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Henri, Comte de Paris, Duc de France

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Henri, Comte de Paris, Duc de France

"Duc de France" redirects here. For the early medieval title, see Duke of the Franks.

Henri d'Orléans
Count of Paris
File:Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris.jpg
Born (1933-06-14) 14 June 1933 (age 81)
Regnal name claimed Henry VII
Title(s) Count of Paris, Duke of France
Throne(s) claimed France
Pretend from 19 June 1999 – present
Monarchy abolished 1848
Last monarch Louis-Philippe I
Connection with five generations in direct line
Royal House House of Orléans
Father Henri, Count of Paris
Mother Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza
Spouse Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg (1957-1984)
Micaela Cousiño Quiñones de León (1984-present)
Children Marie Isabelle of Orléans, François of Orléans, Blanche of Orléans, Jean of Orléans and Eudes of Orléans

HRH The Count of Paris
HRH The Countess of Paris

Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris, Duke of France (Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans; born on 14 June 1933), is a member of the former French ruling dynasty of the House of Bourbon, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French crown as Henry VII. A descendant of King Louis-Philippe (ruled 1830–1848), he is the current head of the Orléans line of the Bourbon dynasty. As such he is recognized as the legitimate claimant to the throne by those French royalists who adhere to the succession of Louis-Philippe ("Orléanists"), as well as by the "Unionist" faction that rejects Louis-Philippe's title but recognizes his grandson Philippe, Count of Paris (1838–1894), as the heir of the rival claimant Henry, Count of Chambord, the last direct agnatic descendant of King Louis XV. Henri of Orléans is a former military officer as well as an author and painter.

Early life

He was the first son born to Henri of Orléans, Count of Paris, and his wife Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, because an 1886 law banned the heirs of formerly reigning French dynasties from entering France. This law was abrogated in 1950, but Henri had already been allowed to enter France by special favour of President Vincent Auriol in 1948.

On 25 August 1940, Henri's grandfather, Jean of Orléans, Duke of Guise, died. His father was recognised by most French royalists as head of the French royal house, and Henri became their dauphin.

He studied at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and then served in the military, notably during the Algerian War.

For his military service he was decorated with the French Legion of Honor, Cross for Military Valour, Combatant Cross and the Colonial Medal.


On 5 July 1957, he married Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg (born 1934). He received the title Count of Clermont. Five children were born from this union.


  1. Marie Isabelle Marguerite Anne Geneviève of Orléans (born on 3 January 1959 in Boulogne-sur-Seine) married civilly in Dreux, on 22 July 1989, and religiously in Friedrichshafen, on 29 July 1989, to Prince Gundakar Albert Alfred Petrus of Liechtenstein (born on 1 April 1949 in Vienna, Austria), and has issue.
  2. François Henri Louis Marie of Orléans (born on 7 February 1961 in Boulogne-sur-Seine), Count of Clermont.
  3. Blanche Elisabeth Rose Marie of Orléans (born on 10 September 1963 in Ravensburg, Germany).
  4. Jean Charles Pierre Marie of Orléans (born on 19 May 1965 in Boulogne-sur-Seine), Duke of Vendôme and Dauphin de Viennois, married civilly in Paris on 19 March 2009 with Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart. The religious ceremony took place at the Senlis Cathedral on 2 May 2009. The couple has two children:
    1. Gaston of Orléans (born on 19 November 2009 in Paris)
    2. Antoinette of Orléans (born on 28 January 2012)
  5. Eudes Thibaut Joseph Marie of Orléans (born on 18 March 1968 in Paris), Duke of Angoulême, married civilly in Dreux, on 19 June 1999, and religiously in Antrain, on 10 July 1999, to Marie-Liesse Claude Anne Rolande de Rohan-Chabot (born on 29 June 1969 in Paris), with whom he has two children.
    1. Thérèse Isabelle Marie Éléonore of Orléans (born on 23 April 2001 in Cannes)
    2. Pierre Jean Marie of Orléans (born on 6 August 2003 in Cannes).

Divorce, Annulment, and Remarriage

The marriage was unhappy. In 1984, Henri and Marie-Thérèse received a civil divorce.

On 31 October of that same year, Henri married Micaëla Anna María Cousiño y Quiñones de León (born on 30 April 1938), daughter of Luis Cousiño y Sebire and his wife Doña Antonia Maria Quiñones de Léon y Bañuelos, 4th Marchioness of San Carlos. As this marriage was not celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, it was not recognised by a number of French royalists. Henri's father, too, was furious; he disinherited Henri, stripped him of his titles, and gave him the lesser-valued title comte de Mortain (Clermont was once held by the cadet son of Louis IX of France, who became the ancestor of the Bourbon line, Mortain was once held by John Lackland of England, who was regarded as lacking land and appanage). Henri refused all mail addressed to him as "Count of Mortain." Meanwhile, Marie-Thérèse, the former Countess of Clermont, was granted the title "Duchesse de Montpensier" by her father-in-law.

Tensions lessened after several years, and Henri's father reinstated him as heir apparent and gave Micaela the title "Princesse de Joinville". Relations between Henri and his former wife, the Duchesse de Montpensier also improved and became cordial.

Although Henri adopted the title of Count of Paris upon the death of his father, his second wife remained Princesse de Joinville during the life of his mother who remained Countess of Paris. Upon the death of his mother, Micaëla assumed the title of Countess of Paris.

In 2009, Henri, Count of Paris and his former wife, the Duchesse de Montpensier were able to obtain an annulment of their marriage from the Vatican without affecting the status and legitimacy of their children. The Count of Paris was then able to re-marry his second wife, Micaëla Countess of Paris and Duchess of France in the Roman Catholic Church, in September 2009. [1]

Legal Cases

In an attempt to establish his legal rights as head of the Royal House of France, Henri launched an unsuccessful court case (1987–1989) in which he challenged his rival Louis-Alphonse, Duke of Anjou's right to use the undifferenced Royal Arms. The French courts denied that they had jurisdiction over the dispute and did not address the merits of the case.

After his father's death, a court-appointed lawyer searched through the late count's effects on behalf of his nine children, to reclaim what remained of the family's dissipated fortune. Jewels, art-work, and an exceptional medieval illustrated manuscript were found. These were auctioned off, raising approximately US$14 million. Soon after, in 2000 however, bailiffs pursued Henri for US$143,000 back rent after he fled the Villa Boileau, a 17th-century Paris house he had occupied.[2]

Succession rights

On 19 June 1999, Henri's father died and Henri became the new head of the French royal house (according to his supporters). He took the titles Count of Paris and Duke of France. His wife became known as Duchess of France, in order to enable Henri's widowed mother to continue to use the title Countess of Paris. Henri's mother died on 5 July 2003, and Micaela started to use the title Countess of Paris.

He claims the title of Duke of France as heir to Hugh Capet and Hugh's ancestors before they were Kings of France.

After his father's death, Henri annulled his father's decision to disinherit his brothers Michel (Count of Évreux) and Thibaut (the late Count of La Marche) from their rights to the throne because Michel married a noble woman but not a royal one and because Thibaut married a commoner. He also bestowed titles upon his nephews by brother Jacques, Duke of Orléans, Charles-Louis of Orléans, Duke of Chartres (11 July 1972 – ), m. 21/28 Jun 1997 Ileana Manos (22 Sep 1970 – ), and Prince Foulques of Orléans, Duke of Aumale (9 Jul 1974 – ) and Count of Eu.

He also recognised his disabled eldest son François as heir, with the title Count of Clermont, with a 'regency' by his middle son, Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme. Prince Jean had a son in November 2009, Gaston.


Styles of
Prince Henri,
Count of Paris, Duke of France
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Monseigneur
Alternative style Sir

Henri has written a number of books:

  • À mes fils (1989)
  • Adresse au futur chef d'état (1994)
  • La France survivra-t-elle l'an 2000 (1997)
  • Le passeur de miroir (2000)
  • La France à bout de bras (2002)
  • L'histoire en héritage (2003)

Other business

Henri is also a painter and has launched his own brand of perfume. In addition, he ran in the European elections of 2004, which he lost.

He takes part in some European royal events, attending the 2011 marriage of Albert II of Monaco.[3]


Henri, Count of Paris and Duke of France, is an agnatic fifth-generation descendant of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French. He has three further descents from Louis-Philippe through his father and one through his mother, who also descends from Louis-Philippe in the male line, for a total of five descents as a great-great-great-grandson.

Patrilineal descent

Henri is a member of the House of Bourbon-Orléans, a sub-branch of the House of Bourbon, itself a branch of the House of Capet and of the Robertians.

Henri's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Kings of France, the Dukes of Bourbon and before them, again the Kings of France. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.

  1. Robert II of Worms and Rheingau, 770–807
  2. Robert III of Worms and Rheingau, 808–834
  3. Robert IV the Strong, 820–866
  4. Robert I of France, 866–923
  5. Hugh the Great, 895–956
  6. Hugh Capet, 941–996
  7. Robert II of France, 972–1031
  8. Henry I of France, 1008–1060
  9. Philip I of France, 1053–1108
  10. Louis VI of France, 1081–1137
  11. Louis VII of France, 1120–1180
  12. Philip II of France, 1165–1223
  13. Louis VIII of France, 1187–1226
  14. Louis IX of France, 1214–1270
  15. Robert, Count of Clermont, 1256–1317
  16. Louis I, Duke of Bourbon, c. 1280–1342
  17. James I, Count of La Marche, 1315–1362
  18. John I, Count of La Marche, 1344–1393
  19. Louis, Count of Vendôme, c. 1376–1446
  20. Jean VIII, Count of Vendôme, 1428–1478
  21. François, Count of Vendôme, 1470–1495
  22. Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, 1489–1537
  23. Antoine of Navarre, 1518–1562
  24. Henry IV of France, 1553–1610
  25. Louis XIII of France, 1601–1643
  26. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, 1640–1701
  27. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, 1674–1723
  28. Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, 1703–1752
  29. Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, 1725–1785
  30. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, 1747–1793
  31. Louis Philippe I, King of the French, 1773–1850
  32. Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans, 1810–1842
  33. Robert, Duke of Chartres, 1840–1910
  34. Jean, Duke of Guise, 1874–1940
  35. Henri, Count of Paris, 1908–1999
  36. Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France 1933-

See also



  • Opfell, Olga S. "H.R.H. Henri, Count of Paris: Royal House of France (House of Bourbon-Orleans," Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2001. 21–32.

External links

  • Official website of The Count of Paris
  • Lawsuit brought by the comte de Clermont against the duc d'Anjou (1987–89)
Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 14 June 1933
French nobility
Preceded by
Henri VI
Duke of France
Count of Paris

19 June 1999 – present
François d'Orléans, comte de Clermont
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Henri VI
King of the French
Orléanist pretender to the French throne
19 June 1999 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Orléans monarchy deposed in 1848
Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme
Preceded by
Christophe, Prince of the Blood
Legitimist line of succession to the French throne
79th position
Succeeded by
François d'Orléans,
comte de Clermont
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