Prince Henri of Orléans
|Prince of France|
Drawing of Prince Henri (ca. 1897) by Adolphe Lalauze
|House||House of Orléans|
|Father||Robert, Duke of Chartres|
|Mother||Marie-Françoise of Orléans|
16 October 1867|
|Died||9 August 1901
Henri was born at Ham, London.
In 1889, at the instance of his father, who paid the expenses of the tour, he undertook, in company with Gabriel Bonvalot and Father Constant de Deken (1852-1896), a journey through Siberia to French Indochina. In the course of their travels they crossed the mountain range of Tibet and the fruits of their observations, submitted to the Geographical Society of Paris (and later incorporated in De Paris au Tonkin a travers le Tibet inconnu, published in 1892), brought them conjointly the gold medal of that society.
In 1892 the prince made a short journey of exploration in East Africa, and shortly afterwards visited Madagascar, proceeding thence to Tongkin in today Vietnam. In April 1892 he visited Luang Prabang in Laos. It brings him to writing a letter to "Politique Coloniale" in Januari 1893. From this point he set out for Assam, and was successful in discovering the source of the Irrawaddy River, a brilliant geographical achievement which secured the medal of the Geographical Society of Paris and the Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1897 he revisited Abyssinia, and political differences arising from this trip led to a duel with Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin.
While on a trip to Assam in 1901, he died at Saigon on the 9th of August. Prince Henri was a somewhat violent Anglophobe, and his diatribes against Great Britain contrasted rather curiously with the cordial reception which his position as a traveller obtained for him in London, where he was given the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
In 1897 Vittorio Emanuele challenged Prince Henri to a duel after Henri described in several articles on Le Figaro, the Italian soldiers being held captive in Ethiopia during the first First Italo–Ethiopian War as cowards. The dispute was widely echoed in Italy and Europe. It was agreed on the use of the sword as weapon of choice, as the Italians thought that the duel with pistols, favorite by the French, was worthy of betrayed husbands, not of princes of royal blood.
The duel with swords, directed by the Count Leontieff and the Count Avogadro, lasting 26 minutes took place at 5:00 am on 15 August 1897 in the Bois de Marechaux at Vaucresson, France. Vittorio Emanuele defeated Prince Henri after 5 reprises The "Monseigneur" Henri received a serious wound to his right abdomen, and the doctors of both parties considered the injury serious enough to put him in a state of obvious inferiority, causing the end of the duel and making the Count of Turin famous in Europe.
- Albert de Pouvourville, "L' Affaire de Siam; 1886 - 1896"
- "Un duello per l'Italia". Torino. 1952.
- "Verbale dello scontro tra il Conte di Torino e il Principe Enrico d'Orléans". Torino. 1897.
- "Prince Henri in a Duel". New York Times. 1897-08-17. p. 9.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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