Leopold I of Belgium
Leopold I was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following the country's independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865. Born into the ruling family of the small German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold took a commission in the Imperial Russian Army and fought against Napoleon after French troops overran Saxe-Coburg during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat, Leopold moved to the United Kingdom where he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, second in line to the British throne and the only legitimate child of the Prince Regent. Charlotte died after only a year of marriage, but Leopold continued to enjoy considerable status in Britain. After the Greek War of Independence, Leopold was offered the crown of Greece but turned it down, believing it to be too precarious. Instead, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831; the Belgian government offered the position to Leopold because of his diplomatic connections with royal houses across Europe, because as the British-backed candidate, he was not affiliated with other powers, such as France, which were believed to have territorial ambitions in Belgium which might threaten the European balance of power created by the 1815 Congress of Vienna.
Leopold took his oath as King of the Belgians on 21 July 1831, an event commemorated annually as Belgian National Day. His reign was marked by attempts by the Dutch to recapture Belgium and by internal political division between liberals and Catholics; as a Protestant, Leopold was considered liberal and encouraged economic modernisation, playing an important role in encouraging the creation of Belgium's first railway in 1835 and subsequent industrialisation. As a result of the ambiguities in the Belgian Constitution, Leopold was able to expand the monarch's powers during his reign, he played an important role in stopping the spread of the Revolutions of 1848 into Belgium. He died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II. Leopold was born in Coburg in the tiny German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in modern-day Bavaria on 16 December 1790, he was the youngest son of Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf. In 1826, Saxe-Coburg acquired the city of Gotha from the neighboring Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and gave up Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen, becoming Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Ln 1795, at just five years old, Leopold was given an honorary commission of the rank of colonel in the Izmaylovsky Regiment, part of the Imperial Guard, in the Imperial Russian Army. Seven years he received a promotion to the rank of Major General; when French troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars, Leopold went to Paris where he became part of the Imperial Court of Napoleon. Napoleon offered him the position of adjutant. Instead, he went to Russia to take up a military career in the Imperial Russian cavalry, at war with France at the time, he campaigned against Napoleon and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division. By 1815, the time of the final defeat of Napoleon, he had reached the rank of lieutenant general at only 25 years of age. Leopold received British citizenship in 1815. On 2 May 1816, Leopold married Princess Charlotte of Wales at Carlton House in London. Charlotte was the only legitimate child of the Prince Regent George and therefore second in line to the British throne.
Charlotte had been engaged to the Prince of Orange, but finding him distasteful, broke it off in favour of Leopold. The Prince Regent was displeased, but found Leopold to be charming and possessing every quality to make his daughter happy, thus approving of their marriage; the same year he received an honorary commission to the rank of Field Marshal and Knight of the Order of the Garter. On 5 November 1817, after having suffered a miscarriage, Princess Charlotte gave birth to a stillborn son, she herself died the next day following complications. Leopold was said to have been heartbroken by her death. Had Charlotte survived, she would have become queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her father and Leopold would have assumed the role of prince consort taken by his nephew Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Despite Charlotte's death, the Prince Regent granted Prince Leopold the British style of Royal Highness by Order in Council on 6 April 1818. From 1828 to 1829, Leopold had an affair with the actress Caroline Bauer, who bore a striking resemblance to Charlotte.
Caroline was a cousin of his advisor Baron Christian Friedrich von Stockmar. She came to England with her mother and took up residence at Longwood House, a few miles from Claremont House. But, by mid-1829, the liaison was over, the actress and her mother returned to Berlin. Many years in memoirs published after her death, she declared that she and Leopold had engaged in a morganatic marriage and that he had bestowed upon her the title of Countess Montgomery, he would have broken this marriage. The son of Baron Stockmar denied that these events happened, indeed no records have been found of a civil or religious marriage with the actress. Following a Greek rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, Leopold was offered the throne of an independent Greece as part of the London Protocol of February 1830. Though showing interest in the position, Leopold turned down the offer on 17 May 1830; the role would subsequently be accepted by Otto of Wittelsbach in May 1832 who ruled until he was deposed in October 1862.
At the end of August 1830, rebels
Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orléans, most known as Philippe, was born at the Château de Saint-Cloud. He received the title of Duke of Montpensier at birth that of Duke of Chartres at the death of his grandfather, Louis d'Orléans, in 1752. At the death of his father, Louis Philippe d'Orléans, in 1785, he inherited the title of Duke of Orléans and became the Premier prince du sang, title attributed to the Prince of the Blood closest to the throne after the Sons and Grandsons of France, he was addressed as Son Altesse Sérénissime. In 1792, during the French Revolution, he changed his name to Philippe Égalité. Louis Philippe d'Orléans was one of the wealthiest men in France, he supported the Revolution of 1789, was a strong advocate for the elimination of the present absolute monarchy in favor of a constitutional monarchy. He voted for the death of king Louis XVI, his son Louis Philippe d'Orléans became King of the French after the July Revolution of 1830. After him, the term Orléanist came to be attached to the movement in France that favored a constitutional monarchy.
Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orléans was the son of Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, Louise Henriette de Bourbon. Philippe was a member of the House of a cadet branch of the French royal family, his mother came from the House of Bourbon-Condé. Philippe was born at the Château de Saint Cloud, one of the residences of the Duke of Orléans, five kilometers west of Paris, his older sister, born in 1745, died. His younger sister, Bathilde d'Orléans, was born in 1750. Philippe's first title, given to him at birth, was that of the Duke of Montpensier. After his grandfather's death in 1752, Philippe inherited the title of Duke of Chartres. After his father's death in 1785, Philippe became the Duke of Orléans, head of the House of Orléans, one of the wealthiest noble families in France. At his father's death, Philippe became the Premier Prince du Sang, First Prince of the Blood, which put him in line for the succession to the throne after the comte d'Artois, the youngest brother of Louis XVI. On 6 June 1769, Louis Philippe married Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon at the chapel of the Palace of Versailles.
She was the daughter of his cousin, Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre, one of the richest men in France. Since it was certain that his wife would become the richest woman in France upon the death of her father, Louis Philippe was able to play a political role in court equal to that of his great-grandfather Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV. Louise Marie Adélaïde brought to the wealthy House of Orléans a considerable dowry of six million livres, an annual income of 240,000 livres, as well as lands, titles and furniture. Unlike her husband, the Duchess of Orléans did not support the Revolution, she was a devout Catholic who supported keeping the monarchy in France, as well as following the orders of Pope Pius VI. This was the causes of one of the rifts of the couple, as their first son, the future "King of the French", followed his father's footsteps and joined the Jacobin faction; the Duke and Duchess of Orléans had six children: A daughter.
During the first few months of their marriage, the couple appeared devoted to each other, but the Duke went back to the life of libertinage he had led before his marriage. The Duke was a well-known womanizer and, like several of his ancestors, such as Louis XIV and Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, had several illegitimate children. During the summer of 1772, the Duke began his secret liaison with one of his wife's ladies-in-waiting, Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St-Albin, comtesse de Genlis, the niece of Madame de Montesson, the morganatic wife of Philippe's father. Passionate at first, the liaison cooled within a few months and, by the spring of 1773, was reported to be "dead". After the romantic affair was over, Madame de Genlis remained in the service of Marie-Adélaïde at the Palais-Royal, a trusted friend to both the Duke and the Duchess, they both appreciated her intelligence and, in July 1779, she became the governess of the couple's twin daughters. One of his most known lovers was Grace Elliot.
It was alleged that Lady Edward FitzGerald, born Stephanie Caroline Anne Syms known as Pamela, was a natural daughter of the Duke and the Countess of Genlis. He recognized a son he had with Marguerite Françoise Bouvier de la Mothe de Cépoy, comtesse de Buffon, Victor Leclerc de Buffon, known as the chevalier de Saint-Paul and chevalier d'Orléans. In 18th century France, it was common for royal princes to receive high positions in the military. From a young age, Philippe d'Orléans displayed his interest in the Marine royale, from which he received three years of training. Due to his great relationship with Marine royale officials, the French army entrusted him with the command of a French fleet squadron called the Saint-Esprit in a battle against Great Britain at Ouessant during the American Revolutionary War in 1778; when he did not obey the comte d'Orvilliers's orders to close in on the rear Brit
House of Bonaparte
The House of Bonaparte was an imperial and royal European dynasty of Italian origin. It was founded in 1804 by the son of Genoese nobleman Carlo Buonaparte. Napoleon was a French military leader who had risen to power during the French Revolution and who in 1804 transformed the First French Republic into the First French Empire, five years after his coup d'état of November 1799. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories during the Napoleonic Wars, he installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, extending the power of the dynasty. The House of Bonaparte formed the Imperial House of France during the French Empire, together with some non-Bonaparte family members. In addition to holding the title of Emperor of the French, the Bonaparte dynasty held various other titles and territories during the Napoleonic Wars, including the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Westphalia, the Kingdom of Holland, the Kingdom of Naples.
The dynasty held power for around a decade. Making powerful enemies, such as Austria, Britain and Prussia, as well as royalist restorational movements in France, the Two Sicilies, Sardinia, the dynasty collapsed due to the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and the restoration of former dynasties by the Congress of Vienna. During the reign of Napoleon I, the Imperial Family consisted of the Emperor's immediate relations – his wife, son and some other close relatives, namely his brother-in-law Joachim Murat, his uncle Joseph Fesch, Eugène de Beauharnais, his stepson. Between 1852 and 1870, there was a Second French Empire, when a member of the Bonaparte dynasty again ruled France: Napoleon III, the youngest son of Louis Bonaparte. However, during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, the dynasty was again ousted from the Imperial Throne. Since that time, there has been a series of pretenders. Supporters of the Bonaparte family's claim to the throne of France are known as Bonapartists.
Current head Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, has a Bourbon mother. The Bonaparte family were patricians in the Italian towns of San Miniato and Florence; the name derives from Italian: parte. Gianfaldo Buonaparte was the first known Buonaparte at Sarzana around 1200, his descendant Giovanni Buonaparte in 1397 married Isabella Calandrini, a cousin of cardinal Filippo Calandrini. Giovanni became mayor of Sarzana and was named commissioner of the Lunigiana by Giovanni Maria Visconti in 1408, their great-grandson Francesco Buonaparte was an equestrian mercenary at the service of the Genoese Bank of Saint George. In 1490, he went to the island of Corsica, controlled by the bank. In 1493, he married the daughter of Guido da Castelletto, representative of the Bank of Saint George in Ajaccio, Corsica. Most of their descendants during subsequent generations were members of the Ajaccio town council. Napoleon's father, Carlo Buonaparte, received a patent of nobility from the King of France in 1771. There existed a Buonaparte family in Florence, however its eventual relation with the Sarzana and San Miniato families is unknown.
Jacopo Buonaparte of San Miniato was a friend and advisor to Medici Pope Clement VII. Jacopo was a witness to and wrote an account of the sack of Rome, one of the most important historical documents recounting that event. Two of Jacopo's nephews, Pier Antonio Buonaparte and Giovanni Buonaparte, took part in the 1527 Medici rebellion, after which they were banished from Florence and were restored by Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence. Jacopo's brother Benedetto Buonaparte maintained political neutrality; the San Miniato branch extinguished with Jacopo in 1550. The last member of the Florence family was a canon named Gregorio Bonaparte, who died in 1803, leaving Napoleon as heir. A Buonaparte tomb lies in the Church of San Francesco in San Miniato. Another in Ajaccio, the Chapelle Impériale, was built by Napoleon III in 1857. Napoleon I is the most prominent name associated with the Bonaparte family, because he conquered much of Europe during the early part of the 19th century. Due to his indisputable popularity in France both among the people and in the army, he took part in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, overthrew the Directory with the help of his brother, Lucien Bonaparte, president of the Council of Five Hundred, participated in the creation of a new Constitution, which allowed him to become the First Consul of France on 10 November 1799.
2 December 1804, he crowned himself Emperor of the French and ruled from 1804 to 1814, again in 1815 during the "Hundred Days" after his return from Elba. Following his conquest of most of Western Europe, Napoleon I made his elder brother Joseph king first of Naples and of Spain, his younger brother Louis King of Holland, his youngest brother Jérôme King of Westphalia, the short-lived realm created from some of the states of northwestern Germany. Napoleon's son Napoléon François Charles Joseph was created King of Rome and was styled as Napoléon II by loyalists of the dynasty, though he only ruled for two weeks after his father's abdication. Louis-Napoléon, son of Louis, was President of France and Emperor of the French, reigning as Napoleon III, his son, Napoléon, Prince Imperial, died fighting the Zulus in Natal, today t
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Maria Amalia of Saxony was Queen consort of Naples and Sicily from 1738 till 1759 and Queen consort of Spain from 1759 until her death in 1760, by marriage to Charles III of Spain. A popular consort, she oversaw the construction of the Caserta Palace outside Naples as well as various other projects, she is known for her influence upon the affairs of state. Moving to Spain in 1759, she set about the improvements to the Royal Palace of Madrid but died before its completion. Maria Amalia was politically active and participated in state affairs in both Naples and Spain, she was born at Dresden Castle in Dresden, the daughter of Augustus III of Poland, Elector of Saxony and Maria Josepha of Austria, herself daughter of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor. Her mother was the first cousin of Empress Maria Theresa; the infant was baptised with the names Maria Amalia Christina Franziska Xaveria Flora Walburga, but known as Maria Amalia. One of 15 children, she was the sister of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony wife of her cousin Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria.
Her youngest sister, Princess Kunigunde was a possible wife for the future Philippe Égalité. She grew up at the court of Dresden and was educated in French and painting, she was an accomplished musician and sang and played the keyboard from an early age. In 1738 Maria Amalia became engaged to Charles, King of Naples and Sicily, the future Charles III of Spain; the marriage was arranged by her future mother-in-law Elizabeth Farnese, after Elizabeth had failed to arrange a marriage of Charles to Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, refused to agree to have him marry to Louise Élisabeth of France. The impenetrable secret negotiations had taken place earlier in Vienna, where the Dowager Empress Wilhelmina Amalia, grandmother of Maria Amalia, played an important part in the negotiations; the Spanish ambassador in Vienna, Count Fuenclara, acted on behalf of the courts of Madrid and Naples, while the Italian banker Giovanni Battista Bolza represented the interests of Dresden court. In December 1737, a papal dispensation was made, the marriage announced in the beginning 1738.
On 8 May 1738 Maria Amalia had a proxy ceremony at Dresden with her brother, Frederick Christian of Saxony, representing Charles. Since this marriage was looked upon favorably by the papacy, it soothed the diplomatic disagreements between Charles and the Papal states. On 4 July 1738 Maria Amalia arrived to what was described as a euphoric welcome; the couple met for the first time on 19 June 1738 at Portella, a village on the kingdom's frontier near Fondi. At court, festivities lasted till 3 July when Charles created the Royal order of San Gennaro – the most prestigious chivalric order in the kingdom, he had the Order of Charles III created in Spain on 19 September 1771. Despite being an arranged marriage, the couple became close: it was noted and reported to her mother-in-law in Spain, that Charles seemed happy and pleased when he first met her. Maria Amalia was described as a beauty and as a skillful rider, she accompanied Charles on his hunts; as Queen, she exerted great influence upon politics despite her frequent illnesses, she participated in state affairs.
She ended the careers of several politicians she disliked, such as J. M. de Benavides y Aragón, conte di Santisteban. Y. de Montealegre, marchese di Salas. Her displeasure led directly to the latter being deposed as prime minister. Maria Amalia did not need to keep her influence secret: after the birth of her first son in 1747, she was given a seat in the council of state, she worked against the Spanish influence on Naples and in 1742 convinced Charles, against the will of Spain, to declare Naples neutral during the War of the Austrian Succession, during which Britain threatened to bomb Naples. In 1744, however she was forced to agree to declare war, she favored Great Britain before France and Austria. Maria Amalia was talked about because of her favorites, which were to have influence over her policy when she was ill, such as princess Anna Francesca Pinelli and duchess Zenobia Revertera. In 1754, she supported the career of Bernardo Tanucci as Foreign Minister. Maria Amalia was cultivated and played an important role in the construction of Caserta Palace, for which she saw her husband lay the foundation stone for on his 26th birthday, on 20 January 1752 amid much festivity.
However, they left Naples before its completion due to her declining health so they never lived in the palace. She was influential in the building of the Palace of Portici, the Teatro di San Carlo – constructed in just 270 days – the Palace of Capodimonte, her apartments at Portici were home to the famous porcelain from the Capodimonte Porcelain Manufactory which she who introduced the production of Porcelain in Naples in 1743. She was a heavy user of tobacco. Maria Amalia was a patron of the composer Gian Francesco Fortunati, a favorite at the Neapolitan court, she was criticized for being too religious from what was proper from someone not a member of a Catholic monastic order: she attended mass twice and four times a day and kept more devotions than what was normal for a nun or a monk, he lectured her that she was more fervent than what could be regarded as modest for a lay person. At the end of 1758, Charles' half brother Ferdinand VI was displaying the same symptoms of depression from which their father use
Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch, he died without surviving male heirs. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I. Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf, he used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. From the beginning, Leopold ignored these conditions, he ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He extracted a fortune from the territory by the collection of ivory, after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labour from the native population to harvest and process rubber.
He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death. Leopold's administration of the Congo was marred by murder and other atrocities, his regime was characterized by notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. Thousands were sold into slavery; these and other facts were established at the time by eyewitness testimony and on-site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry. Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from one million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million; some historians argue against this figure due to the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or sleeping sickness, the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation. In 1908 reports of deaths and abuse in the Congo induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo, free from Leopold's oversight.
Leopold was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835, the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, of his second wife, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. The French Revolution of 1848 forced Louis Philippe to flee to the United Kingdom; the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was Leopold II's first cousin, as Leopold's father and Victoria's mother were siblings. Louis Philippe died two years in 1850. Leopold's fragile mother was affected by the death of her father, her health deteriorated, she died of tuberculosis that same year. Three years in 1853, at the age of 18, he married Marie Henriette of Austria in Brussels on 22 August. Marie Henriette was a cousin of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor through her father, Austrian archduke Joseph. Marie Henriette was lively and energetic, endeared herself to the people by her character and benevolence, her beauty gained for her the sobriquet of "The Rose of Brabant", she was an accomplished artist and musician.
She was passionate about horseback riding to the point that she would care for her horses personally. Some joked about this "marriage of a stableman and a nun", the shy and withdrawn Leopold referred to as the nun. Four children were born of this marriage, three daughters and one son named Leopold; the younger Leopold died in 1869 at the age of nine from pneumonia after falling into a pond. His death was a source of great sorrow for King Leopold; the marriage became unhappy, the couple separated after a last attempt to have another son, a union that resulted in the birth of their last daughter Clementine. Marie Henriette retreated to Spa in 1895, died there in 1902. Leopold had many mistresses. In 1899, in his sixty-fifth year, Leopold took as a mistress Caroline Lacroix, a sixteen-year-old French prostitute, they remained together for the next decade until his death. Leopold lavished upon her large sums of money, gifts, a noble title, Baroness Vaughan. Owing to these gifts and the unofficial nature of their relationship, Caroline was unpopular among the Belgian people and internationally.
She and Leopold married secretly in a religious ceremony five days before his death. Their failure to perform a civil ceremony rendered the marriage invalid under Belgian law. After the king's death, it was soon discovered that he had left Caroline a large fortune, which the Belgian government and Leopold's three estranged daughters tried to seize as rightfully theirs. Caroline bore two sons who were Leopold's; as Leopold's older brother named Louis Philippe, had died the year before Leopold's birth, Leopold was heir to the throne from his birth. When he was 9 years old, Leopold received the title of Duke of Brabant, was appointed a sub-lieutenant in the army, he served in the army until his accession in 1865, by which time he had reached the rank of lieutenant-general. Leopold's public career began on his attaining the age of majority in 1855, when he became a member of the Belgian Senate, he took an active interest in the senate in matters concerning the development of Belgium and its trade, began to urge Belgium's acquisition of colonies.
Leopold traveled extensively abroad from 1854 to 1865, visiting India, China and the countries on the Mediterranean
Louis Philippe I
Louis Philippe I was King of the French from 1830 to 1848. His father Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans had taken the name "Philippe Égalité" because he supported the French Revolution. However, following the deposition and execution of his cousin King Louis XVI, Louis Philippe fled the country, his father denounced his actions and voted for his death, but was imprisoned and executed that same year. Louis Philippe spent the next 21 years in exile before returning during the Bourbon Restoration, he was proclaimed king in 1830 after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate by the July Revolution. The reign of Louis Philippe is known as the July Monarchy and was dominated by wealthy industrialists and bankers, he followed conservative policies under the influence of French statesman François Guizot during the period 1840–48. He promoted friendship with Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, notably the French conquest of Algeria, his popularity faded as economic conditions in France deteriorated in 1847, he was forced to abdicate after the outbreak of the French Revolution of 1848.
He lived out his life in exile in the United Kingdom. His supporters were known as Orléanists, as opposed to Legitimists who supported the main line of the House of Bourbon. Louis Philippe was born in the Palais Royal, the residence of the Orléans family in Paris, to Louis Philippe, Duke of Chartres, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon; as a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince of the Blood, which entitled him the use of the style "Serene Highness". His mother was an wealthy heiress, descended from Louis XIV of France through a legitimized line. Louis Philippe was the eldest of three sons and a daughter, a family, to have erratic fortunes from the beginning of the French Revolution to the Bourbon Restoration; the elder branch of the House of Bourbon, to which the kings of France belonged distrusted the intentions of the cadet branch, which would succeed to the throne of France should the senior branch die out. Louis Philippe's father was exiled from the royal court, the Orléans confined themselves to studies of the literature and sciences emerging from the Enlightenment.
Louis Philippe was tutored by the Countess of Genlis, beginning in 1782. She instilled in him a fondness for liberal thought; when Louis Philippe's grandfather died in 1785, his father succeeded him as Duke of Orléans and Louis Philippe succeeded his father as Duke of Chartres. In 1788, with the Revolution looming, the young Louis Philippe showed his liberal sympathies when he helped break down the door of a prison cell in Mont Saint-Michel, during a visit there with the Countess of Genlis. From October 1788 to October 1789, the Palais Royal was a meeting-place for the revolutionaries. Louis Philippe grew up in a period that changed Europe as a whole and, following his father's strong support for the Revolution, he involved himself in those changes. In his diary, he reports that he himself took the initiative to join the Jacobin Club, a move that his father supported. In June 1791, Louis Philippe got his first opportunity to become involved in the affairs of France. In 1785, he had been given the hereditary appointment of Colonel of the Chartres Dragoons.
With war imminent in 1791, all proprietary colonels were ordered to join their regiments. Louis Philippe showed himself to be a model officer, he demonstrated his personal bravery in two famous instances. First, three days after Louis XVI's flight to Varennes, a quarrel between two local priests and one of the new constitutional vicars became heated, a crowd surrounded the inn where the priests were staying, demanding blood; the young colonel broke through the crowd and extricated the two priests, who fled. At a river crossing on the same day, another crowd threatened to harm the priests. Louis Philippe put himself between a peasant armed with a carbine and the priests, saving their lives; the next day, Louis Philippe dove into a river to save a drowning local engineer. For this action, he received a civic crown from the local municipality, his regiment was moved north to Flanders at the end of 1791 after the August 27, 1791 Declaration of Pillnitz. Louis Philippe served under his father's crony, Armand Louis de Gontaut the Duke of Biron, along with several officers who gained distinction in Napoleon's empire and afterwards.
These included Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre de Beauharnais. After war was declared by the Kingdom of France on the Habsburg Monarchy on April 20, 1792, Louis Philippe saw his first exchanges of fire of the French Revolutionary Wars within the invaded by France Austrian Netherlands at Boussu, Walloon, on about April 28, 1792, at Quaregnon, Walloon, on about April 29, 1792, at Quiévrain, near Jemappes, Walloon, on about April 30, 1792, where he was instrumental in rallying a unit of retreating soldiers after the victorious Battle of Quiévrain only two days earlier on April 28th of 1792. Biron wrote to War Minister de Grave, praising the young colonel, promoted to brigadier, commanding a brigade of cavalry in Lückner's Army of the North. In the Army of the North, Louis Philippe served with four future Marshals of France: Macdonald, Mortier and Oudinot. Dumouriez was appointed to command the Army of the North in August 1792. Louis Philippe commanded a division under him in the Valmy campaign. At the September 20, 1792 Battle of Va
Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, Duchess of Orléans
Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre, Duchess of Orléans, was the daughter of Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre and of Princess Maria Theresa Felicitas of Modena. At the death of her brother, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon-Penthièvre, prince de Lamballe, she became the wealthiest heiress in France prior to the French Revolution, she married Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the "regicide" Philippe Égalité, was the mother of France's last king, Louis Philippe I, King of the French. She was sister-in-law to the princesse de Lamballe, was the last member of the Bourbon-Penthièvre family. Marie-Adélaïde was born on 13 March 1753 at the Hôtel de Toulouse, the family residence in Paris since 1712, when her grandfather, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse, bought it from Louis Phélypeaux de La Vrillière, her mother died in childbirth the following year. Styled Mademoiselle d'Ivoy and, as a young girl, until her marriage, Mademoiselle de Penthièvre; the style of Mademoiselle de Penthièvre had been borne by her sister Marie Louise de Bourbon, who died six months after Marie-Adélaïde's birth.
At birth, she was put in the care of Madame de Sourcy and, as was the custom for many girls of the nobility, she was raised at the Abbaye de Montmartre convent, overlooking Paris, where she spent twelve years. As a child, she was encouraged to take an active part in the charities for which her father had become known as "Prince of the Poor", his reputation for beneficence made him popular throughout France and, saved him during the Revolution. Upon the death, on 8 May 1768, of her brother and only sibling, the Prince de Lamballe, Marie-Adélaïde became heiress to what was to become the largest fortune of France, her marriage to Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, son of the Duke of Orléans, had been envisaged earlier and, while the Duke of Penthièvre saw in it the opportunity for his daughter to marry the First Prince of the Blood Royal, the Orléanses did not want another union with an illegitimate branch of the royal family. However, when the Prince de Lamballe's death left his sister sole heiress to the family fortune, the bar sinister on her inescutcheon was "overlooked".
Although Marie-Adélaîde was much in love with her Orléans cousin, Louis XV warned Penthièvre against such a marriage because of the reputation of the young Duke of Chartres as a libertine. Louis XV was fearful of the powerful leverage given the Orléans branch should it inherit the Penthièvre fortune. You are wrong, my cousin, said Louis XV to Penthièvre, the Duke of Chartres has a bad temper, bad habits: he is a libertine, your daughter will not be happy. Do not rush, wait! Mademoiselle de Penthièvre was presented to the King on 7 December 1768, in a ceremony called de nubilité, by her maternal aunt, Maria Fortunata d'Este, Comtesse de la Marche, she was greeted by the Dauphin and other members of the royal family. On that day, she was baptised by Charles Antoine de La Roche-Aymon, Grand Almoner of France, given the names Louise Marie Adélaïde, her marriage to the Duke of Chartres took place at the Palace of Versailles on 5 April 1769 in a ceremony which all of the princes du sang attended. The marriage contract was signed by all members of the royal family.
Afterwards, Louis XV hosted a wedding supper. Mlle de Penthièvre brought to the wealthy House of Orléans a dowry of six million livres, an annual income of 240,000 livres, the expectation of much more upon her father's death. During the first few months of their marriage, the couple appeared devoted to each other, but the duke went back to the life of libertinage he had led before his marriage. In the summer of 1772, a few months after his wife had given birth to a stillborn daughter, Philippe's secret liaison began with one of her ladies-in-waiting, Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St-Albin, Comtesse de Genlis, the niece of Madame de Montesson, the morganatic wife of Philippe's father. Passionate at first, the liaison cooled within a few months and, by the spring of 1773, was reported to be "dead". After the romantic affair was over, Félicité remained in the service of Marie-Adélaïde at the Palais-Royal, a trusted friend to both Marie-Adélaïde and Philippe, they both appreciated her intelligence and, in July 1779, she became the governess of the couple's twin daughters born in 1777.
In 1782, the young Louis Philippe was nine and in need of discipline. However, the Duke of Chartres could not think of someone better qualified to "turn his sons over to" than Mme de Genlis, thus she became the "gouverneur" of the Duchesse de Chartres' children. Teacher and pupils left the Palais-Royal and went to live in a house built specially for them on the grounds of the Couvent des Dames de Bellechasse in Paris. Mme de Genlis was an excellent teacher, but like those of her former lover, the Duc de Chartres, her liberal political views made her unpopular with Queen Marie Antoinette. In the dissemination of her ideas, de Genlis managed to alienate her charges from their mother. Marie-Adélaïde began to object to the education given her children by her former lady-in-waiting; the relationship between the two women became unbearable when Louis-Philippe, on 2 November 1790, one month after his seventeenth birthday, joined the revolutionary Jacobin Club. Marie-Adélaïde's relationship with her husband was at its worst at this point, the only way the two would communicate was through letters.
In the memoirs of the Baronne d'Oberkirch, Marie-Adélaïde is described as:...always wearing a melancholic expression which nothing could cure. She sometimes smiled, she never laughed.... Upon the death of her father-in-law Louis Ph