Louis-Philippe I.

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Franz Xaver Winterhalter :
King Louis-Philippe I.

Louis-Philippe I ( French Louis-Philippe I he ; * 6. October 1773 in Paris ; †  26. August 1850 in Claremont House south of Esher , county Surrey ) was in the so-called July Monarchy 1830-1848 French king. He is also known as the citizen king (French Roi Citoyen or Roi Bourgeois ). His official title was " King of the French " and no longer "King of France and Navarre", which the French kings had worn since Henry IV .

The French name Louis-Philippe is also used in the German-speaking area, although the spelling without a hyphen ( Louis Philippe ) is also common in German . The German form of the name Ludwig Philipp , on the other hand, is rarely used, unlike the French kings from the time before the French Revolution and his direct predecessors, Louis XVIII. and Karl X.



Louis-Philippe was the eldest son of Duke Louis-Philippe II. Joseph of Orléans (Philippe Égalité) and his wife Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre , daughter of the Duke of Penthièvre . Thus he descended on the father's side from the brother of Louis XIV (see House Bourbon ), on the mother's side from the Comte de Toulouse , a legitimate son of Louis XIV. And Madame de Montespan . However, since he was also a descendant of the regent Philip II of Orléans and his wife Françoise Marie de Bourbon , a legitimate daughter of Louis XIV, he was a direct descendant of the Sun King in this way too. Initially he was called Duke of Valois ; when his father took the title Duke of Orléans , he became Duke of Chartres and Nemours .

French Revolution

Louis-Philippe as Lieutenant General 1792, painting by Léon Cogniet for the Palace of Versailles (1834)

When the French Revolution broke out in 1789, Louis-Philippe was sixteen years old. Like his father, he greeted her enthusiastically. In 1790 he joined the Jacobin Club , in which the moderates still dominated at the time. He attended the debates of the National Assembly frequently. In this way he became a persona grata of the party in power.

In 1792 the eighteen-year-old was given an officer post in the Northern Army. As Lieutenant-général des armées , he was involved in the cannonade at Valmy on September 20, 1792 . The next day the republic was proclaimed. Louis-Philippe, who, like his father, had acquired the surname Égalité , presented himself as an avid supporter.

He served under Dumouriez in Holland. On November 6, 1792, he played an important role in the victory at the Battle of Jemappes . On March 18, 1793, he experienced the catastrophic defeat of the French in the Battle of Neer winds .


School scene in Reichenau, Louis-Philippe standing on the right

He was an accomplice in Dumouriez's plan to march on Paris and overthrow the Republic, and on April 5, 1793, he fled with him over the Austrian lines to Mons . He was not to return to France for the next 21 years. First he went with his sister and her tutor Madame de Genlis to the Swiss Confederation , where he lived under the name "Corby" in Bremgarten ( free offices ). To escape the ire of the emigrants, he began teaching in November 1793 under the name "Chabod" at the Reichenau Educational Institute ( Graubünden ). His father was executed at the same time. The death of his father made him Duke of Orléans and thus the center of the intrigues of the Orléanist party. After political unrest broke out in Graubünden, he returned to Bremgarten in June 1794.

In 1795 he was in Hamburg with Dumouriez, who still wanted to make him king. Louis-Philippe avoided making overt claims to the throne and communicated his plan to live in the United States . However, in the hope that the situation in France would work out to his advantage, he postponed this project. Instead, he traveled through Scandinavia and stayed in Lapland for about a year .

In 1796 the Directory offered the release of his mother and two brothers, who had been held in prison since the Reign of Terror . As a condition the regime made the departure to America. First, Louis Philippe's brothers Antoine Philippe, Duke of Montpensier and Louis Charles, Count of Beaujolais , traveled together to Philadelphia . In February 1797, Louis-Philippe also arrived in Philadelphia. The three brothers were now traveling around New England , the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi River . Louis-Philippe also stayed in New York City and in Boston , where he worked as a French teacher. He met politicians and high-ranking officials, including George Washington , Alexander Hamilton , John Jay and George Clinton .

At the end of 1797, the brothers learned of the coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor V (September 4th, 1797) and of their mother's forced exile in Spain. Then they wanted to return to Europe. The planned trip from New Orleans via Havana to Spain failed due to the political turmoil between the first two coalition wars in Europe. The brothers stayed in Cuba for a year . After Spain and France became closer politically in connection with negotiations on Louisiana , the brothers were expelled from Cuba by the Spanish colonial rulers. They sailed via the Bahamas to Nova Scotia and from there to New York, from where they could finally begin the crossing to Europe.

In January 1800 the brothers landed in England and settled in Twickenham near London. In France, Napoleon Bonaparte had already consolidated his power by this time. Immediately after his arrival, Louis-Philippe made contact with the Count of Artois at Dumouriez's suggestion , through whose mediation he was reconciled with the exiled pretender to the throne Louis (XVIII) . But he refused to support Condé's army and fight against France. But he also maintained his loyalty to the royal family - at least that was his claim and the view of the Orléanists ; the legitimists contested this representation. 1807 died Antoine Philippe as the first of three brothers in Hampshire to tuberculosis . Louis Charles, who also had tuberculosis, was brought to Malta in 1808 and died there on May 29, 1808.

At the invitation of King Ferdinand III. Louis-Philippe of Sicily traveled to Palermo and married Princess Maria Amalia , the king's daughter, on November 25, 1809 . The couple stayed in Palermo until 1814, where their first three children were born.

Return to France

After Napoleon's abdication, Louis-Philippe returned to France from Sicily. There he was by King Louis XVIII. warmly received; his military rank was confirmed and he was made Colonel General of the Hussars ; the extensive possessions of the Orléans were given back to him by royal order if they had not been sold. The goal could have been to tie him to the throne and compromise against the revolutionary parties. It is more likely, however, that it was nothing more than a gesture of goodwill on the part of the king. In any case, the immediate consequence was that he became immensely rich, with his fortune being increased by his business acumen. After his mother's death in 1821, his fortune was estimated at around 8 million francs.

In the meantime, in the heated atmosphere of the Restoration, his sympathy with the liberal opposition brought him under suspicion again. His behavior in the chamber of peers in the autumn of 1815 cost him two years in exile in Twickenham. Louis-Philippe campaigned for popularity by teaching his children en bourgeois in public schools. The Palais Royal became the meeting place for the leaders of the middle-class views that ultimately brought him to the throne.

King of the French

The way to the throne

Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, swears the oath on the new constitution
Louis-Philippe, King of the French, miniature by François Meuret

His chance came with the July Revolution of 1830 . During the three days of July the Duke remained discreetly in the background, first in Neuilly , then in Le Raincy . In the meantime, Thiers issued a proclamation in which he indicated that the establishment of a republic would bring France into conflict with all of Europe; The Duke of Orléans, on the other hand, was committed to the principles of the revolution, had carried the tricolor under fire and was therefore a citizen-king as the country wanted him to be. This view was shared by the rump parliament, which was still sitting in the Palais Bourbon . A deputation led by Thiers and Laffitte waited for the Duke to ask him to take the course of things into his own hands. He returned with them to Paris on the 30th and was elected Lieutenant General of the Reich by the deputies. The next day, wrapped in a tricolor scarf and led by a drummer, he walked to the Hôtel de Ville , the headquarters of the Republican Party, where he was publicly embraced by La Fayette as a symbol that the Republicans recognized the impossibility of to realize their own ideals and that they were ready to accept a monarchy based on the will of the people.

Until then, he had always affirmed the loyalty of his intentions in letters to King Charles X. The assurances were certainly not just hypocrisy. His personal ambitions played a role, but he must have soon realized that the French people had grown tired of legitimism and that rule under these conditions was impossible.

The king appointed him lieutenant general, abdicated in favor of his grandson, the Comte de Chambord , and appointed Louis-Philippe as regent. On August 7, the Chamber declared Charles X deposed by a large majority and proclaimed Louis-Philippe as King of the French, by the grace of God and the will of the people.


20 francs gold coin from 1831 with a portrait of Louis Philippe
Transformation of King Louis-Philippe into a pear, caricature by Charles Philipon , probably 1831
Eugène Louis Lami : Louis-Philippe, chalk drawing, Musée Condé, Chantilly

Under his government, the bourgeoisie, and with it the French economy, enjoyed a tremendous boom, not least due to the beginning of the railway construction . The words enrichissez-vous ("enrich yourself") are often mentioned as the cynical motto of this time . The industrialization was running and gradually created a proletariat . The associated social problems were completely ignored in Louis-Philippe's era.

Another problem for Louis-Philippe was that Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte , later Napoleon III, the nephew of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, knew how to give his claims to power a social touch. As a result, he was able to gather a not inconsiderable following, especially among the peasantry, which was also one of the losers of the July monarchy economically. He undertook two coup attempts , which had little success and after the second attempt resulted in Louis Bonaparte being sentenced to life imprisonment.

In the course of his tenure, Louis-Philippe abandoned his liberal style of government more and more and eventually even joined the Holy Alliance . Since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, their declared aim has been to restore the conditions in Europe as they had prevailed before the French Revolution of 1789, above all the domination of the nobility and recapture of their privileges .

Assassination attempts

The ruler was the target of assassins several times .

  • On November 19, 1832, a stranger shot him in Paris.
  • On July 28, 1835, the king was supposed to be killed in a troop parade by a hell machine designed and used by Joseph Fieschi . The king was slightly injured and twelve people from his entourage died. There were more dead and injured among the spectators on Paris' Boulevard du Temple .
  • On June 25, 1836, Louis Alĭbaud shot a pistol at the passing king in the Tuileries .
  • On December 27, 1836, the scribe Meunier wanted to end the life of Louis-Philippe I by firing a gun.
  • On October 15, 1840, the worker Marius Ennemond Darmès fired five shots from a carbine at the king returning home in a carriage, who was unharmed in the assassination attempt.
  • On April 16, 1846, the former forest warden Pierre Lecomte shot a double shotgun at the monarch , who was returning from a drive with his family in a carriage in the park of Fontainebleau Castle . Nobody was harmed in the attack.
  • On July 29, 1846, the steel goods manufacturer H. Henry directed two shots from a pistol at the king found in the garden of the Tuileries , which missed their target.

There was also an attack on his sons on September 13, 1841 when a regiment was being drawn in by the worker Quenisset.

Deposition, exile and death

Claremont House

When the social problems caused by industrialization worsened, there was another bourgeois revolution in 1848 (see February Revolution 1848 ). Louis-Philippe was ousted and went into exile in England, where he lived as Count von Neuilly with his family in Esher ( Surrey ). Queen Victoria made the Claremont House available to him there . This mansion had previously been used by Leopold I of Belgium, who married Louis Philippe's daughter Louise of Orléans (1812-1850) in 1832.

Louis-Philippe and Marie-Amélie were buried in Weybridge in the Roman Catholic Church of St. Charles Borromeo after their deaths in 1850 and 1866 respectively . In 1876 the two bodies were transferred to the Chapelle royale in Dreux , west of Paris , a burial place that Louis-Philippe's mother had built for the family from 1816 onwards.

Louis-Philippe's successor was Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, first as President and from 1852 as Emperor Napoleon III.


Maria Amalia of Naples-Sicily

With Maria Amalia of Naples-Sicily , Louis-Philippe had six sons and four daughters:

  1. Ferdinand Philippe (1810–1842), Duke of Chartres, Duke of Orléans
  2. Louise (1812–1850) ⚭ King Leopold I of Belgium (1790–1865)
  3. Marie Christine (1813–1839) ⚭ Duke Alexander von Württemberg (1804–1881)
  4. Louis (1814–1896), Duke of Nemours
  5. Françoise (1816-1818)
  6. Clementine (1817–1907) ⚭ Prince August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1818–1881)
  7. François (1818–1900), Prince of Joinville
  8. Charles (1820–1828), Duke of Penthièvre
  9. Henri (1822–1897), Duke of Aumale
  10. Antoine (1824–1890), Duke of Montpensier

Since the extinction of the older line of the French Bourbons in 1883, the Spanish line of the Bourbons has been recognized by some of the monarchists as pretenders to the French crown, while others see Louis-Philippe's descendants as entitled to the throne.


Pedigree of Louis-Philippe de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans

Louis XIV (1638–1715)
Madame de Montespan (1640–1707)

Anne-Jules de Noailles (1650–1708)
⚭ 1671
Marie Françoise de Bournonville (1656–1748)

Rinaldo d'Este (1655–1737)
⚭ 1696
Charlotte Felicitas von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1671–1710)

Philippe II. De Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1674–1723)
⚭ 1692
Françoise Marie de Bourbon (1677–1749)

Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm (Baden-Baden) (1655–1707)
⚭ 1690
Franziska Sibylla Augusta of Saxony-Lauenburg (1675–1733)

François Louis de Bourbon, prince de Conti (1664–1709)
⚭ 1688
Marie Thérèse de Bourbon-Condé (1666–1732)

Louis III de Bourbon, prince de Condé (1668–1710)
⚭ 1685
Louise Françoise de Bourbon (1673–1743)

Great grandparents

Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse (1678–1737)
⚭ 1723
Marie-Victoiré-Sophie de Noailles, marquise de Gondrin (1688–1766)

Francesco III. d'Este (1698–1780)
⚭ 1720
Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans (1700–1761)

Louis I. de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1703–1752)
⚭ 1724
Auguste of Baden-Baden (1704–1726)

Louis Armand II. De Bourbon, prince de Conti (1695–1727)
⚭ 1713
Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon (1693–1775)


Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre (1725–1793)
⚭ 1744
Maria Teresa Felicita d'Este (1726–1754)

Louis Philippe I de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1725–1785)
⚭ 1743
Louise Henriette de Bourbon-Conti (1726–1759)


Louis-Philippe II. Joseph de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1747–1793)
⚭ 1769
Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre (1753–1821)

Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, duc d'Orléans (1773–1850), King of the French


His name is entered on the triumphal arch in Paris in the 1st column (CHARTRES). The Louis Philippe Plateau in Antarctica also bears his name. Also the plant genus Philippodendrum Poit. from the Mallow family (Malvaceae) is named after him.


When La Société Cuvierienne was founded in 1838 , he was one of the 140 founding members of the society.


  • Michael Erbe : Louis-Philippe I. In: Peter Claus Hartmann (Ed.): The French kings and emperors of the modern age 1498-1870. From Louis XII. until Napoleon III. Beck, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-406-38506-0 , pp. 402-421.
  • Klaus Malettke : Die Bourbonen, Vol. 3. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-17-020584-0 , pp. 131-207.
  • Société Cuvierienne: List of the Premiers Fondateurs de La Société Cuvierienne, Association universelle pour l'avancement de la Zoologie, de L'Anatomie comparée et de la Palaeontologie . In: Revue Zoologique par La Société Cuvierienne . tape 1 , 1838, p. 189-192 ( biodiversitylibrary.org ).

Web links

Commons : Louis-Philippe I.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Félicité de Genlis: Précis de la conduite de Madame de Genlis depuis la Révolution (…) Paris (1796) ( digitizedhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D033g52friQIC%26pg%3DPA207%26lpg%3DPA207%26dq%3DGenlis%2BHoze%26source%3Dbl%26ots%3DwOzRs-DkLa%26sig_bQFz26% DkLa%26sig_W4Fz26% 3DX% 26ved% 3D0ahUKEwiU-_Pu1JzQAhXC1BoKHfsZC7MQ6AEINzAF% 23v% 3Donepage% 26q% 26f% 3Dfalse ~ IA% 3D ~ MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D ); Louis-Philippe von Orleans as a teacher at the Reichenau Institute (published anonymously), in: Swiss School Archive (Zurich), Volume 4, November 1883, pp. 237–243 ( digitized version http: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.e-periodica.ch%2Fcntmng%3Fpid%3Dssa-002%3A1883%3A4%3A%3A133~GB%3D~IA%3D~MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D).
  2. Assassination . In: Heinrich August Pierer , Julius Löbe (Hrsg.): Universal Lexicon of the Present and the Past . 4th edition. tape 1 . Altenburg 1857, p. 907-908 ( zeno.org ).
  3. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names - Extended Edition. Part I and II. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin , Freie Universität Berlin , Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-946292-26-5 doi: 10.3372 / epolist2018 .
  4. ^ Société Cuvierienne, p. 189.
predecessor Office successor
(before July Revolution )
Charles X.
King of the French
Second French Republic
Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte