Philippe, comte de Paris


Philippe, comte de Paris

Louis-Philippe Albert of Orléans, Count of Paris (24 August,18388 September,1894) was the grandson of Louis Philippe I, King of the French. He became the "Prince Royal", heir to the throne, when his father, Prince Ferdinand-Philippe, died in a carriage accident in 1842.

Although there was some effort during the days after the abdication of his grandfather in 1848 to put him on the throne under his mother's (Helene of Mecklenburg) regency, this came to nothing. They fled and the French Second Republic was proclaimed in its stead.

A historian, journalist and outspoken democrat, the Count of Paris volunteered to serve as a Union Army officer in the American Civil War along with his younger brother, the Duke of Chartres. As Captain Philippe d'Orléans, the Count of Paris served on the staff of the commander of the Army of the Potomac under Major General George McClellan for nearly a year. He distinguished himself during the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign. His history of that war is considered a standard reference work.

In 1864 he married his paternal first cousin Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans (1848–1919), Infanta of Spain. She was daughter of Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain and Prince Antoine, Duke of Montpensier (1824–1890), the youngest son of Louis-Philippe of France and Marie Amalie of the Two Sicilies. They had eight children, including:

*Amélie of Orléans (1865–1951). She married Carlos I of Portugal in 1886.
* Prince Louis-Philippe Robert, Duke of Orléans (1869–1926).
*Princess Hélène of Orléans (1871–1951). She married Emmanuel Philibert, 2nd Duke of Aosta in 1895.
* Prince Charles of Orléans (1875–1875).
* Princess Isabelle of Orléans (1878–1961). She married Prince Jean of Orléans, Duke of Guise in 1899.
* Prince Jacques of Orléans (1880–1881).
*Princess Louise of Orléans (1882–1958). She married Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in 1907. Through her daughter Maria Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, she was the grandmother of King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
* Prince Ferdinand of Orléans, Duke of Montpensier (1884–1924). He married Marie Isabelle Gonzales de Olañeta et Ibaretta, 3rd Marchioness of Valdeterrazo in 1921. In 1873, anticipating a restoration of the monarchy by the largely monarchist National Assembly that had been elected following the fall of Napoleon III, the Count of Paris withdrew his claims to the French throne in favour of the legitimist claimant, Henri V, best known as the "Comte de Chambord". It was assumed by most that the Count of Paris was Chambord's heir, and would thus be able to succeed to the throne upon the childless Chambord's death, reuniting the two claims that had rent French monarchists since 1830. However, Chambord's refusal to recognize the tricolor as the French flag sabotaged hopes of a restoration, and Chambord died in 1883 without ever specifically recognizing his Orléanist rival as his heir.

Upon the Count of Chambord's death, the Count of Paris was recognized by most monarchists as Philip VII of France. This succession was disputed by the Carlist descendants of the Bourbon kings of Spain, on the grounds that they were descended directly from Louis XIV.

The Count of Paris lived in Sheen House, Sheen in Surrey, Britain, where his grandfather had sought refuge after his abdication. He died at Stowe House in 1894.

ee also

*Count of Paris
*List of shortest reigning monarchs of all time

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