House of Orléans

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Coat of arms of the Dukes of Orléans

The House of Orléans , known as the House of Bourbon-Orléans before 1830 , is the name of a French royal family that established a monarch of France during the period of the so-called “ July Monarchy ” from 1830 to 1848 . It currently provides the pretenders to the throne for monarchists in France and Brazil .


The House of Orléans emerged from a branch of the House of Bourbon (Bourbon-Orléans) and is thus itself a branch of the Capetian ruling dynasty . The house was founded by Philippe I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (* 1640, † 1701), the younger brother of Louis XIV , the Sun King, and his wife Liselotte of the Palatinate .

Philippe II. Charles de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1674–1723), regent of France from 1715

After the death of Henri III. Jules de Bourbon, prince de Condé , in 1709 became the first prince of the blood and thus the right to inheritance in the event of the extinction of the French descendants of Louis XIV to Philippe II Charles de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1674 –1723) and his descendants. This led as the next legitimate relative of the underage King Louis XV. ruled France between 1715 and 1723. The Bourbon-Anjou , who had ruled Spain since 1700, were descendants of Louis XIV, but had inherited the Spanish crown from the Habsburgs only on the condition that there was no personal union with France; In 1713, in the Treaty of Utrecht , they again expressly renounced the throne for France. If the young Louis XV. died without a male heir from his line (and there was no such thing between 1713 and 1729), then Philippe II. d'Orléans and subsequently his son Louis I d'Orléans would have inherited the throne - unless the Spanish line revoked their renunciation and started (and won) a war of succession. To prevent this, the regent Philippe II d'Orléans allied himself with Great Britain, which was interested in preventing the two Bourbon monarchies from merging, and with the Netherlands, which saw themselves threatened again by Spanish expansionist efforts, and finally with Austria and led the war of the Quadruple Alliance against Bourbon Spain from 1717 to 1720 . Only the victory of the alliance created the conditions for a more lasting European peace.

Philip II. Great-grandson Louis-Philippe II. Joseph de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (* 1747, † 1793), turned under the name of Philippe Égalité to the revolution , gave his vote as a representative in the convent to condemn King Louis XVI. only to be guillotined as a bourbon shortly afterwards.

The Bourbon dynasty has been divided since the French Revolution in 1789. On one side was the main royal line of the family, which - shaped by a monarchical legitimism - was strictly opposed to the revolution and its achievements and indulged in the ultra- royalism of the ancien régime . The Bourbons from the Orléans line, on the other hand, took an attitude from Philippe Égalité that accepted the social and political conditions changed by the revolution and only aimed for a constitutional monarchy .

The "citizen king" Louis-Philippe I.

The son of Philippe Égalité, Louis-Philippe III. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1773-1850), was after the July Revolution in 1830 by the Chamber of Deputies proclaimed "King of the French," and that, although the royal line of the Bourbons after the abdication of the absolutist King Charles X yet was not extinct and his son, the Duc d'Angoulême , was also ready. The choice fell on Louis-Philippe d'Orléans because, despite the execution of his father, he accepted the upheavals in the French state and its society triggered by the revolution and thus came closest to the ideas of the liberal bourgeoisie regarding a constitutional constitution. The “ July monarchy ” (from 1830 to 1848) ultimately failed due to the corruption of the regime and the selfishness of the ruling bourgeoisie , because in the February revolution of 1848 the “citizen king” was ousted from the throne again, followed by the Second French Republic . To this day, his descendants put the pretenders on the throne for those monarchists who advocate a constitutional monarchy (" Orléanists ").

The last realistic chance for a renewed restoration of the monarchy - and at the same time for a compromise between the two rival Bourbon camps - came after the Franco-Prussian War in August 1873, when the supporters of the two monarchist camps saw the chance for a parliamentary majority, if they united. Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans, comte de Paris , grandson of the "Citizen King", then visited the Count von Chambord , grandson of Charles X, in his exile and recognized him as head of the "House of France" and sole pretender to the throne - knowing full well, that he would be able to succeed him on the throne, since the Count of Chambord was the last of the main line. But this plan failed because of Chambord's persistent refusal to recognize the tricolor as the French national flag and to agree a constitution with the National Assembly in advance . Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale , the second youngest and most popular son of the citizen king, then planned to become president of a conservative republic; in February 1879 he was appointed inspector general of the army, but in 1883 - like all other pretenders to the throne - he was also removed from this position. As heir to the last Bourbon Condé , he had an immense fortune; Since his two sons died young, he bequeathed the Chantilly Castle, which he himself had rebuilt, including his huge art collection, the Musée Condé and the Institut de France . After the count had died of Chambord in 1883 and an association of supporters of a constitutional-parliamentary monarchy, so the Orleanist, with a majority of the Legitimists in prospect, put the Radical Republicans in 1886 against the monarchists a law by which all the Bourbons and Bonapartes from Exiled France; only the Duc d'Aumale was allowed to return to France in 1889.

On June 24, 1950, the National Assembly repealed the exile law of 1886, which allowed the House of Orléans to return to their French homeland. Henri d'Orléans (1908–1999) , Count of Paris, returned and tried to rally the supporters of the monarchy behind him. Family festivities have since received a lot of attention from the French media. Until the 1960s, he clung to the illusion that General Charles de Gaulle , who treated him with great respect and had ensured that the law of exile was repealed, would propose him as the successor to the office of President.

The current head of the family is his grandson Jean d'Orléans .

Name and title

In an orderly issued on August 13, 1830, Ludwig Philipp stated that the name of the new royal family he had founded was now "House Orléans" (instead of "Bourbon-Orléans") and that his and his descendants' surname would be "d'Orléans" from now on may. In doing so, he made a nominal separation from the Bourbons, as their main line, which was still in existence at the time, as advocates of ultra-loyal legitimism, did not appear acceptable for a constitutional constitution.

The respective head of the House of Orléans traditionally bears the title of Count of Paris , Duke of France, and his successor under house law the title of Dauphin de France , with the title of Royal Highness ; the usual salutation is Monseigneur . The agnates are “awarded” traditional secondary school titles by the respective head of the house. These are birthright titles used under private law according to the historical house law of the formerly ruling French royal house of the Capetians , which are referred to by today's French courts as purely courtesy titles, but are also used as such, and also by politics and the press.

Dispute over seniority and claims to the throne

Since the main French branch of the Bourbons died out in 1883 with Henri de Bourbon-Artois, comte de Chambord , the House of Orléans has claimed the leadership of the Capetian “House of France”, with reference to their position as the first princes of the blood and to the treaty of Utrecht from the year 1713. In this contract, the progenitor of the Spanish Bourbon branch ( Bourbon-Anjou ), the "House of Spain", renounced the French throne for himself and his descendants, thus favoring the Orléans. Regardless of this, ultra-loyal supporters ( legitimists ) have recognized the respective head of the Spanish Bourbons, who is also the senior capet in the male line, as the rightful pretender to the throne, currently this is Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (more there) .

When Henri d'Orléans sued his Spanish cousin Louis Alphonse in French courts in 1988/89 to forbid him to use the Bourbon lily coat of arms without the tournament collar of a subordinate line, two instances successively declared for the underlying dynastic dispute over the succession to the throne or seniority not to be responsible and that all lines of the Bourbons are allowed to carry this coat of arms. Henri d'Orléans, however, doubted the dynastic legitimacy of the Spanish Bourbons, referring to two historical infidelities.

coat of arms

The Bourbon Orléans

From the first Duke of Orléans to King Louis Philippe

image Name
(life data)
relationship annotation
Mathieu, attributed to - Philippe of France, Duke of Orléans - Versailles, MV6039.jpg Philippe I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
(born September 21, 1640 - † June 9, 1701)
Son of King Louis XIII.
Philippe d'Orléans, Regent et la comtesse de Parabère (Marie Madeleine de La Vieuville) par Santerre.jpg Philippe II Charles de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
(August 2, 1674 - December 2, 1723)
Son of the predecessor Regent of France (1715-1723)
Rochard after Coypel - Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans in Armor.jpg Louis I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
(August 4, 1703 - February 4, 1752)
Son of the predecessor
Rioult portrait after van Loo depicting Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans (Versailles) .jpg Louis Philippe I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
(* May 12, 1725 - November 18, 1785)
Son of the predecessor
Portrait of Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans (known as Philippe Égalité) in ceremonial robes of the Order of the Holy Spirit by Antoine François Callet.jpg Louis Philippe II. Joseph de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Philippe Égalité
(born April 13, 1747 - † November 6, 1793)
Son of the predecessor
Louis-Philippe, King of the French - Winterhalter 1845.jpg Louis-Philippe III. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Louis Philippe d'Orléans
(born October 6, 1773 - † August 26, 1850)
Son of the predecessor King of the French (1830–1848)


The first generations of the Dukes of Orléans in the Ancien Régime owned the Palais Royal in Paris and the Saint-Cloud Castle , which was located between Paris and Versailles , as their main residences . Shortly before the French Revolution, they sold these properties to King Louis XVI. and lived in Le Raincy Castle and Sainte-Assise Castle in Seine-Port .

King Louis-Philippe grew up in exile and died in exile. After the restoration , Louis XVIII reimbursed him . the extensive possessions of the Orléans back, if they had not been sold. During his reign he acquired other goods. However, as a result of many children and frequent inheritance divisions, his estate fell to various heirs and family branches.

The House of Orléans had exiled France by law from 1886 to 1950; only Henri d'Orléans (1908–1999) , Count of Paris, was then able to return and take possession of his inheritance again, also reuniting some previously scattered portions of the inheritance. Since he had eleven children and did not get a high income from his property, he set up a family foundation, the Fondation Saint-Louis , in 1974 to bundle the most important family goods and protect them from being divided again. These include Amboise Castle , which is used as a family museum , the ancestral castle Bourbon-l'Archambault and Dreux Castle with the Orléans burial chapel. The respective Count of Paris is the honorary chairman of the foundation. The acting chairman from 1999 to 2008 was Jean d'Albert , Duke of Luynes .

House of Orléans tribe list

From Louis Philippe, King of the French, to the present day

Extract from the family table of the House of Orléans

Philippe I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Philippe II. De Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Louis I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Louis Philippe I de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Louis Philippe II. Joseph de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans
Ludwig Philipp, King of the French
Ferdinand Philippe d'Orléans
Louis d'Orléans
Antoine d'Orléans
Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans
Robert d'Orléans
Gaston d'Orléans
House Orléans-Galliera
(to date)
Louis Philippe Robert d'Orléans
Jean Pierre Clément Marie d'Orléans
House Orléans-Braganza
(to date)
Henri Robert Ferdinand Marie Louis Philippe d'Orléans
Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans
Jean Charles Pierre Marie d'Orléans


Today's pretenders to the Brazilian imperial throne are placed by the House of Orléans-Braganza , a side branch of the House of Orléans. This family descends from Gaston d'Orléans , who was a grandson of King Ludwig Philipp.

See also

Web links

Commons : House of Orléans  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1st Ch.) , December 21, 1988
  2. ^ Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1st Ch.) , December 21, 1988
  3. See article Louis Alphonse de Bourbon .
  4. Website of the Fondation Saint-Louis (French)