Goods of the House of Orléans
The "apanage d'Orléans"
The apanage of Orléans was originally formed by Louis XIII for his brother Gaston. Gaston died without male heirs in 1660 and the apanage reverted to the French crown. Louis XIV soon afterwards, in 1661, conceded it to his brother Philippe. Originally made up of the duchies of Orléans, of Valois and of Chartres and the seigneurie of Montargis, it was expanded bit by bit :
- In 1672, Louis XIV added the duchy of Nemours, the counties of Dourdan and of Romorantin, the marquisats of Coucy and of Folembray.
- In 1692, the Palais-Royal was incorporated into the apanage in contempt of a clause in the will of cardinal Richelieu which bequeathed it for the king's use
- In 1740, Louis XV added the hôtel de Grand-Ferrare in Fontainebleau.
- In 1751, the county of Soissons.
- In 1766, La Fère, Marle, Ham, Saint-Gobain, the canal de l'Ourcq, and the hôtel Duplessis-Châtillon in Paris.
The "biens patrimoniaux"
The "biens patrimoniaux" had varied origins:
- Inheritance from the Grande Mademoiselle in 1693 : The Grande Mademoiselle made her cousin Monsieur her sole heir. On her death, Monsieur obtained the duchies of Montpensier and of Châtellerault, the marquisat of Mézières-en-Brenne, the counties of Mortain, of Bar-sur-Seine, the vicomtés of Auge and of Domfront, the baronnie of Beaujolais and the principauté of Joinville.
- In 1742, the dowry of 4 million livres from Louise Elisabeth of Orléans, daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the Regent, who had married Louis I of Spain, was wholly returned to the Orléans family who had only paid half.
- The famous Orléans Collection of art, mostly formed by Philippe II, and all sold during the Revolution by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1747-1793).
- Inheritance from the duc de Penthièvre, who died in 1793, and whose daughter, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, had married Louis Philippe d'Orléans.
Also, the revenues from the apanages and the "biens patrimoniaux", as well as money raised in the roles and offices taken by members of the house of Orléans, allowed them to purchase yet other lands and châteaux :
- the château de Saint-Cloud, bought by Monsieur in 1658 for 240,000 livres, and considerably extended and transformed. Duke Louis Philippe, who had deserted Saint-Cloud after his morganatic marriage to Madame de Montesson, was forced to cede it to Louis XVI for 6 million livres, of which 4 were raised by reimbursing debts owed to the Duke and the remainder by refunding 100,000 of the 400,000 livres of rents formed by the duke of Orléans for his son at the time of his son's marriage. The sale was concluded on 24 October 1784.
- the château de Bagnolet, bought in 1719 by the Regent and re-sold in 1769 by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1725-1785).
- the château du Raincy, bought by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1725-1785) in 1769.
- the château de Maison-Rouge à Gagny, bought in 1771 from the marquis de Montfermeil by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1747-1793). Confiscated as state property, bought in 1816 by Nicolas Charles Legrand, whose heirs sold it for 60,000 francs to Louis-Philippe I on 29 December 1845.
- the Château de Sainte-Assise at Seine-Port was given as a present by Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, to his morganatic wife, Madame de Montesson. After his death, she sold it to the Count of Provence (the future Louis XVIII), in 1787.
- the château de Saint-Leu, bought in 1780 by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1747-1793).
- the Folie de Chartres, created by Louis Philippe d'Orléans (1747-1793), the origin of today's Parc Monceau in Paris.
The Goods under the July Monarchy
The act of donation-partage of 7 August 1830
On 7 August 1830, two days before his accession to the throne, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans passed, in the presence of his notary, Jean-Antoine-Philippe Dentend, an act of "donation-partage" of his "biens patrimoniaux" to avoid them being reunited with the crown lands on his accession, according to the custom of ancient law. In this way, only the apanage d'Orléans was apportioned, in 1830, to the crown lands.
In 1826, when he coveted the throne of Greece, Louis-Philippe envisaged making a "donation-partage", a project taken up and completed in 1830. By this act, the duke of Orléans transmitted to his children the "nue-propriété" of his personal property, all the while reserving his usufruct of it.
Acquisitions under the July monarchy
- The château de Neuilly at Neuilly-sur-Seine, acquired 16 July 1819 for the future Louis-Philippe I in exchange for the écuries called "de Chartres", situated on rue Saint-Thomas du Louvre.
- The château de Maison-Rouge at Gagny (see above) bought by Louis-Philippe I on 29 December 1845 for 60,000 francs. After the Revolution of 1848, the former French king put this domaine at the disposal of his former aide-de-camp, général de Rumigny, who acquired it on 12 January 1853 following the decree of 10 January 1852 confiscating the goods of the house of Orléans.
- The château de La Ferté-Vidame - at the Restoration, restituted to the duchess of Orléans and, on her death in 1821, the domaine passed to her eldest son Louis-Philippe I, future king of the French. He reconstituted the domaine, rebuilt its fortified wall, repaired its water features, and restored and expanded the small château, though the restoration was interrupted by the Revolution of 1848.
After King Louis Philippe I had died in exile in Claremont House, Surrey, in 1850, his property in the French Second Republic was split between his many children and grandchildren. All male members of the House of Orléans were exiled from France by law between 1886 and 1950. When Henri, Count of Paris (1908–1999), returned to France in 1950, he didn't find much property left, except for a few castles which produced no income. Having 11 children and divorcing his wife, he decided, in 1974, to transfer the most important family assets to a family foundation, Fondation Saint-Louis, in order to save them from future inheritance distribution and taxes. The respective head of the House of Orléans is honorary chairman of the foundation. Its assets comprise Château d'Amboise (with a family museum), the Château de Bourbon-l'Archambault and the Château de Dreux (private residence), with the Chapelle royale de Dreux, the necropolis of the Orléans royal family. He sold further property, resulting in legal action by his sons, and still died heavily in debt in 1999.