Henri, Count of Paris (1933–2019)
Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France (Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans; 14 June 1933 – 21 January 2019), was the Orléanist pretender to the defunct French throne as Henry VII.
|Count of Paris, Duke of France|
|Orléanist pretender to the French throne|
|Tenured||19 June 1999 – 21 January 2019|
|Predecessor||Prince Henri, Count of Paris|
|Successor||Prince Jean, Count of Paris|
|Born||Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans|
14 June 1933
Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Kingdom of Belgium
|Died||21 January 2019 85) (aged|
Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg
(m. 1957; div. 1984)
Micaela Cousiño Quiñones de León
Prince François, Count of Clermont
Prince Jean, Count of Paris
Prince Eudes, Duke of Angoulême
|Father||Henri, Count of Paris|
|Mother||Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza|
He was head of the House of Orléans as senior in male-line descent from Louis-Philippe I d'Orléans, who reigned as King of the French from 1830 to 1848. Henri was a retired military officer as well as an author and painter.
He was the first son of Henri, Count of Paris (1908–1999), and his wife Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza, and was born in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, because an 1886 law had permanently exiled from France the heads of its formerly reigning dynasties and their eldest sons.
Despite the ban, while living in Belgium Henri occasionally accompanied his mother on brief visits to France and, later, to his mother's relatives in Brazil. In August 1940 as World War II escalated, the family relocated to property they owned in Larache in the French protectorate of Morocco. While his father sought to play a role in the French resistance, Henri remained at Larache with his mother, siblings, grandmother and father's sisters' families during the Nazi occupation of France, sharing a small desert home that lacked electricity. Advised by Henri Giraud's Moroccan command that the Orléans had become unwelcome in the protectorate following the assassination of Vichy regime collaborater François Darlan by the monarchist Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, the family relocated to Pamplona in Spain until 1947, when they took up residence at the Quinta do Anjinho, an estate near Sintra, Portugal. During that year, President Vincent Auriol allowed Henri and his brother François to visit France, and in 1948 he was allowed to enroll in a lycée in Bordeaux.
The law of exile was abrogated in 1950, allowing Henri to repatriate with his parents. Later that year, his parents purchased an estate near Paris, the Manoir du Cœur-Volant in Louveciennes, which became Henri's first home in France.
Henri studied at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), obtaining his bac in 1957, and on 30 June of that year, his father conferred upon him, as the heir apparent of his house, the title of "Count of Clermont", by which he was generally known during his father's lifetime.
From October 1959 to April 1962, Clermont worked at the Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security as a member of the French Foreign Legion. Transferred from there to a garrison in Germany, he took up a new assignment as military instructor at Bonifacio in Corsica, where his wife and children joined him early in 1963.
Returning to civilian life in 1967, Clermont and his family briefly occupied the Blanche Neige pavilion on the grounds of his father's Cœur-Volant before renting an apartment of their own in the XVe arrondissement. In the early 1970s Clermont managed public relations for the Geneva office of a Swiss investment firm while dwelling in Corly.
Henri wrote a number of books:
- À mes fils (1989)
- Adresse au futur chef d'État (1994)
- Désolé, Altesse, c’est mon jour de sortie (1994)
- La France survivra-t-elle à l'an 2000 (1997)
- Le passeur de miroir (2000)
- La France à bout de bras (2002)
- L'histoire en héritage (2003)
- La Royauté de l'Homme (2016)
Marriages and children
Clermont met Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg (born 1934), like himself a descendant of King Louis-Philippe, at a ball given by the Thurn and Taxis in Munich. They were married on 5 July 1957 at the Royal Chapel of Dreux, on which occasion President Charles DeGaulle publicly offered congratulations, calling the wedding a great national event and observing that the dynasty and couple's future were bound to the hopes of France. Five children were born from this union:
- Princess Marie d'Orléans (born 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 of Liechtenstein (born on 1 April 1949 in Vienna), and has issue:
- Princess Léopoldine of Liechtenstein (born 27 June 1990, Vienna)
- Princess Marie Immaculata of Liechtenstein (born 15 December 1991, Vienna)
- Prince Johann Wenzel of Liechtenstein (born 17 March 1993, Vienna)
- Princess Margarete of Liechtenstein (born 10 January 1995, Vienna)
- Prince Gabriel of Liechtenstein (born 6 May 1998, Vienna)
- Prince François, Count of Clermont (7 February 1961 in Boulogne-sur-Seine – 30 December 2017)
- Princess Blanche d'Orléans (born 10 September 1963 in Ravensburg).
- Prince Jean, Count of Paris (born 19 May 1965, Boulogne-sur-Seine), married civilly in Paris on 19 March 2009 with Philomena de Tornos Steinhart at the Senlis Cathedral on 2 May 2009. The couple has five children:
- Prince Gaston, Count of Clermont (born 19 November 2009, Paris)
- Princess Antoinette d'Orléans (born 28 January 2012, Vienna)
- Princess Louise-Marguerite d'Orléans (born 30 July 2014, Poissy)
- Prince Joseph d'Orléans (born 2 June 2016)
- Princess Jacinthe d'Orléans (born 9 October 2018)
- Prince Eudes, Duke of Angoulême, (born 18 March 1968, Paris), married civilly in Dreux on 19 June 1999, and religiously in Antrain on 10 July 1999, to Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot (born on 29 June 1969 in Paris), with whom he has two children.
- Princess Thérèse d'Orléans (born 23 April 2001, Cannes)
- Prince Pierre d'Orléans (born 6 August 2003, Cannes).
In 1984, Clermont and Marie-Thérèse were divorced. On 31 October 1984 Clermont entered a civil marriage with Micaëla Anna María Cousiño y Quiñones de León (born on 30 April 1938), daughter of Luis Cousiño y Sebire and his wife Antonia Maria Quiñones de Léon y Bañuelos, 4th Marquesa de San Carlos. For remarrying without consent Henri's father initially declared him disinherited, substituting the non-dynastic title Comte de Mortain for his son's Clermont countship (the latter once held in appanage by a son of Louis IX of France, who became ancestor of the Bourbon-Orléans line). Henri, though, refused all mail addressed to him as "Mortain". On 27 February 1984 Marie-Thérèse, the former Countess of Clermont, was granted the title Duchess of Montpensier by her father-in-law.
On 11 February 1989 Clermont was informed, by a hand-delivered letter written by his former wife, of the engagement of their eldest child Marie, to Prince Gundakar of Liechtenstein, a cousin of the ruler of that principality, the wedding date being set for 29 July 1989. Although Clermont acknowledged, in a 12 May 1989 Point de Vue interview, that it had been three years since he had seen Marie, he and his second wife, Micaëla Cousiño, had been welcomed for the first time to the home of his mother, the Countess of Paris, that day: Clermont further acknowledged to the press that, Marie having written to invite him to her wedding, he looked forward to conducting her to the altar, rumours to the contrary notwithstanding. At the engagement party held the next day at the Palais Pallavicini, the Vienna home of the fiancé's parents, photographs were taken, and would later be published, showing Clermont speaking cordially with his daughter, sons, former wife and future son-in-law.
However, it was on this occasion that Clermont learned that he would not be escorting Marie to her bridegroom during the wedding. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Montpensier had sent out invitations to the wedding in her name alone, omitting not only mention of Marie's father, but also of her grandfather, Monseigneur the Count of Paris who, until then, had largely sided with the Duchess of Montpensier in family matters and had consented to his granddaughter's choice of a spouse. This prompted father and son to join in calling for a familial boycott of the nuptials. Clermont and his father refused to attend the wedding but Marie proceeded to marry civilly at Dreux's city hall on 22 July 1989, and religiously at the castle of her mother's brother in Germany, on 29 July 1989. All but two of Clermont's eight siblings also boycotted the ceremonies, but his sister Diane (wife of Montpensier's brother) hosted, and Clermont's mother, Madame the Countess of Paris, was a guest at the religious wedding.
Tensions lessened after several years, and on 7 March 1991 the Count of Paris reinstated Henri as heir apparent and Count of Clermont, simultaneously giving Micaëla the title "Princesse de Joinville".
Head of house
Until he succeeded his father as royal claimant, Clermont and his second wife occupied an apartment in Paris. On 19 June 1999, Clermont's father died and Henri became the new head of the House of Orléans. He took the traditional title, Count of Paris, adding an ancient one, Duke of France, not borne by his Orléans or Bourbon forebears, but used a thousand years ago by his ancestors, before Hugh Capet took the title of king. His wife assumed the title "Duchess of France", deferring to the continued use of "Countess of Paris" by Henri's widowed mother until her death on 5 July 2003, whereupon Micaela assumed that title.
After his father's death, Henri annulled his father's decision to deprive his brothers Michel (Count of Évreux) and Thibaut (the late Count of La Marche) of their succession rights because Michel married a noblewoman without permission and because Thibaut married a commoner. He also bestowed titles upon the sons of his brother Prince Jacques, Duke of Orléans: Prince Charles-Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres (born 1972), and Prince Foulques d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale and Count of Eu (born 1974).
He recognised his disabled eldest son François as his dynastic heir, with the title Count of Clermont, declaring that François would exercise his prerogatives as head of the dynasty under the "regency" of his younger brother Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme. However, with François' death on 30 December 2017, Vendôme became the Orléanist Dauphin of France.
In 2009, Henri obtained an annulment of his marriage to Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg from the Holy See. He remarried his second wife, Micaëla Cousiño, in the Catholic Church in September of that year.
As Count of Paris, he took part in some European royal events attending, for instance, the 2011 marriage of Albert II of Monaco.
Prior to succeeding his father as royal claimant, Henri launched an unsuccessful court case (1987–1989) in which he challenged the right of his rival cousin Louis-Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, to use the undifferenced royal arms of France and the Anjou title. The French courts dismissed the case on the grounds that Henri failed to prove that he had demonstrated a right to the hereditaments in questions, noting also that the court lacked jurisdiction in a dispute over dynastic claims of France's former royal family.
After his father's death, a court-appointed lawyer searched through the late count's effects on behalf of his nine living 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.
|Ancestors of Henri, Count of Paris (1933–2019)|
Henri's patriline traces his ancestry back to the Dukes of Orléans, the Kings of France, the Dukes and Counts of Vendôme, the Counts of La Marche, the first Duke of Bourbon, a Count of Clermont, and before them, again the Kings of France. The line extends back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.
Titles, styles and honours
- 14 June 1933 — 5 July 1957 : His Royal Highness Prince Henri of Orléans
- 5 July 1957 — 31 October 1984 : His Royal Highness The Count of Clermont
- 31 October 1984 — 31 October 1990 : His Royal Highness The Count of Mortain
- 31 October 1990 — 19 June 1999 : His Royal Highness The Count of Clermont
- 19 June 1999 — 21 January 2019 : His Royal Highness The Count of Paris and Duke of France
- Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (30 April 2008)
- Cross for Military Valour (8 May 1959)
- Combatant Cross
- North Africa Security and Order Operations Commemorative Medal
- Protector of the Orléans Obedience of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem (12 September 2014, resign at Easter 2012)
House of Montenegro : Grand-Cross with Gold Star of the Order of Prince Danilo I (3 December 2005) House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies: Bailiff Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Calabrian Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George House of Württemberg : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Le comte de Paris, Henri d’Orléans, est décédé (in French)
- Willis, Daniel (1999). "The Royal Family of France". The Descendants of Louis XIII. Baltimore: Clearfield. pp. 94–97, 806. ISBN 978-0-8063-4942-8.
- Valynseele, Joseph (1967). Les Prétendants aux Trônes d'Europe (in French). France: Saintard de la Rochelle. pp. 179, 186–187, 198, 201, 204, 207–209, 212.
- Johnson, Douglas (21 June 1999). "Obituary: Le Comte de Paris". The Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
- Montjouvent, Philippe de (1998). Le Comte de Paris et sa Descendance. France: Editions du Chaney. pp. 180–183, 193–195, 203–211. ISBN 978-2-913211-00-1.
- Meylan, Vincent (2016). "Comte de Paris: Il Faut Rendre Leur Dignité aux Hommes". Point de Vue (in French): 33.
- Elliot, Matthew (17 May 2016). "Could restoring a bunch of kings solve Europe's democratic deficit?". New Statesman. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- "Snubbing a Wedding", The New York Times, 18 August 1989
- Paris hunting down rent-skipping royal, Chicago Sun-Times, 19 November 2000
- Marie Desnos – Parismatch.com. "Paris Match 28 Sept 2009". ParisMatch.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.. Archived: 28 July 2012.
- "Paris Match Royal Blog". Parismatch.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Cour d'appel de Paris (1re Ch. sect. A)", Prince Henri d'Orléans, comte de Clermont et Prince Sixte Henri de Bourbon Parme c. Carmen Rossi 22 novembre 1989, Gazette du Palais, 8 March 1990
- Investiture – 3 December 2005
- Opfell, Olga S. (2001). "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.
- Mallalieu, Huon (9 December 2015). "Art Market: Vive la Revolution!". Country Life.
- Official website of The Count of Paris
- Lawsuit brought by the comte de Clermont against the duc d'Anjou (1987–89)
- Henri, Count of Paris at Find a Grave
Henri, Count of Paris (1933–2019)
Cadet branch of the House of BourbonBorn: 14 June 1933
| Duke of France
Count of Paris
19 June 1999 – 21 January 2019
Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
King of the French
Orléanist pretender to the French throne
19 June 1999 – 21 January 2019 present
Reason for succession failure:
Orléans monarchy deposed in 1848