Prince Philippe, Count of Paris

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Count of Paris
Portret van Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans, Comte de Paris, RP-F-F01142-BP.jpg
Prince Philippe, c. 1890
King of the French (disputed)
Reign24 February 1848 – 26 February 1848
PredecessorLouis Philippe I
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Jacques Dupont de l'Eure
as Head of the Provisional Government
Orléanist pretender to the French throne
as Louis-Philippe II
Pretence24 February 1848 – 5 August 1873
PredecessorLouis Philippe I
SuccessorClaim ended
Orléanist-Unionist pretender
to the French throne

as Philippe VII
Pretence24 August 1883 – 8 September 1894
PredecessorHenri, Count of Chambord
SuccessorPhilippe, Duke of Orléans
Born(1838-08-24)24 August 1838
Tuileries Palace
Died8 September 1894(1894-09-08) (aged 56)
Stowe House, England
Chapel of St. Charles Borromeo, Weybridge (1894–1958)
Royal Chapel of Dreux (since 1958)
(m. 1864)
IssueAmélie, Queen of Portugal
Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans
Princess Hélène, Duchess of Aosta
Princess Isabelle, Duchess of Guise
Louise, Infanta Carlos of Spain
Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Montpensier
Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans
FatherPrince Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans
MotherDuchess Helene of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignaturePhilippe's signature

Prince Philippe of Orléans, Count of Paris (Louis Philippe Albert; 24 August 1838 – 8 September 1894), was disputedly King of the French from 24 to 26 February 1848 as Louis Philippe II, although he was never officially proclaimed as such. He was the grandson of Louis Philippe I, King of the French. He was the Count of Paris as Orléanist claimant to the French throne from 1848 until his death. From 1883, when his cousin Henri, Count of Chambord died, he was often referred to by Orléanists as Philippe VII.

Early life[edit]

Prince Philippe became the Prince Royal, heir apparent to the throne, when his father, Prince Ferdinand-Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, died in a carriage accident in 1842. Although there was some effort during the days after the abdication of his grandfather in 1848 to put him on the throne under the name of Louis-Philippe II, with his mother (Helene of Mecklenburg-Schwerin) as Regent, this came to nothing. They fled, and the French Second Republic was proclaimed.

American Civil War[edit]

Philippe d'Orléans (first from right) with staff and dignitaries of General McClellan (center). To his right, his uncle François d'Orléans

A historian, journalist and outspoken democrat, Philippe volunteered to serve as a Union Army officer in the American Civil War along with his younger brother, Prince Robert, Duke of Chartres. He was appointed as an assistant adjutant general with the rank of captain on 24 September 1861 and served under the name of Philippe d'Orléans, the Count of Paris. He served on the staff of the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Major General George B. McClellan, for nearly a year. He distinguished himself during the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign. He resigned from the Union Army, along with his brother, on 15 July 1862. Philippe's History of the Civil War in America is considered a standard reference work on the subject.[citation needed]

During their stay in the United States, the princes were accompanied by their uncle, the Prince of Joinville, who painted many watercolours of their stay. On 10 November 1880 Philippe was elected as a companion of the first class (i.e. a veteran officer) of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States – an organization of Union officers who had served during the American Civil War. He was assigned insignia number 2107. His eldest son, Philippe d'Orleans, was elected as a 2nd class member (i.e. an eldest son of a veteran officer) in 1890 and succeeded to first class membership in the Order upon Philippe's death.[citation needed]

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 30 May 1864 at St. Raphael's Church in Kingston upon Thames, England he married his paternal first cousin, Princess Marie Isabelle d'Orléans (1848–1919), Infanta of Spain. She was daughter of Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain and Prince Antoine, Duke of Montpensier (1824–1890), the youngest son of Louis-Philippe of France and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. They had eight children:

Restoration of French monarchy[edit]

The Orleans family had been in exile in England since the Revolution of 1848 which toppled King Louis Philippe. During their early married life, the Count and Countess of Paris lived at York House, Twickenham. However, in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War and the downfall of Napoleon III, they were allowed to return to France, and many of their properties were restored to them. In 1873, anticipating a restoration of the monarchy by the largely monarchist National Assembly that had been elected following the fall of Napoleon III, the Count of Paris withdrew his claims to the defunct French throne in favour of the legitimist claimant, Henri V, best known as the Comte de Chambord. It was assumed by most that the Count of Paris was Chambord's heir-presumptive, and would thus be able to succeed to the throne upon the childless Chambord's death, reuniting the two claims that had divided French monarchists since 1830. However, Chambord's refusal to recognize the tricolor as the French flag sabotaged hopes of a restoration, and Chambord died in 1883 without ever specifically recognizing his Orléanist rival as his heir-presumptive.

Upon the Count of Chambord's death, the Count of Paris was recognized by most monarchists as Philippe VII of France. This succession was disputed by the Carlist descendants of the Bourbon kings of Spain, who argued that being descended directly from Louis XIV their claim was greater than that of the Orléanists'; however, this argument pointedly ignored Philip V of Spain's renunciation of his and his descendants' claim to the French throne pursuant to the Treaty of Utrecht.

In 1886 the family was exiled again returning to the United Kingdom, where they first lived at Sheen House, near Richmond, where the young Rosa Lewis was a member of their household.[1] In 1890 they moved to the much grander Stowe House, where he died in 1894.[2] He was succeeded as claimant to the defunct French throne by his son Prince Philippe.




  • Flers, Hyacinthe, marquis de. Le comte de Paris. Paris: Perrin, 1888.
  • Hanson, Edward. "The Wandering Princess: Princess Hélène of France, Duchess of Aosta". Fonthill, 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hanson, The Wandering Princess, 37, 78.
  2. ^ Hanson, The Wandering Princess, 66, 86
  3. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1869), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 15 Archived 8 June 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1893) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1893 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1893] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. p. 5. Retrieved 26 June 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  5. ^ Flers, Le comte de Paris
  6. ^ Stéphane Bern (ed.). Moi Amélie, dernière reine de Portugal (in French). pp. 112–113.
Prince Philippe, Count of Paris
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 24 August, 1838 Died: 8 September, 1894
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of the French

24 – 26 February 1848
Title next held by
Napoleon III
as emperor
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of the French
Orléanist pretender
24 February 1848 – 5 August 1873
Succeeded by
Claim ended
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of France
Orléanist-Unionist pretender
24 August 1883 – 8 September 1894
Succeeded by
French royalty
Preceded by Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
13 July 1842 – 24 February 1848
Succeeded by
French nobility
Preceded by Duke of Orléans
(Never used)

13 July 1842 – 6 February 1869
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Title created
Count of Paris
24 August 1838 – 8 September 1894
Succeeded by