Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou

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Louis Alphonse de Bourbon
Duke of Anjou
Louis XX.jpg
Born (1974-04-25) 25 April 1974 (age 39)
Madrid (Spain)
Regnal name claimed Louis XX, King of France and Navarre
Title(s) Duke of Anjou (disputed)
Throne(s) claimed France, Navarre
Pretend from 30 January 1989 – present
Monarchy abolished 1830
Last monarch Charles X
Connection with third cousin, six times removed (agnatic)
Royal House Bourbon
Father Alfonso of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz
Mother María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
Spouse María Margarita Vargas Santaella
Children Princess Eugénie
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Prince Alphonse, Duke of Berry
French Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of France, 1814/15-1830

HRH The Duke of Anjou
HRH The Duchess of Anjou

Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou,[1][2] (French: Louis Alphonse Gonzalve Victor Emmanuel Marc de Bourbon;[3][4][5] born on 25 April 1974, Madrid) born Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú, is a member of the Royal House of Bourbon, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French throne as Louis XX. As the senior male heir of Hugh Capet,[6] being the senior descendant of King Louis XIV of France (ruled 1643–1715) through his grandson King Philip V of Spain, he is recognized as the "Head of the House of Bourbon" and rightful claimant to the French crown by the Legitimist faction of French royalists. Louis Alphonse is a great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and first cousin once removed of King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Through his mother, he is also a great-grandson of Spain's former dictator Francisco Franco[3] and is expected to succeed to the Dukedom of Franco held by his grandmother, Carmen Franco.

The title "Duke of Anjou" was the last French title held by Philip V of Spain prior to his accession. It had long merged with the French crown, last granted by Louis XV to his grandson Louis Stanislas. Legitimist pretenders use this style as a courtesy title.[7][8] According to Legitimist usage, dynasts who are French nationals are accorded the style Prince of the Blood (prince du sang).


Louis Alphonse was born in Madrid, the second son of Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Cádiz, and of his wife Doña María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, granddaughter of Francisco Franco. Alfonso was at that time the dauphin (using "Duke of Bourbon" as title of pretence) according to those who supported the claim of his father, Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia to the French throne. On 20 March 1975, the Infante Jaime ("Henri VI" by Legitimist reckoning) died. Alfonso then asserted his claim to be both Head of the House of Bourbon and Legitimist claimant to the throne of France. As such, he took the title Duke of Anjou,[8] and on 19 September 1981 gave Louis Alphonse the title Duke of Touraine.[citation needed]

Louis Alphonse's parents divorced in 1982. The religious marriage was annulled in 1986. His mother has since remarried civilly twice; he had two stepsisters Mathilda (deceased) and Marella, and a stepbrother Frederick, all born before her mother's marriage to Jean-Marie Rossi and a half-sister, Cynthia Rossi, born afterwards. On 7 February 1984, Louis Alphonse's older brother Francisco died as the result of a car crash in which Louis Alphonse was also injured, although less so than their father, who was driving the automobile.[9] From that date Louis Alphonse was recognised as the heir apparent to his father by the Legitimists. As such, he was given the additional title Duke of Bourbon on 27 September 1984 by his father.[9] In 1987, the Spanish government declared that titles traditionally attached to the dynasty (such as the Dukedom of Cádiz) would henceforth be borne by its members on an ad personam basis, forestalling Louis Alphonse from inheriting it.[9]

On 30 January 1989, his father died in a skiing accident near Vail, Colorado (in 1994 Louis Alphonse would receive 150 million pesetas following a lawsuit against Vail Associated, which owned the ski resort where the accident occurred).[9] Louis Alphonse was recognised by some members of the Capetian dynasty as Chef de la Maison de Bourbon (Head of the House of Bourbon)[10][9] and took the title Duke of Anjou, but not his father's Spanish dukedom. He is considered the rightful pretender to the French throne by adherents of the Legitimist movement.[9]

Louis’ father was elected by the French Society of the Cincinnati to be the representative of Louis XVI (leading to the resignation of the Count of Paris, who had represented the Admiral d'Orléans). On 16 June 1994, Louis Alphonse was elected to succeed his father as the Representative of Louis XVI,[11] whose military aid was instrumental to the independence of the United States of America. In accordance to the statutes of this Society, he represents the French king as the eldest male of the senior collateral line.[citation needed]

Louis Alphonse possesses French, as well as Spanish citizenship, in right of his paternal grandmother, Emmanuelle de Dampierre, also a French citizen.[9] He attended the Lycėe Français de Madrid, obtaining his COU in June 1992.[9] He studied economics. He worked several years for BNP Paribas, a French bank in Madrid. Although he regularly visited France, where his mother lived for several years, he continued to live in Spain.[citation needed]

Louis Alphonse's engagement to marry Venezuelan María Margarita Vargas Santaella was announced in November 2003. They were married civilly in Caracas on 5 November 2004 and religiously on 6 November 2004 in La Romana, Dominican Republic. None of the members of the Spanish Royal Family attended the wedding. Although no official reason was given, it is not a secret that the King of Spain does not approve his cousin's claim to the French throne and the fact that Louis Alphonse issued the wedding invitations as "Duke of Anjou" did not sit well with the king.[12] The couple lived in Venezuela beginning in 2005, where he worked at Banco Occidental de Descuento, before moving[when?] to the United States. They currently reside in Madrid.[citation needed]

In June 2006, Louis Alphonse refused to attend his mother's third wedding, because he does not agree with her way of life as a celebrity, nor with her separation from her previous husband, a man whom he greatly respects.[13]

Louis Alphonse and Maria Margarita had their first child, a daughter, named Eugénie, on 5 March 2007, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, Florida. She was baptised at the papal nunciature in Paris in June 2007. Legitimists recognise her as Princess Eugénie (in Spain her name is Doña Eugenia de Borbón y Vargas). The couple had twin sons, Louis and Alphonse, on 28 May 2010.[14] Louis has been given the title of Duke of Burgundy (duc de Bourgogne), and Alphonse the title of Duke of Berry (duc de Berry). Prince Louis, as Legitimist Dauphin of France, is expected to succeed his father as Head of the French Royal House in Legitimist reckoning (in Spain, the twins are Don Luis and Don Alfonso de Borbón y Vargas).[citation needed]

Legitimist pretender[edit]

Styles of
Prince Louis Alphonse,
Duke of Anjou
Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30).svg
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Monseigneur
Alternative style Sir

Louis Alphonse is championed as the pretender to the throne of France by the Legitimist faction (légitimistes), one of three monarchist parties supporting different claimants to a restored throne of France. The term was originally applied to those who supported Charles X of France (and, later, his descendants) after his deposition as King of France by his cousin, Louis-Philippe on 9 August 1830. Louis-Philippe had been Duke of Orléans so his supporters were called Orléanists.

When Charles X's grandson, Henri, Count of Chambord, died on 24 August 1883, some Legitimists joined the Orleanists in recognising Louis-Philippe's grandson, Philippe, Count of Paris, as the rightful heir. Others transferred their loyalty to members of the Spanish Royal Family who were descended from Philip V of Spain, a grandson of Louis XIV of France.

Spain and France fought the other major European powers in the War of the Spanish Succession. Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou, had been named by Charles II of Spain as his heir to the Spanish crown. As a male-line grandson of the French king Louis XIV, Philip and his future descendants were in the line of succession to the French throne, in accordance to the Salic law. The possibility of the union of Spain and France under one king would upset the delicate balance of power, which brought fear to the other states. To end the war, Philip signed the Treaty of Utrecht. Under its terms, Philip V was recognized as the rightful King of Spain. However, Philip was forced to renounce for himself and his descendants his right to succeed to the French throne; in return for this, semi-Salic law was introduced in Spain.

Legitimists have provided several responses to this. First, they regard the renunciation clauses of the treaty as null and void because, under the fundamental laws of Kingdom of France, the right of a French prince (hereby defined as any male descendant of Hugh Capet through the legitimate agnatic line) to succeed to the French throne is inalienable. Second, provided that this renunciation is valid, it is conditional; Philip only renounced his rights to the French throne because semi-Salic law had been enacted in Spain. With the abolition of this law, the descendants of Philip V recover their rights to the French throne. Thus, Louis Alphonse, the senior agnatic descendant of Philip V, is the current claimant, in the view of this group.[3][5]

Louis' father Alphonse de Bourbon was in a dispute with a rival pretender, Henri d'Orléans (then Count of Clermont; subsequently Count of Paris and heir of the Orléans line). In 1988 and 1989, French courts dismissed lawsuits brought by Henri and other Bourbons to prohibit use of the title "Duke of Anjou" and of the undifferenced arms of France by Alphonse de Bourbon and his son. The courts ruled that no attempt had been made to establish Orléans' own right to bear the Anjou ducal title and undifferenced arms, therefore Orléans lacked the standing to challenge another's use thereof. The courts also noted their lack of jurisdiction to adjudicate a dynastic rivalry vis-à-vis the French Republic.[8]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]



Louis Alphonse claims the following titles:


Louis Alphonse claims to be Grand Master of the following dynastic orders:

The Grand Mastership of these orders are disputed between Prince Louis Alphonse as Legitimist pretender and Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France, the Orleanist pretender.

The Legitimist pretenders to the French throne have continued to nominate members of the Order of the Holy Spirit, long after the abolition of the French monarchy itself.

He is furthermore Knight of the following Order:


See also; Descendants of Louis XIV of France.

Patrilineal descent[edit]

Louis is a member of the House of Bourbon, the senior-surviving cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, itself a branch of the Robertians.

Louis' patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the kings of Spain, then France, through the junior descendants of the first Duke of Bourbon, and before them, again the kings of France. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.

  1. Robert II of Worms and Rheingau, 770–807
  2. Robert III of Worms and Rheingau, 808–834
  3. Robert IV the Strong, 820–866
  4. Robert I of France, 866–923
  5. Hugh the Great, 895–956
  6. Hugh Capet, 941–996
  7. Robert II of France, 972–1031
  8. Henry I of France, 1008–1060
  9. Philip I of France, 1053–1108
  10. Louis VI of France, 1081–1137
  11. Louis VII of France, 1120–1180
  12. Philip II of France, 1165–1223
  13. Louis VIII of France, 1187–1226
  14. Louis IX of France, 1214–1270
  15. Robert, Count of Clermont, 1256–1317
  16. Louis I, Duke of Bourbon, c. 1280–1342
  17. James I, Count of La Marche, 1315–1362
  18. John I, Count of La Marche, 1344–1393
  19. Louis, Count of Vendôme, c. 1376–1446
  20. John VIII, Count of Vendôme, 1428–1478
  21. Francis, Count of Vendôme, 1470–1495
  22. Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, 1489–1537
  23. Antoine of Navarre, 1518–1562
  24. Henry IV of France, 1553–1610
  25. Louis XIII of France, 1601–1643
  26. Louis XIV of France, 1638–1715
  27. Louis, le Grand Dauphin, 1661–1711
  28. Philip V of Spain, 1683–1746
  29. Charles III of Spain, 1716–1788
  30. Charles IV of Spain, 1748–1819
  31. Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain, 1794–1865
  32. Francisco de Asís, Duke of Cádiz, King consort of Spain, 1822–1902
  33. Alfonso XII of Spain, 1857–1885
  34. Alfonso XIII of Spain, 1886–1941
  35. Infante Jaime of Spain, Duke of Segovia, 1908–1975
  36. Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz, 1936–1989
  37. Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, b. 1974


  1. ^ His name as described in his biography at the website of the Institut Duc d'Anjou is "Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, duc d'Anjou"
  2. ^ His name is given as "Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon and Martínez-Bordiú, Duke of Anjou" by Olga S. Opfell in Royalty who wait: the 21 heads of formerly regnant houses of Europe (2001), p. 11.
  3. ^ a b c d Eilers, Marlene A. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Princess Beatrice. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. pp. 166, 181. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  4. ^ Enache, Nicolas. La Descendanace de Marie-Therese de Habsburg Reine de Hongrie and Boheme. Maison royale regnante d'Espagne. ICC/Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris, 1999, p. 535. ISBN 2-908003-04-X. In French.
  5. ^ a b c Willis, Daniel A. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. The Descendants of Princess Anne, The Princess of Orange. Clearfield, Baltimore, 2002. p. 231. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1
  6. ^ Opfell, Olga S. (2001). Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0901-3. 
  7. ^ Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon, 21 Dec 1988. JCP 89.II.21213.
  8. ^ a b c Gazette du Palais, Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1re Ch.) 21 décembre 1988, accompanied by the comments of G. Poulon, président de chambre honoraire à la cour de Paris. Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon. 8 March 1990. In French.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Les Manuscrits du CEDRE V, Le Royaume d'Espagne III. Cercle d'Etudes des Dynasties Royales Europėennes (CEDRE), Paris, 1992, ISSN=0993-3964 p. 162-164
  10. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XV. "Spanien". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, p.98. ISBN 3-7980-0814-0.
  12. ^ "de Dampierre, a cuchillo contra Carmen Martínez Bordíu". Elsemanaldigital.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  13. ^ "relaciones". Elsemanaldigital.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  14. ^ Terra Noticias. "Los Duques de Anjou anuncian el nacimiento de sus hijos Luis y Alfonso". Noticias.terra.es. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  15. ^ a b Louda, Jirí; MacLagan, Michael (1999). Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe (2nd ed.). London, U.K.: Little, Brown and Company. 
  16. ^ État présent de la maison de Bourbon. Quatrième édition. Paris, Le Léopard d’or, 1991; p. 222: « Louis XIX, Henri V, Charles XI et Jaques I continuèrent à donner l’ordre dans la discrétion et en 1972, Jacques-Henri VI suivit leur exemple, sont fils Alphonse II faisant de même. L’État présent… donne ensuite le nom de quatre chevaliers, créés par lettres patentes de 1972 et 1973.
  17. ^ Warner, Gerald (29 May 2010). "French royalists celebrate the birth of twin sons to Louis XX, rightful King of France". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2012. "The Duke and Duchess of Anjou and their daughter were recently received in private audience by Pope Benedict XVI, when the head of the Bourbon dynasty wore the cordon and plaque of the Order of the Holy Ghost, of which he is hereditary Grand Master. This news will give immense pleasure to French legitimists and traditionalists who have never abandoned the principles of Throne and Altar and for whom Louis XX is the embodiment of the France of Saint Louis and his descendants, the Most Christian Kings." 
  18. ^ "Biographie de Monseigneur le Duc d’Anjou". Institut du Duc d'Anjou. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2012. "En qualité de chef de la Maison de Bourbon, il est le Grand-maître des ordres de Saint-Michel (fondé par Louis XI) et du Saint-Esprit (fondé par Henri III)." 
  19. ^ Les chevaliers de l’humanitaire - website of the SMOM


  • Thierry Ardisson. Louis XX. Contre-enquête sur la monarchie., Olivier Orban, 1986, ISBN 2-85565-334-7
  • Jean Foyer, Titre et armes du prince Louis de Bourbon, Diffusion-Université-Culture, 1990.
  • Apezarena, José. Luis Alfonso de Borbón: Un príncipe a la espera. Forthcoming.
  • Cassani Pironti, Fabio. "Bref crayon généalogique de S.A.R. la Princesse Marie-Marguerite, Duchesse d'Anjou, née Vargas Santaella", Le Lien Légitimiste, n. 16, 2007.
  • Opfell, Olga S. H.R.H. Louis-Alphonse, Prince of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou: Royal House of France (House of Bourbon), Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2001. 11-32.

External links[edit]

Louis XX of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 25 April 1974
French nobility
Preceded by
Alphonse II
Duke of Anjou
30 January 1989 – present
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Preceded by
François de Bourbon
Duke of Bourbon
27 September 1984 - present
New title Duke of Touraine
19 September 1981 – 27 September 1984
Title dissolved
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Alphonse II
King of France and Navarre
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
30 January 1989 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Bourbon monarchy deposed in 1830
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy