Henri, Comte de Paris, Duc de France

From Academic Kids

Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans, Comte de Paris, Duc de France is the Orleanist pretender to the French throne. As king, he would be Henri VII.

He was born on June 14, 1933, as son of Henri, Comte de Paris and his wife Isabelle of Orleans-Braganza. He was born in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, because a 1886 law banned the heirs of formerly reigning French dynasties from entering France. This law was only abrogated in 1950, but Henri had already been allowed to enter France by special favour of President Vincent Auriol in 1948.

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

He studied at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris. After that, he served in the military, notably during the Algerian War of Independence.

On July 5, 1957, he married Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg (born 1934). He received the title Comte de Clermont. Five children were born out of this union.

  1. MARIE, (born 1959) married Prince Gundakar of Liechtenstein (born 1949), and has issue
  2. FRANÇOIS, Count of Clermont (born 1961) severely disabled.
  3. BLANCHE, (born 1962) severely disabled.
  4. JEAN, Duke of Vendôme and Dauphin de Viennois, (born 1965) unmarried.
  5. EUDES, Duke of Angoulême (born 1968) married to Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot (born 1969), with whom he has two children
  • Thérèse (born 2001)
  • Pierre (born 2003)

The marriage was unhappy, and ended up in a divorce in 1984. That same year Henri married Micaela Cousiño Quinones de Leon (born 1938). 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 and stripped him of his titles and gave him the lesser-valued title Comte de Mortain (a slight hint: whereas Clermont was once held by for example the cadet son of St Louis who became the ancestor of the Bourbon line, Mortain had been held for example by John Lackland of England, who at that time was regarded as lacking land and inheritance). Henri, and a number of French royalists who considered it impossible for a head of the royal house to unilaterally disinherit someone, never recognised his father's decision, and refused all mail addressed to him as Comte de Mortain. Meanwhile, Marie-Thérèse, the former Comtesse de Clermont, was granted the title "Duchesse de Montpensier" by her father-in-law.

After a couple of years, tensions lessened, and Henri's father reinstated him as dauphin and gave Micaela the title "Princesse de Joinville".

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 Luis Alfonso, "Duc d'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.

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

After his father's death, Henri annulled his father's decision to disinherit his brothers Michel and Thibaut from their rights to the throne, because they married commoners. He also recognised his eldest, disabled, son François as heir, with the title Comte de Clermont.

He wrote a number of books:

  • A 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)

He is also a painter, and has launched his own brand of perfume.

He announced that he would run in the European elections of 2004, but he was not elected.

See also: List of French monarchs, Members of the French Royal Families

External links

Preceded by:
Henri VI
(Comte de Paris)
Orleanist claimants to the throne of France Heir-Apparent:
(Comte de Clermont, Dauphin de France)
fr:Henri d'Orléans (1933-)


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