Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans

Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans

Infobox Person
name = Louis, Duke of Orléans

image_size = 280px
caption = Louis, Duke of Orléans
birth_date = birth date|1703|8|4|mf=y
birth_place = Palace of Versailles, France
death_date = death date and age|1752|2|4|1703|8|4|mf=y
death_place = Paris, France
occupation =
spouse = Margravine Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden
parents = Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon
children = Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans Louise Marie of Orléans, Madmoiselle.

Louis, Duke of Orléans (August 4, 1703 – February 4, 1752) was a member of the royal family of France, the House of Bourbon, and as such was a Prince du Sang. At his father's death, he became the First Prince of the Blood ("Premier Prince du Sang"). Known as "Louis le Pieux" and also as "Louis le Génovéfain", Louis was a pious, charitable and cultured prince, who took very little part in the politics of the time.

Early life

Louis was born at the Palace of Versailles in 1703 to Philippe II, Duke of Orléans and his wife, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, the second "Mademoiselle de Blois" and youngest illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV. At his birth, he was titled Duke of Chartres.

He was brought up by his mother and his grandmother, Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, and tutored by Nicolas-Hubert Mongault, the illegitimate son of Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Saint-Pouange, a cousin of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's minister. Louis was very close to his younger sister Louise Elisabeth of Orléans, who was to become Queen of Spain for seven months in 1724. [Marie-Estelle Gordien, " [http://theses.enc.sorbonne.fr/document12.html Louis d'Orléans (1703-1752), premier prince du sang et mystique érudit] ", Thèses de l'École nationale des chartes, France (2002).]


As the "third personage of the kingdom" immediately after Louis XV and his own father, the Regent, he was formally admitted to the "Conseil de Régence" on January 30, 1718, although he was never to play an overly public or political role. The following year, he was made the Governor of Dauphiné although he was not required to live in that province. Later, he gave the title back to the Crown. In 1720, he became "Grand master of the Order of Saint-Lazare and Jerusalem", and, in 1721, under his father's influence, he was named "Colonel général de l'Infanterie" and held that post till 1730.

Duke of Orléans

At the death of his father on December 2, 1723, the twenty-year old Louis became Duke of Orléans and as such head of the House of Orléans. He was also next in line of succession to the throne until the birth of Louis XV's first-born son in 1730 because King Philip V of Spain, the second son of the Grand Dauphin, had renounced his rights to the throne of France for himself, and his descendants, upon his accession to the throne of Spain in 1700. Although his father, the Regent, had wanted him to play as high a role as he and his grandfather had played, upon the Regent's death, the post of Prime minister went to Louis' cousin, Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, who was eleven years his senior.

In 1723, Louis was conspicuous for his hostility to the former prime minister, Cardinal Dubois.Fact|date=September 2008Clarifyme|date=September 2008

Marriage and children

The fifth child and only son out of eight children, Louis was still not married at the death of his father. In 1721, the ambassador of France to Russia had suggested a marriage between Louis and one of the two unmarried daughters of Peter I of Russia: the Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna (known for her fluency in French) or her younger sister, Grand Duchess Natalia Petrovna. But the idea of a marriage with a Russian Grand Duchess had to be abandoned as there soon arose difficulties relative to religion and order of precedence: Louis was "only" a genuine Great-Grandson of France as Louis XIII's great-grandson and, as a result, he was addressed as Your "Serene Highness" while a Russian Grand Duchess daughter of the Tsar was addressed as Your "Imperial Highness".

Another possible bride was his first cousin Élisabeth-Alexandrine de Bourbon-Condé. She the youngest daughter of his aunt the duchesse de Bourbon. It was his mother who would agree to the actual future wife of her son.

Later on in 1723, a German princess was suggested. She was Margravine Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden (1704–1726), the daughter of Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden and his wife Sibylle Auguste of Saxe-Lauenburg. The marriage was agreed upon and the bride's small dowry set at 80,000 livres. The marriage by proxy took place on June 18, 1724 at Rastatt, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany [Antoine de Nadaillac, "Généalogie et Dynasties Européennes: La Dynastie des Capétiens: La Maison d'Orléans": [http://mapage.noos.fr/aden-osteo/Orleans.html] ] , then on July 13 in the town of Sarry (Marne), in France. [ib. Antoine de Nadaillac: [http://mapage.noos.fr/aden-osteo/Orleans.html] ] It was at Sarry that the couple first met. They fell in love at first sight [Claude Dufresne, "Les Orléans", Critérion, Paris, 1991, chapter "Un prince par trop dévot", p. 181.] . At the French court, the new Duchess of Orléans was known as "Jeanne de Bade".

The ducal couple had two children but only one survived infancy:

*Louis Philippe I (May 12, 1725November 18 1785)
*Louise Marie of Orléans (August 5 1726 - May 14 1728)

Later life

On September 5, 1725, the court celebrated the marriage of Louis XV to Maria Leszczyńska at Fontainebleau; the marriage by proxy, at which Orléans had represented Louis XV, had taken place the previous August 15 at Strasbourg. ["Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours", Firmin Didot Frères, Paris, 1862, Tome 38, p. 822: http://books.google.com/books?id=NvUOAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA4-PA819-IA1&lpg=RA4-PA819-IA1&dq=mariage+du+duc+d'Orl%C3%A9ans+avec+Auguste+Marie+Jeanne+de+Bade&source=web&ots=NU7jjbXRXb&sig=5_p6649n1PcDZQIAw9XXsiUbHXA&hl=fr&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result]

The following year, on August 8, 1726, the duc's young wife died three days after the birth of her second child, Louise Marie, at the Palais Royal in Paris.

After the early death of his wife, and until his own death in 1752, Louis lived by strict rules. In 1730, Cardinal Fleury secured the duke's dismissal from the position of colonel-general of the infantry, a post he had held for nine years. It was around 1740, that he ordered the employment of a High PriestFact|date=July 2008 at the Palais Royal to stay with him while he was in ill health. He later decided to retire at the Abbaye Sainte-Geneviève de Paris [in French:] , and from this time on, he became known as "Louis le Génovéfain" [Member of the Saint Genevieve congregation (of the Augustine order), from the Latin "Genovefa": Genevieve. Saint Geneviève is the patron saint of Paris.] . As he retired into private life, Louis spent his time translating the Psalms and the Pauline epistles, protecting men of science and managing his wealth. [ib. Claude Dufresne, pp. 177-188.] Like his cousin, the duc de Penthièvre, he was praised for his charitable works.

His son, Louis Philippe would have liked to marry Henriette, the second daughter of Louis XV, but Louis XV refused as he did not want to give the House of Orléans the power it had had during the Regency of. [Claude Dufresne, chapter: "Un "bon gros prince", pp. 189 & 192.]

On December 17, 1743, Chartres then married Louise Henriette de Bourbon-Conti, the daughter of Louis Armand II, Prince of Conti and his wife, Louise-Élisabeth de Bourbon-Condé. The two families had been at odds for generations and it was hoped that the marriage would settle their "mésentente". Although passionate at first, the marriage soon proved unhappy because of the young bride's débaucherie. [Claude Dufresne, chapter "Un "bon gros prince", p. 191-195.]

Louis Philippe of Orléans would see the birth of his grandchildren Louis Philippe (1747-1793) and Bathilde (1750-1822) who, during the French Revolution of 1789, would be known respectively as "Philippe Égalité" and "Citoyenne Vérité". Because of the scandalous behaviour of their mother, he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of his grandchildren.

In 1749, his mother died.

He died 1752, at the age of forty-eight, at the "Abbaye de Sainte Geneviève", having lost most of his sanityFact|date=July 2008. On his deathbed, on suspicion of Jansenist views, he was refused communion by the Abbé Bouettin of the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont church, but was given the last rites by his own chaplain [ib. Firmin Didot Frères, "Nouvelle biographie générale...", p. 823-824.] . Louis d'Orléans had outlived all his siblings apart from Charlotte Aglaé, the Duchess of Modena and Reggio.


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1= 1. Louis d'Orléans
2= 2. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
3= 3. Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Blois
4= 4. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
5= 5. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
6= 6. Louis XIV
7= 7. Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan
8= 8. Louis XIII of France
9= 9. Anne of Austria
10= 10. Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
11= 11. Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
12= 12. Louis XIII of France
13= 13. Anne of Austria
14= 14. Gabriel de Rochechouart, duc de Mortemart
15= 15. Diane de Grandseigne
16= 16. Henry IV of France
17= 17. Marie de' Medici
18= 18. Philip III of Spain
19= 19. Margaret of Austria
20= 20. Frederick V, Elector Palatine
21= 21. Elizabeth Stuart
22= 22. William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)
23= 23. Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg
24= 24. Henry IV of France =16
25= 25. Marie de' Medici =17
26= 26. Philip III of Spain =18
27= 27. Margaret of Austria =19
28= 28. Gaspard de Rochechouart, marquis de Mortemart
29= 29. Louise de Maure, comtesse de Maure
30= 30. Jean de Grandseigne, marquis de Marsillac
31= 31. Catherine de La Béraudière, dame de Villenon



*This article is based on the current French " [http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_d%27Orl%C3%A9ans_%281703-1752%29 Louis d'Orléans (1703-1752)] " page
*"Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours", Firmin Didot Frères, Paris, 1862, Tome 38.
*Claude Dufresne, "Les Orléans", Critérion, Paris, 1991.
*Marie-Estelle Gordien, " [http://theses.enc.sorbonne.fr/document12.html Louis d'Orléans (1703-1752), premier prince du sang et mystique érudit] ", Thèse Sorbonne, 2002.


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