Henri d'Orléans (1933)

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Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris (2013)

Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans (Henri VII., Born June 14, 1933 in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre , Belgium ; † January 21, 2019 in Paris ) was head of the House of Orléans and its pretender after the death of his father in 1999 on the French throne. As such, he claimed the titles of Comte de Paris and Duc de France . The advocates of his claim to the throne, the Orléanists , stood in opposition to the legitimists , whose claimant to the throne is Louis Alphonse de Bourbon .


Henri was the second of eleven children of Henri d'Orléans and Isabelle d'Orléans-Bragance . The House of Orléans had exiled France by law from 1886 to 1950; It was not until 1950 that the family was therefore able to return to the republic and take possession of their inheritance again.

According to his own statements, he followed the will of his father and General Charles de Gaulle when he married Marie Therese von Württemberg on July 5, 1957, at the age of 24, fifth child from the marriage of Philipp Albrecht Herzog von Württemberg and Rosa von Austria . This connection should bring France and Germany closer together. Marie Therese's younger brother, Carl Herzog von Württemberg , married Henri's younger sister, Diane Duchess von Württemberg , in 1960 .

After living separated from his wife for years, Henri d'Orléans divorced in 1984 without his father's consent and on October 31, 1984 entered into a second, non-church marriage with Micaela Cousiño Quinones de Leon. His father, for monarchists the Comte de Paris (Count of Paris), then denied him the title of Comte de Clermont , giving him the lower-ranking title of Comte de Mortain . In 1987 he gave Henri's son Jean the title Duc de Vendôme and presented him as his successor. He reversed this decision a few years later. Henri d'Orléans regained his old rights and his second wife was given the title of Princess of Joinville . The respective boss 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 . After the death of his father in 1999, he therefore assumed the title of Count of Paris. 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.

When Henri d'Orléans sued his Spanish cousin Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (see there) in 1988/89 in French courts to forbid him from using the Bourbon lily coat of arms without the tournament collar of a subordinate line, as ultra-loyal supporters ( legitimists ) since 1883 Recognize the respective line elder of the Spanish Bourbons, who is also the senior capet in the male line, as the rightful pretender to the throne also for France, two bodies successively declared that they were not responsible for the underlying dynastic dispute over the succession or seniority in the house of France 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.

As Count of Paris, Henri d'Orléans was honorary president of the family foundation founded by his father in 1974, the Fondation Saint-Louis , in which the most important family goods are bundled; These include the Amboise Castle , which is used as a family museum , the ancestral castle Bourbon-l'Archambault and the Dreux Castle residence with the Orléans burial chapel.

Numerous European aristocrats took part in the memorial service on February 2, 2019 in the royal chapel of Dreux . Among the mourners were Sophia of Spain , Farah Diba , Prince Albert II of Monaco , Crown Prince Moulay Hassan of Morocco and Paul von Habsburg.


The marriage with Marie Therese Duchess of Württemberg on July 5, 1957 in Dreux , Eure-et-Loir , resulted in five children:

  1. Marie Isabelle Marguerite Anne Geneviève (* 1959), ⚭ 1989 with Gundakar Prinz von und zu Liechtenstein (* 1949)
  2. François Henri Louis Marie (* 1961; † 2017)
  3. Blanche Elisabeth Rose Marie (* 1962)
  4. Jean Charles Pierre Marie (* 1965), ⚭ 2009 with Philomena de Tornos
  5. Eudes Thibaut Joseph Marie (* 1968), ⚭ 1999 with Marie Liesse de Rohan-Chabot

honors and awards


Web links

Commons : Henri d'Orléans (1933)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ En accord avec le général De Gaulle, (...), il m'a fait épouser à vingt-quatre ans une jeune princesse allemande. Une union qui devait rapprocher nos deux pays! In: Figaro. September 19, 1987.
  2. ^ Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1st Ch.) , December 21, 1988
  3. See above court decision of the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris
  4. More details in the article Louis Alphonse de Bourbon .
  5. ^ Henri d'Orléans: Royals say goodbye to the Count of Paris. February 5, 2019, accessed February 8, 2019 .
predecessor Office successor
Henri d'Orléans Blason duche for Orleans (modern) .svg
Head of the House of Orléans
Orléanist pretender to the throne of France
Jean d'Orléans