Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale

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Henri d'Orléans
Duke of Aumale
Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale.jpg
Born (1822-01-16)16 January 1822
Palais Royal, Paris
Died 7 May 1897(1897-05-07) (aged 75)
Zucco, Sicily
Burial Royal Chapel, Dreux, France
Spouse Maria Carolina of the Two Sicilies
Among others...
Louis, Prince of Condé
François Louis, Duke of Guise
Full name
Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans
House Orléans
Father Louis Philippe I
Mother Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature Henri d'Orléans's signature

Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale (16 January 1822 – 7 May 1897) was a leader of the Orleanists, a political faction in 19th-century France associated with constitutional monarchy. He was born in Paris, the fifth son of King Louis-Philippe I of the French and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. He used the title Duke of Aumale. He retired from public life in 1883.

Early life[edit]

Henri (left) with his brother Antoine and his mother Queen Marie Amélie.

Born at the Palais Royal in Paris, he was brought up by his parents with great simplicity, he was educated at the college of Henri IV.

At the very young age of 8, he inherited a fortune of 66 million livres (approximately £200 million today), the lands and wealth of his godfather, Louis Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, the last Prince of Condé. Henri also inherited the famous Château de Chantilly, domaines of Saint-Leu, Taverny, Enghien, Montmorency and Mortefontaine. He also gained the Château d'Écouen. At the age of seventeen he entered the army with the rank of a captain of infantry.

Marriage and children[edit]

On 25 November 1844 he married Princess Maria Carolina of the Two Sicilies, daughter of the Leopold of the Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno and his wife Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, in Naples. The couple had several children, two of whom reached adulthood but nonetheless predeceased him.

  1. Louis Philippe Marie Léopold d'Orléans, Prince of Condé (15 November 1845 – 24 May 1866) died unmarried and childless.
  2. Henri Léopold Philippe Marie d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (11 September 1847 – 10 October 1847) died in infancy.
  3. Stillborn daughter (1849).
  4. François Paul d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (11 January 1852 – 15 April 1852) died in infancy.
  5. François Louis Philippe Marie d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (5 January 1854 – 25 July 1872) died unmarried.
  6. Stillborn son (15 June 1861).
  7. Stillborn son (June 1864).


He distinguished himself during the French invasion of Algeria and, in 1847, he became lieutenant-general and was appointed Governor-General of Algeria, a position he held from 27 September 1847 to 24 February 1848.

In this capacity he received the submission of the emir Abdel Kadir, in December 1847. After the Revolution of 1848, he retired to England and busied himself with historical and military studies, replying in 1861 by a Letter upon History of France to Napoleon III's violent attacks upon the House of Orléans.

On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he volunteered for service in the French army but his offer was declined. Elected deputy for the Oise département, he returned to France, and succeeded to the fauteuil of the comte Montalembert in the Académie française. In March 1872 he resumed his place in the army as Général de division and, in 1873, presided over the court-martial which condemned Marshal Bazaine to death.

At this time, having been appointed commander of the VII Army Corps at Besançon, he retired from political life and, in 1879, became inspector-general of the army. The act of exception, passed in 1883, deprived all members of families that had reigned in France of their military positions. Consequently, the duc d'Aumale was placed on the unemployed supernumerary list.

Subsequently, in 1886, another law was promulgated which expelled from French territory the heads of former reigning families and provided that, henceforward, all members of those families should be disqualified for any public position or function and election to any public body. The duc d'Aumale protested energetically but was nonetheless expelled.

The Duc d'Aumale capturing the Smalah of Abdelkader with his chasseurs d'Afrique (1843), by Horace Vernet


His Château of Chantilly houses one of the finest art collections of France.
Royal styles of
Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale
France moderne.svg
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

He was a noted collector of old manuscripts and books. His library remains at Chantilly.[1]


After the horrible Fire of the Bazar de la Charité, the Duke is obligated to send condolences to other families of victims. It is told that he did had an cardio arrest and died after writing 20 letters to nobles families. By his will of 3 June 1884, however, he had bequeathed to the Institute of France his Chantilly estate, including the Château de Chantilly, with all the art-collection he had collected there, to become a museum. This generosity led the government to withdraw the decree of exile and the duke returned to France in 1889. He died in Lo Zucco, Sicily, and was buried in Dreux, in the chapel of the Orléans.




  1. ^ Frédéric Vergne. La Bibliothèque du Prince; Château de Chantilly, Les Manuscrits. Editions Editerra (1995) ISBN 978-2-908597-10-3 (In French)
  2. ^ Index biographique des membres et associés de l'Académie royale de Belgique (1769-2005). p 65


External links[edit]