Count of Chambord!

The story is hardly mention in France today unless you go to history circles like me. However, it is a huge personality in the history of France that was not to be but left an ever lasting royal influence. I have touch base before in my blog , but let me tell you a bit more on the men better known as the Count of Chambord, yes in that castle! (see posts) Bear with me as history is always long even if i try to condense as much as possible.

Henri d’Artois, grandson of France, Duke of Bordeaux, is a prince of the royal family of France, head of the Capetian house of Bourbon, better known by his title of courtesy of Count of Chambord, born September 29, 1820 at the Palais des Tuileries palace (now gone but see post) in Paris, and died on August 24, 1883 at Frohsdorf Castle (now part of hotel group) in Lanzenkirchen,  Austria. Grandson of King Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder and French branch of the House of Bourbon, he was a pretender to the Crown of France from 1844 to his death in 1883 under the name of Henri V.

Chambord

Henri d’Artois bore the title of Duke of Bordeaux, which king Louis XVIII gave him in homage to the first city which joined the Bourbons in 1814. Designated as king in 1830, at the age of nine, in the act of abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and renunciation of his uncle, the dauphin ,and pretender Louis XIX, will not exercise this function because of the rise of the Duke of Orleans on the throne (not with title of king of France but a minor king of the French). He then went into exile with all his family in England. From 1830 to his death in 1883, he bore the title of courtesy of Count de Chambord , from the name of the castle (see post) which had been offered to him by a national subscription. His supporters considered him to be King Henri V and the continuation of the Bourbons. He is the last legitimate male online descendant of king Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His childless death in 1883 marks the extinction of the Artois branch of the Capetian house of Bourbon and the start of a quarrel ,still on going between the Bourbon houses of Spain and Orleans of France to find out which one has the more legitimacy to the Crown of France. Bearing in mind France do not like kings born elsewhere but queens yes….

Henri, duke of Bordeaux, was the grand-nephew of the king of France Louis XVIII. At birth, he was third in succession after his grandfather, the Count of Artois – future Charles X (widower of Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoie) and his uncle Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême . He is the posthumous son of Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, younger son of the Count of Artois, and his wife Marie-Caroline des Deux-Siciles. The Duke of Berry was assassinated, in 1820, by Bonapartist Louis-Pierre Louvel who wanted to destroy the line of the Bourbons. Already the mother of a daughter, the Duchess of Berry, pregnant at the time of the tragedy, gave birth seven and a half months later to a son, the long-awaited heir to the throne!. As soon as he was born, between three and four in the morning of September 29, by his first chaplain Marc Marie de Bombelles bishop of Amiens, under the name of Henri, Charles, Ferdinand, Marie, Dieu-Donné d’Artois, Duke de Bordeaux , Henri was baptized on May 1, 1821 at Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris; his godfather and godmother were his uncle and aunt, the duke and duchess of Angoulême. On October 11, 1820, a national subscription made it possible to give to the prince the Château de Chambord. He was first placed, like his older sister Louise, under the responsibility of the Duchess of Gontaut. In 1828, his grandfather, who became king in 1824 under the name of Charles X, entrusted his education to the Baron of Damas.

Chambord

On July 25, 1830, Charles X promulgated ordinances which brought about the 1830 revolution, also known as the Trois Glorieuses or three glorious days. On July 30, 1830, a group of Parisian politicians launched the candidacy for the throne of Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans (not by heritage). On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson Henri d’Artois. The order of succession, however, gave the throne to the king’s eldest son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine de France, who was called to reign under the name of Louis XIX. But the latter is forced to countersign his father’s abdication. Thus, the Crown would pass to the young Henri, duke of Bordeaux, who would become Henri V.   Louis-Philippe d’Orléans did not stand for regent and he was content to register the abdication of Charles X and the renunciation of his son, without proclaiming Henri V. On August 7,1830   the Chamber of Deputies and then the Chamber of Peers (again politicians not heritage) called the Duke of Orleans to the throne, who was sworn in August 9, under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier as king of the French (not king of France). However, from August 2, some legitimists begin to designate the young Henry, nine years old, under the name of Henry V. The royal family went into exile in England on August 16, 1830 as a consequence of this political purge.

The fallen Royal family moved to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. In October 1832, the family of Charles X left the United Kingdom to settle at the royal palace in Prague, in Bohemia. The first act that the Duke of Bordeaux accomplishes on the occasion of his majority is that of a solemn protest against the usurpation of Louis-Philippe. In October 1836, the old Royal family must leave Prague for Goritz, where Charles X dies on November 6. His son, the Dauphin, who bears the title of courtesy of Count de Marnes, becomes Louis XIX, in the eyes of Carlist legitimists or by heritage. In October 1843, he went to London, where he received legitimists from France at Belgrave Square, including Chateaubriand. The death of the Dauphin Louis XIX, which occurred on June 3, 1844, led his supporters to rally to the Count of Chambord, who became the eldest of the house of France and is now recognized under the name of king Henri V by all legitimists, who remain in opposition under the July monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire.

In 1844, the Count of Chambord and his aunt, the Dauphine, settled in the castle of Frohsdorf, located near Vienna. On November 15, 1846, Prince Henri married Marie-Thérèse de Modène, with whom he was to form a united couple. The Duchess, born Princess Marie-Beatrice of Savoy, was the heir of the Stuarts to reign over Great Britain, but excluded from the succession because of the Anti-Catholic Establishment Act of 1701. In February 1848, the revolution of February broke out; Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th; the third Republic (keep counting) is proclaimed. The Count of Chambord sees the fall of Orleans as a just punishment, but refrains from any public manifestation of joy. Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president of the Republic in December 1848. However, in May 1849, the elections carried a monarchist majority in the National Assembly. The prince-president soon came into conflict with it. By the coup d’état of December 2, 1851, he retained power and, in October 1852, hinted at the next restoration of the Empire (therefore a dictatorship) under Napoléon III (just like under Napoleon I).

The Count of Chambord in 1851, inherited the castle of Frohsdorf, from his aunt the dauphine. He settled there definitively and kept memories of royalty there: portraits of the royal family; white flags given to Charles X in August 1830; gifts offered by legitimists. He had two schools built on the Frohsdorf estate for the children of the staff of the chateau and the parish.

Some of the ideas of the Count of Chambord looks very modern and democratic. He wishes that the king be accessible without distinction of social rank and make compete all the talents, all the high characters, all the intellectual forces of all the French. The grandson of Charles X intends that this declaration of principle finds its concretization in the Constitution of the kingdom by the affirmation of the equality of rights between all the French citizens and the equal access of all to the offices and public responsibilities as well as to social advantages The role of the parliament is a role of control which does not go so far as to overthrow the government: it consists in the annual vote of the taxes and the budget and in the participation in the drafting of the laws. Count of Chambord fears that ministerial responsibility before the chambers is a source of chronic instability. He is also in favor of bicameralism. On the other hand, the king would have the right to dissolve the chamber without limit. Regarding universal suffrage, the Count of Chambord is favorable. The question of suffrage seems to him inseparable from that of decentralization insofar as he advocates the creation of territorial communities whose representatives would come from universal suffrage. The Count of Chambord holds religious freedom as inviolable and sacred, he intends to guarantee it but does not hear that the bishops meddle in temporal affairs, which would be no less contrary to the dignity and interests of religion itself than to the good of the state.   According to him, public authorities must keep their distance from education which must remain free. He does not see in what name the State would prohibit religious congregations from fulfilling their educational mission. He wishes to orient France’s foreign policy in the direction of a fight against the Islamists, both within the framework of the French strategy in the south and in the East. From his trip in the Ottoman Empire, he retained the idea that the Muslim world must be pushed back as far as possible. French exception, he is an heir to the throne with a real program, slowly drawn up: his work will deeply inspire the monarchists who will revive social Catholicism in France, such as by Albert de Mun and, above all, by René de la Tour du Pin.

In August 1870, when the France of Napoleon III experienced serious defeats in the war against Prussia, Henri d’Artois left Frohsdorf with the intention of enlisting; on September 1, 1870, he appealed to repel the invasion, save at all costs the honor of France and the integrity of its territory. In February 1871; the new Assembly had 240 republican deputies against 400 monarchists, divided between legitimists and Orleanists. On May 8, 1871, the Count of Chambord published a letter in response to one of his supporters, Carayon-Latour, in which he condemned political intrigue, placed events in the context of French history, affirmed his faith in eternal France and calls for rallying. The letter accelerates the process of union of the royalists and the princes of Orleans enjoin the Count of Paris to step aside before the grandson of Charles X! However, the legitimist pretender,Count of Chambord refuses to give up the white flag (this is the reason France did not continue with a King). For him, this is a question of principle, which concerns the very idea that he has of the monarchy. In a letter of May 24, 1871, Prince Henri affirms that he does not want to abandon the flag of his fathers which for him means respect for religion, protection of all that is just, of all that is good, of all that is right, united with all that demands of our time, while the tricolor flag represents the flag of the revolution in all its aspects and that in addition it fills the arsenals of the foreigner victories. If he compromised with the heritage of the revolution, he would be powerless to do good. On June 8, 1871, the Assembly abolished the laws banishing the Bourbons from France. In July 1871, Count of Chambord/ Henri d’Artois returned for a few days to his France which he had to leave in 1830.

He receives on July 5 a delegation of royalist deputies bringing together the heirs of three of the largest houses of the monarchy who try to convince him to adopt the tricolor flag; and he responded: I can not forget that monarchical law is the heritage of the nation, nor decline the duties he imposes on me. I will fulfill these duties, believe my word as an honest man and a king.I am ready to do anything to raise my country from its ruins and to regain its rank in the world; the only sacrifice I cannot make for her is that of my honor. I will not allow the banner of Henri IV, François I and Jeanne d’Arc to be torn from my hands.I received it as a sacred deposit from the old king my ancestor, dying in exile; for me it has always been inseparable from the memory of the absent country; it floated on my cradle, I want it to shade my grave. (Brave but it ended the monarchy as no support to go back to old ways). Even if still very much monarchist support! In May 1873, the President of the Republic, Adolphe Thiers, declared that monarchy is impossible and that the Republic is preferable. The royalist majority of the Assembly then puts him in the minority, causing his resignation on May 24, 1873. He was immediately replaced by Marshal Mac Mahon, favorable to the restoration of royalty. The death in January of Napoleon III whose only son and dynastic heir was exiled with his mother to Great Britain , the departure of the Republican Thiers in May, the evacuation of German troops in September created a climate conducive to restoration. At the end of October 1873, one begins to prepare the return of the king to France. On the night of November 20, the Assembly, which ignores that Prince Henri is in France, (and not told by Mac Mahon to keep the power for himself) votes the presidential mandate of seven years, thus extending the powers of Mac Mahon.

Chambord

Learning of the vote for the seven-year term, the Count of Chambord returns to Frohsdorf so as not to be a subject of unrest. He did not lose hope, but the news which came to him from France only indicated to him that the decline and then the disappearance of the royalist majority, faced with the successive victories of the Republicans. The Third Republic was established in January 1875 by the Wallon amendment, and the constitutional laws of February and then of July organized its functioning. In 1879, with the resignation of President Mac Mahon, all powers belong to the Republicans. In June 1883, Henri d’Artois suffered from a disease of the digestive tract, of which he died in exile in Frohsdorf on August 24, 1883, the eve of Saint-Louis. The funeral of Henri V takes place on September 3 in the Cathedral of Gorizia (became Italian since 1918), and he is buried near his sister Louise and Charles X, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, outside the city, at the convent of Kostanjevica (in Slovenia), located since 1947 two hundred meters behind the Italian-Slovenian border. There have been efforts to repatriate but it needs the demand by France which still not done it…….

According to some legitimists, the crown was to go to the Bourbons of Spain, who were descended from a grandson of Louis XIV; the latter, mounted on the throne of Spain in 1700, under the name of Felipe V,(who built a little Versailles where he was born at La Granja de Idelfonso near Segovia see post); had indeed renounced his rights on the throne of France, for him and all his descendants, during the Treaties of Utrecht in 1713,(coerse to avoid a war he could not win), but all waiver would be void according to the principle of unavailability of the Crown (heritage by Salian laws). On the death of the prince, a minority of legitimists, supported by his widow, the Countess of Chambord, recognized as the king by right Juan de Bourbon, Count of Montizón (brother-in-law of the Countess of Chambord), descendant of the grandson of Louis XIV, now the elder of the Capetians, and former Carlist contender for the crown of Spain. The current monarchy in Spain follows this line. The current legitimist king of France Alfonso was born in Madrid and would be Louis XX.

The Château de Chambord, which belongs now to France, includes a museum where several rooms evoke the Count of Chambord; they notably contain souvenirs and furniture from Frohsdorf; There are also four cars and a coach that the Count of Damas, representative in France of Prince Henri, had acquired from the Binder house, in the early 1870s, for the entry into Paris of “Henri V”, in case he was called to the throne. At the end of the 19C, French legitimists erected a monument to Sainte-Anne-d’Auray to Henri d’Artois; a stone pedestal, decorated with statues of Joan of Arc, Bayard, Saint Geneviève and du Guesclin, carries the statue of the pretender while praying, in coronation costume. (very near my home, see post).

Chambord

Chambord

The graphic arts cabinet of the musée Carnavalet museum and its cabinet Numismatics keep several hundred prints and medals of legitimist propaganda to the glory of the Duke of Bordeaux and then Count of Chambord, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée Carnavalet Paris collections

The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux or museum of decorative arts and design of Bordeaux has one of the most important legitimist collections in France. A living room dedicated to the Duke of Bordeaux evokes his life, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design of Bordeaux

You can see his story there in the Château de Chambord on the remarkable personages page in English here: Château de Chambord on Henri

The official webpage of the Count of ChambordComte de Chambord

The official webpage of the royal reunification of France, futur king Louis XX in French: Futur royal family of France Louis XX

The official webpage of the futur Louis XX personal page: Royal family of France under Louis XX

And there you go, now you have a wonderful piece of French history seldom mention in government control media. The one to be Henri V and the possible but unlikely future Louis XX. Hope you enjoy the post on the Count of Chambord, Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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