Princess Adélaïde of Orléans
Louise Marie Adélaïde Eugénie d'Orléans (Paris, 23 August 1777 – Paris, 31 December 1847) was one of the twin daughters of Louis Philippe II d'Orléans, known as Philippe Égalité during the French Revolution, and his wife, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre. She was titled Mademoiselle de Chartres at birth, Mademoiselle d'Orléans at the death of her twin sister in 1782, Mademoiselle (1783-1812), Madame Adélaïde (1830). As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, she was a princesse du sang.
During the French Revolution in 1792, she left France with her governess, Madame de Genlis. They fled to Belgium and then to a convent in Switzerland. During the Terror her father was guillotined, and her mother was banished to Spain. Sometime in the spring of 1794 Adélaïde moved to the home of her aunt, the princesse de Conti. They moved to Bavaria in 1798 and thereafter to Bratislava, and in 1801, she joined her mother in Barcelona in Spain.
Upon her return to Paris in France after the fall of Napoleon in 1814, she opened a salon and made Palais-Royal the center of the liberal party and organised the support of her brother. When Louis-Philippe became King of the French in the reign known as the July Monarchy (1830-1848), she was known as Madame Adélaïde. All her life, she was his loyal advisor or, in 19th century parlance, his "Egeria". It was she who, reportedly, encouraged him to accept the crown during the July revolution, and her influence continued undisturbed during his reign. She is described as simple and unmaterialistic.
Adélaïde d'Orléans died on 31 December 1847, two months before Louis-Philippe's abdication on 24 February 1848. She is buried in the Orléans family necropolis in the Chapelle Royale de Dreux.
- "Mademoiselle d'Orléans", The Edinburgh Annual Register (1816): 290-291.
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