Camelots du Roi
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|Formation||16 November 1908|
|Type||Action française group|
The King's Camelots, officially the National Federation of the King's Camelots (French: Fédération nationale des Camelots du Roi) was a far-right youth organization of the French militant royalist and integralist movement Action Française active from 1908 to 1936. It is best known for taking part in many right-wing demonstrations in France in the 1920s and 1930s.
Created on 16 November 1908, it was closely influenced by Charles Maurras' integralism doctrine of nationalism, and was quite popular between the two World Wars. The name of the group means "street-hawkers of the king" and does not refer to Camelot; in fact, the e, t, and s of the name are silent.
The Camelots du Roi were initially charged with selling in the street the Action française newspaper, founded by Henri Vaugeois and Maurice Pujo. Recruited among the student population, they made Paris's Latin Quarter their fief. The Camelots were involved in many brawls and street-fights against left wing organizations or competing far right organizations. They were originally directed by Maxime Real del Sarte, president of the National Federation of the Camelots du Roy. This royalist youth organization has included popular figures such as Catholic writer Georges Bernanos, Théodore de Fallois, Armand du Tertre, Marius Plateau, Henri des Lyons or Jean de Barrau, member of the directing committee of the National Federation, and particular secretary of the duke of Orléans (1869–1926), the son of the Orleanist count of Paris (1838–1894) and hence Orleanist heir to the throne of France.
The Camelots organized riots against Amédée Thalamas' lessons, accused of having "insulted Joan of Arc" (1908); Lucien Lacour, a young Camelot, gave a memorable smack to the president of the Council Aristide Briand; riots against a representation by Henri Bernstein, a Jew whom they accused of having deserted during his military service (1911); and riots against the transfer to the Panthéon of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's ashes (1912).
Presenting a young and rebellious aspect, the Camelots du Roi recruited well beyond monarchist circles, while their violence and tendency to become involved for street brawls attracted disapproval from reactionary royalist circles, including from the duc d'Orléans. The Camelots took an active part in the 6 February 1934 riots which overthrew the second Cartel des gauches, and were dissolved along with other far right leagues on 18 January 1936.
Members of the organisation were required to take the following oath:
- Levy, Antisemitism, 93.