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Philippe, comte de Paris

"Louis Philippe II" redirects here. For the duke, see Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans.
Count of Paris

Philippe d'Orleans wearing the uniform of the Union Army in the American Civil War
Orleanist pretender to the French throne
Reign 24 February 1848 – 3 August 1873
Predecessor Louis-Philippe I
Successor Renounced the Orleanist claim
Pretender to the French throne
Reign 24 August 1883 – 8 September 1894
Predecessor Henri, comte de Chambord
Successor Philippe, duc d'Orléans
Spouse Princess Marie Isabelle d'Orléans
Amélie, Queen of Portugal
Philippe, Duke of Orléans
Hélène, Duchess of Aosta
Charles, Prince of Orléans
Isabelle, Duchess of Guise
Jacques, Prince of Orléans
Louise, Princess of the Two Sicilies
Ferdinand, Duke of Montpensier
Father Ferdinand Philippe d'Orléans
Mother Helene of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Born (1838-08-24)24 August 1838
Died 8 September 1894(1894-09-08) (aged 56)
Burial Chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo, Weybridge, Surrey
Religion Roman Catholicism

Prince Philippe d'Orléans, Count of Paris (Louis Philippe Albert; 24 August 1838 – 8 September 1894), was the grandson of Louis Philippe I, King of the French. He was Comte de Paris, and was a claimant to the French throne from 1848 until his death.

Early life

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 in its stead.

A historian, journalist and outspoken democrat, the 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 September 24, 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 McClellan, for nearly a year. He distinguished himself during the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign. He resigned from the Union Army on July 15, 1862. His history of that war is considered a standard reference work.

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. After the war, they both joined the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States - an organization of Union officers who had served during the American Civil War.

Marriage and issue

In 1864 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

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 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, 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.

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.

The Count of Paris lived in Sheen House, Sheen in Surrey, England, where his grandfather had sought refuge after his abdication. He died at Stowe House in 1894. He was succeeded as claimant to the French throne by his son Prince Philippe.


  • Flers, Hyacinthe, marquis de. Le comte de Paris. Paris: Perrin, 1888.

See also

American Civil War portal
Prince Philippe, Count of Paris
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 24 August, 1838 Died: 8 September, 1894
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Louis-Philippe I
King of the French
26 August 1850 – 8 September 1894
Succeeded by
Philippe VIII
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