Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 804 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOUIS PHILIPPE ALBERT PARIS D'ORLEANS, COMTE DE (1838-1894), son of the duc d'Orleans, the eldest son of King Louis Philippe, was born on the 24th of August 1838. His mother was the princess Helen of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a Protestant. By the death of his father through a carriage accident in 1842, the count, who was then only four years of age, became heir-apparent to the French throne. On the deposition of Louis Philippe in 1848, the duchess of Orleans struggled to secure the succession to her son, and bore him through an excited populace to the chamber of deputies. The chamber itself was soon invaded, however, and the Republic proclaimed. The Orleanists were driven into exile, and the duchess proceeded with her two sons, the comte de Paris and the duc de Chartres, first to Eisenach in Saxony, and then to Claremont in Surrey. After his mother's death in 1858 the count made a long foreign tour. In 1861 he and his brother accompanied their uncle, the prince de Joinville, to the United States. The brothers were attached to the staff of General McClellan, commanding the" Army of the Potomac." In April 1862 the count took part in the siege of Yorktown, and was present at the action of Williamsburg on the 5th of May. He was also with McClellan at the battle of Fair Oaks, and was personally engaged in the sanguinary battle at Gaines Mill on the 27th of June. When difficulties arose between France and the United States with regard to the affairs of Mexico, the Orleans princes withdrew from the American army and returned to Europe. During the winter of 1862-1863 the count took a special interest in the organization of the Lancashire Cotton Famine Fund, and contributed an article to the Revue des deux mondes entitled " Christmas Week in Lancashire." On the 3oth of May 1864 he married his cousin, the princess Marie Isabelle, daughter of the duc de Montpensier; and his son and heir, the duc d'Orleans, was born at York House, Twickenham, in 1869. The count was refused permission to serve in the Franco-Prussian War, but after the fall of Napoleon III. he returned to France. Abstaining from putting himself forward, he lived quietly on his estates, which had been restored to him by a vote of the Assembly. In August 1873 there was an important political conference at Frohsdorf, the result of which was that a fusion was effected, by which the comte de Paris agreed to waive his claims to the throne in favour of those of the comte de Chambord. By the death of the latter in 1883 the count became undisputed head of the house of Bourbon; but he did not show any disposition to push his claims. The popularity of the Orleans family, however, was shown on the occasion of the marriage of the comte de Paris's eldest daughter with the duke of Braganza, son of the king of Portugal, in May 1886. This so alarmed the French government that it led to a new law of expulsion, by which direct claimants to the French throne and their heirs were banished from France (June 11, 1886). The comte de Paris again retired to England, taking up his abode at Sheen House, near Richmond Park. Here he devoted his leisure to his favourite studies. In addition to his work Les Associations ouvrieres en Angleterre, which was published in 1869 and translated into English, the count edited the letters of his father, and published at intervals in eight volumes his Histoire de la guerre civile en Amerique. In his later years the count seriously compromised the prospects of the Royalist party by the relations into which he entered with General Boulanger. He died on the 8th of September 1894.

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