in Paris.

In 1842, his son and heir, Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans, died in an carriage accident.

Louis Phillippe ruled in an unpretentious fashion, avoiding the pomp and lavish spending of his predecessors. Despite this outward appearance of simplicity, his support came from the wealthy middle classes. At first, he was much loved and called the "Citizen King" and the "bourgeois monarch," but his popularity suffered as his government was perceived as increasingly conservative and monarchical. Under his management the conditions of the working classes deteriorated, and the income gap widened considerably. An economic crisis in 1847 led to the citizens of France revolting against their king again the following year.

Abdication and death (1848–1850)

On February 24, 1848, during the February 1848 Revolution, to general surprise, King Louis Philippe abdicated in favor of his nine-year-old grandson, Philippe. Fearful of what had happened to Louis XVI, Louis Philippe quickly disguised himself and fled Paris. Riding in an ordinary cab under the name of "Mr. Smith", he escaped to England. According to "The Times" of March 6, 1848, the King and Queen were received at Newhaven, East Sussex before travelling by train to London.

The National Assembly initially planned to accept young Philippe as king, but the strong current of public opinion rejected that. On February 26, the Second Republic was proclaimed. Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President in December; a few years later he declared himself president for life and then Emperor Napoleon III.

Louis Philippe and his family lived in England until his death in Claremont, Surrey. He is buried with his wife, Amelia (April 26, 1782March 24, 1866), at the Chapelle Royale, the family necropolis he had built in 1816, in Dreux.

The clash of the pretenders

The clashes of 1830 and 1848 between the Legitimists and the Orleanists over who was the rightful monarch were resumed in the 1870s. After the fall of the Second Empire, a monarchist-dominated National Assembly offered a throne to the Legitimist pretender, Henri, Comte de Chambord as "Henri V". As he was childless, his heir was (except to the most extreme Legitimists) Louis Phillippe's grandson, the Philippe, Comte de Paris. So the Comte de Chambord's death would unite the House of Bourbon and House of Orléans.

However, the Comte de Chambord refused to take the throne unless the Tricolor flag of the revolution was replaced with the fleur-de-lis flag of the "ancien régime". This the National Assembly was unwilling to do. A Third Republic was established, though many intended for it to be temporary, to be abolished and replaced by a constitutional monarchy when the Comte de Chambord died. However, the Comte de Chambord lived longer than expected. By the time of his death in 1883, support for the monarchy had declined, and public opinion sided with a continuation of the Third Republic, as the form of government that, according to Adolphe Thiers, "divides us least". Some suggested a monarchical restoration under a later comte de Paris after the fall of the Vichy regime but this did not occur.

Most French monarchists regard the descendants of Louis Philippe's grandson, who hold the title "Count of Paris" as the rightful pretenders to the French throne. A small minority of Legitimists prefer Don Luis-Alfonso de Borbon, Duke of Anjou (to his supporters, "Louis XX"). He is descended in the male line from Philippe, Duke of Anjou, the second grandson of Louis XIV, who however had renounced his rights to the throne of France as to prevent the, much-feared, union of France and Spain.

The two sides challenged each other in the French Republic's law courts in 1897 and again nearly a century later. In the latter case, Henri Count of Paris, challenged the right of the Spanish-born "pretender" to use the title "Duke of Anjou". The French courts threw out his claim, arguing that the legal system had no jurisdiction over the matter.


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1= 1. Louis Philippe of France
2= 2. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
3= 3. Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre
4= 4. Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
5= 5. Louise Henriette de Bourbon-Conti
6= 6. Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
7= 7. Marie Thérèse Félicité d'Este-Modène
8= 8. Louis of Bourbon, Duke of Orléans
9= 9. Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden
10= 10. Louise-Élisabeth de Bourbon-Condé
11= 11. Louis Armand II de Bourbon, prince de Conti
12= 12. Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse
13= 13. Marie Victoire de Noailles
14= 14. Francesco III d'Este
15= 15. Charlotte Aglaé of Orléans
16= 16. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
17= 17. Françoise-Marie de Bourbon
18= 18. Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
19= 19. Sibylle Auguste of Saxe-Lauenburg
20= 20. Louis III, Prince of Condé
21= 21. Louise-Françoise de Bourbon
22= 22. François Louis, Prince of Conti
23= 23. Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon-Condé
24= 24. Louis XIV of France
25= 25. Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan
26= 26. Anne-Jules, 2nd duc de Noailles
27= 27. Marie-Françoise de Bournonville
28= 28. Rinaldo III, Duke of Modena
29= 29. Charlotte Felicity of Brunswick-Lüneburg
30= 30. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
31= 31. Françoise-Marie de Bourbon

ee also

* In France, a museum is dedicated to king Louis Philippe and his family [http://www.louis-philippe.eu Louis-Philippe Museum of Château d'Eu] in Normandy The Lafitte Family.* Members of the French Royal Families



External links

* [http://greatcaricatures.com/articles_galleries/la_caricature/html/01_la_caricature.html La Caricature Gallery] : Caricatures of Louis-Philippe and others, published in "La Caricature" 1830–1835
* [http://dorleans.info Family d'Orléans Info]



NAME = Louis-Philippe of France
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Last King of France
DATE OF BIRTH = 6 October 1773
PLACE OF BIRTH = Paris, France
DATE OF DEATH = 26 August 1850
PLACE OF DEATH = Claremont, Surrey

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