Friday, February 24, 2023

175 Years Without A French King

Today is the 175th anniversary of the abdication (24 February 1848) of the last French king to date, Louis Philippe (1773-1850). The fall of the "July Monarchy," itself a product of the revolt against the last Legitimist Bourbon king Charles X (1757-1836) eighteen years earlier, was the first of the Revolutions of 1848, which shook thrones across Europe, with Bavarian and Austrian monarchs also abdicating, though only the French Bourbon-Orléans dynasty lost their throne entirely. With the fall of Louis Philippe (a direct male-line descendant of Louis XIII), the last compromise between the Capetian dynasty that had reigned in France since 987 (except for the period between 1792 and 1814) and the more moderate components of the legacy of the French Revolution failed, and while there would be one more Emperor, no more Kings have reigned in France since then. 🇫🇷

Supported by the new liberal capitalist bourgeoisie, the initially popular Louis Philippe (who reigned as "King of the French" rather than "King of France") never won the hearts of either the traditional Right (who resented his 1830 usurpation) or the growing industrialized working classes. ("Les Miserables" depicts, not the original French Revolution, but a much smaller unsuccessful 1832 revolt against Louis Philippe's government by those unhappy that ousting Charles X had not resulted in a Republic.)

Not wishing to share the fate of his cousin Louis XVI (for whose death his pro-Revolutionary father had voted before meeting the same fate himself), he quickly fled to England where he spent the last two years of his life. (Louis-Philippe's wife, Queen Marie-Amelie (1782-1866), was a niece of the executed Queen Marie Antoinette.)

Many modern Catholic royalty are descended from Louis Philippe, including the present kings of Belgium and Spain. Since the extinction of the senior Bourbon line in 1883, many (most?) French royalists have accepted his descendants as rightful heirs not only to the 1830-48 constitutional monarchy but to the ancient French monarchy, currently claimed by Prince Jean, Comte de Paris

May France one day return to her one true form of government, the Monarchy!