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Prince Henri of Orléans

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Title: Prince Henri of Orléans  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: House of Orléans, Collège Stanislas de Paris, Princess Marie of Orléans (1865–1909), Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Alençon, Jean Gaston, Duke of Valois
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Prince Henri of Orléans

Prince of France
Drawing of Prince Henri (ca. 1897) by Adolphe Lalauze
Born (1867-10-16)16 October 1867
Ham, London
Died 9 August 1901(1901-08-09) (aged 33)
Saigon, Cochinchina
Full name
Henri Philippe Marie d'Orléans
House House of Orléans
Father Robert, Duke of Chartres
Mother Marie-Françoise of Orléans
Religion Roman Catholicism

Prince Henri of Orléans (16 October 1867 – 9 August 1901) was the eldest son surviving to adulthood of Prince Robert, Duke of Chartres and Princess Françoise of Orléans.


  • Biography 1
  • The duel 2
  • Ancestry 3
  • References 4


Henri was born at Ham, London.

In 1889, at the instance of his father, who paid the expenses of the tour, he undertook, in company with Gabriel Bonvalot and Father Constant de Deken (1852-1896), a journey through Siberia to French Indochina. In the course of their travels they crossed the mountain range of Tibet and the fruits of their observations, submitted to the Geographical Society of Paris (and later incorporated in De Paris au Tonkin à travers le Tibet inconnu, published in 1892),[1] brought them conjointly the gold medal of that society.

In 1892 the prince made a short journey of exploration in East Africa, and shortly afterwards visited Madagascar, proceeding thence to Tongkin in today Vietnam. In April 1892 he visited Luang Prabang in Laos. It brings him to writing a letter to "Politique Coloniale" in Januari 1893.[2] From this point he set out for Assam, and was successful in discovering the source of the Irrawaddy River, a brilliant geographical achievement which secured the medal of the Geographical Society of Paris and the Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1897 he revisited Abyssinia, and political differences arising from this trip led to a duel with Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin.

While on a trip to Assam in 1901, he died at Saigon on the 9th of August. Prince Henri was a somewhat violent Anglophobe, and his diatribes against Great Britain contrasted rather curiously with the cordial reception which his position as a traveller obtained for him in London, where he was given the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society.

The duel

In 1897 Vittorio Emanuele challenged Prince Henri to a duel after Henri described in several articles on Le Figaro, the Italian soldiers being held captive in Ethiopia during the first First Italo–Ethiopian War as cowards. The dispute was widely echoed in Italy and Europe. It was agreed on the use of the sword as weapon of choice, as the Italians thought that the duel with pistols, favorite by the French, was worthy of betrayed husbands, not of princes of royal blood.[3]

The duel with swords, directed by the Count Leontieff and the Count Avogadro, lasting 26 minutes took place at 5:00 am on 15 August 1897 in the Bois de Marechaux at Vaucresson, France. Vittorio Emanuele defeated Prince Henri after 5 reprises[4] The "Monseigneur" Henri received a serious wound to his right abdomen, and the doctors of both parties considered the injury serious enough to put him in a state of obvious inferiority, causing the end of the duel and making the Count of Turin famous in Europe.[5]



  1. ^ by C. B. Pitman, 1891)De Paris au Tonkin à travers le Tibet inconnu (translation of Across Thibet
  2. ^ Albert de Pouvourville, "L' Affaire de Siam; 1886 - 1896"
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain

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