Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry

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Charles Ferdinand d'Artois
Duke of Berry
Charles-Ferdinand-Berry.JPG
Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, miniature of Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin
Spouse Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchess de Berry
Issue
Louise Élisabeth d'Artois
Louis d'Artois
Louise Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Parma
Henri, Count of Chambord
Full name
Charles Ferdinand d'Artois
House House of Bourbon
Father Charles X of France
Mother Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy
Born (1778-01-24)24 January 1778
Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Died 14 February 1820(1820-02-14) (aged 42)
Paris, France

Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duke of Berry (24 January 1778 – 14 February 1820) was the third child and youngest son of the future king, Charles X of France, and his wife, Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy. He was assassinated at the Paris Opera in 1820 by Louis Pierre Louvel, an anti-royal bonapartist. In June 1832, two years after the overthrow of his father, Charles X, his widow, Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchess de Berry, led a royalist insurrection in the Vendée in a failed attempt to restore their son to the French throne.

Biography[edit]

Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duke of Berry, was born at Versailles. As a son of a fils de France not being heir apparent, he was himself only a petit-fils de France, and that is how he was known in emigration. However, during the Restoration, he was given the higher rank of a fils de France (used in his marriage contract, his death certificate, etc.). His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese. Since he was already dead when his father became king, he always had "Artois" as his surname.

At the French Revolution he left France with his father, then Count of Artois, and served in the émigré army of his cousin, Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé, from 1792 to 1797. He afterwards joined the Russian army, and in 1801 took up his residence in England, where he remained for thirteen years. During that time he had a relationship with an Englishwoman,[1] Amy Brown Freeman, by whom he had two daughters whom he only recognized on his deathbed: Charlotte Marie Augustine de Bourbon comtesse d'Issoudun (13 July 1808- 13 July 1886), by marriage in 1823 to Ferdinand de Faucigny-Lucinge, prince de Lucinge, and Louise Marie Charlotte de Bourbon comtesse de Vierzon (29 December 1809- 26 December 1891), by marriage in 1827 to Charles de Charette, baronne de la Contrie.

In 1814, the duke set out for France. His frank, open manners gained him some favor with his countrymen, and Louis XVIII named him commander-in-chief of the army at Paris on the return of Napoleon from Elba. He was, however, unable to retain the loyalty of his troops, and retired to Ghent during the Hundred Days war. On 17 June 1816, following negotiations by the French ambassador, the Duke of Blacas, he married Princess Maria-Carolina of Naples, who became the Duchess de Berry (1798–1870), oldest daughter of then hereditary Prince Francis of Naples.

Three children were born before the duke's death, with one surviving infancy. His daughter, Louise d'Artois, born in 1819, married Charles III of Parma.

On 13 February 1820, the Duke of Berry was stabbed and mortally wounded when leaving the opera house in Paris with his wife, and died the next day. The assassin was a saddler named Louis Pierre Louvel, a bonapartist opposed to the monarchy. Seven months after his death, his wife gave birth to their fourth child, Henri, who received the title of duc de Bordeaux, better known in history as the comte de Chambord,[2] and who in the minds of Legitimist sympathizers, was heir to the throne of France.

The Duchess of Berry was compelled to follow Charles X to Holyrood Palace after July 1830, but she resolved to speedily return and make an attempt to secure the throne for her son. From Britain she went to Italy, and in April 1832 she landed near Marseille. Receiving little support, she made her way to royalist supporters residing in the Vendée and Brittany. She succeeded in instigating a brief but abortive insurrection in June 1832, however, her followers were defeated. After remaining hidden for five months in a house in Nantes, she was betrayed to the government in November 1832 and imprisoned in the Chateau of Blaye.

During her incarceration, she gave birth to a daughter, born after a secret marriage contracted with an Italian nobleman, Count Ettore Carlo Lucchesi-Palli, Duke della Grazia (1805–1834). The announcement of this marriage, which terminated any of her hereditary rights or connections to the French throne, at once deprived the duchess of the sympathies of her supporters. She was no longer an object of fear to the French government, who released her in June 1833. She set sail for Sicily, and, joining her husband, lived in retirement, first at Ca' Vendramin Calergi in Venice, then, due to the upheavals Risorgimento, at Brunnsee in Austria until her death in April 1870.

Issue[edit]

  1. HRH Louise Élisabeth d'Artois (13 July 1817 – 14 July 1817).
  2. HRH Louis d'Artois (born and died 13 September 1818).
  3. HRH Louise Marie Thérèse d'Artois (21 September 1819 – 1 February 1864); married Charles III, Duke of Parma.
  4. HRH Henri d'Artois, Duke of Bordeaux and Count of Chambord (29 September 1820 – 24 August 1883); married Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 24 January 1778 – 14 February 1820 His Royal Highness The Duke of Berry

Ancestors[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It has been claimed that he married her, but that is highly unlikely and in any case was never proven: see Christophe Brun, Descendance inédite du duc de Berry: documents et commentaires, Paris 1998.
  2. ^ David Skuy (26 May 2003). Assassination, Politics, and Miracles: France and the Royalist Reaction of 1820. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 7–13. ISBN 978-0-7735-2457-6. 

References[edit]