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Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
King of France and Navarre (disputed)
King of France and Navarre
Reign 2 August 1830 (20 minutes)
Predecessor Charles X
Successor Henry V (disputed, not proclaimed)
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
Reign 6 November 1836 – 3 June 1844
(&0000000000000007.0000007 years, &0000000000000210.000000210 days)
Predecessor Charles X
Successor Henry V
Spouse Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France
Father Charles X
Mother Princess Marie Thérèse of Savoy
Born 6 August 1775(1775-08-06)
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 3 June 1844 (aged 68)
Gorizia, then Austrian Empire (now in Italy)
Burial Kostanjevica Monastery, now in Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Louis-Antoine d'Artois, Duke of Angoulême (Louis-Antoine d'Artois, petit-fils de France (and later) fils de France, duc d'Angoulême, 6 August 1775 – 3 June 1844) was the eldest son of Charles X of France and, from 1824 to 1836, the last Dauphin of France. After his father's abdication in 1830, he enjoyed a disputed reign of twenty minutes, and after his father's death in 1836 was the legitimist pretender as Louis XIX, King of France and of Navarre.


Early life

Marie-Thérèse as a young refugee in Vienna in 1795 soon after her departure from Revolutionary France.

Louis-Antoine was born in 1775 as the eldest son of Charles, Duke of Artois, the youngest brother of King Louis XVI of France. From 1780 until 1789, Louis-Antoine and his younger brother, Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, were educated by the marquis de Sérent, their gouverneur, in the château de Beauregard, a few miles from Versailles[1]. On the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 the two young princes followed their father into exile in Turin, Italy, then to Germany and finally England. In 1792, Louis-Antoine joined the émigré army of his cousin, the Prince of Condé.

In June 1795, his uncle was proclaimed King Louis XVIII, and later that year the 20-year old Louis-Antoine led an unsuccessful royalist uprising in the Vendée. In early 1797, he joined his brother and uncle in the German Duchy of Brunswick hoping to join the Austrian Army. The defeat of Austria by France obliged them to flee, and they took refuge in Mittau, Courland, under the protection of Tsar Paul I of Russia. There on 10 June 1799, he married his cousin, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the eldest child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and the only member of the immediate royal family to survive the French Revolution. Since her release from the Temple Prison in 1795, she had been living at the Austrian court. They had no children.

Military service

In April 1800, Louis-Antoine took command of a regiment of cavalry in the Bavarian army and took part in the battle of Hohenlinden against the French, showing some ability.

In early 1801, Tsar Paul made peace with Bonaparte, and the French court in exile fled to Warsaw, then controlled by Prussia. For the next ten years, Louis-Antoine accompanied and advised his uncle, Louis XVIII. They returned to Russia when Alexander I became Tsar, but in mid-1807 the treaty between Bonaparte and Alexander forced them to take refuge in England. There, at Hartwell House, King Louis reconstituted his court, and Louis-Antoine was granted an allowance of £300 a month. Twice (in 1807 and 1813) he attempted to return to Russia to join the fight against Napoleon, but was refused permission by the Tsar. He remained in England until 1814 when he sailed to Bordeaux, which had declared for the King. His entry into the city on 12 March 1814 was regarded as the beginning of the Bourbon restoration. From there, Louis-Antoine fought alongside the Duke of Wellington to restore his cousin Ferdinand VII to the throne of Spain.

Flight to England and return

As chief of the royalist army in the southern Rhône River valley, Louis-Antoine was unable to prevent Napoleon's return to Paris and was again forced to flee to England during the "Hundred Days". After the final defeat of Bonaparte at Waterloo, he loyally served Louis XVIII . In 1823, he commanded a French intervention into the Spanish Civil War and was victorious in the Battle of Trocadero. For this achievement, he was awarded the title of a "Prince of Trocadero".

Upon the King's death in 1824, his father became King Charles X and Louis-Antoine became Dauphin, heir-apparent to the throne. He supported his father's policy of ridding France of her recent revolutionary and imperial past, expelling former imperial officers from the Army.

Abdication of father and son

In July 1830, in what became known as the July Revolution, masses of angry demonstrators demanded the abdication of Charles and of his descendants, in favour of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, and sent a delegation to the Tuileries Palace to force his compliance.

When Charles reluctantly signed the document of abdication on 2 August 1830, Louis-Antoine and his wife became king and queen of France, though the brevity of his effective reign makes it often unaccounted for by historians. It is said that the now-King Louis XIX spent the next twenty minutes listening to the entreaties of his wife not to sign, while the former Charles X sat weeping. After that he also abdicated (in favour of his nephew, the Duke of Bordeaux), making history as the shortest-ever reigning king. For the final time he left for exile, where he was known as the "Count of Marnes". He never returned to France.

Louis-Antoine and his wife travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland, in November 1830,and took up residence in a house in Regent Terrace near Holyrood Palace where Charles X was staying[2]. The Emperor Francis II of Austria in 1832 offered the Hradschin palace in Prague to the royal entourage so Louis-Antoine and Charles X moved there. Francis II, however, died in 1835, and his successor Ferdinand I told the French royal family he needed the palace for his coronation in the summer of 1836[2]. Louis-Antoine, Charles X and their entourage therefore left and eventually arrived at the castle of Graffenberg in Gorizia on 21 October 1836[2].

Many legitimists did not recognize the abdications as valid, and recognized Charles X as king until his death in 1836, with Louis XIX succeeding him thereafter. Louis-Antoine died in Görz, Austria, in 1844, aged 69. He was buried in his father Charles X's crypt in the church of the Franciscan Monastery of Kostanjevica near Görz, now in Slovenian city of Nova Gorica. Upon his death, his nephew the Duke of Bordeaux, who would use in exile the title of Count of Chambord, became head of the royal family of France.

See also


16. Louis, Dauphin of France and Duke of Burgundy
8. Louis XV of France
17. Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy
4. Louis, Dauphin of France
18. Stanisław Leszczyński
9. Maria Leszczyńska
19. Katarzyna Opalińska
2. Charles X of France
20. Augustus II of Poland
10. Augustus III of Poland
21. Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
5. Princess Marie-Josèphe of Saxony
22. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
11. Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria
23. Wilhelmina Amalia of Brunswick
1. Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
24. Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
12. Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia
25. Anne Marie d'Orléans
6. Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
26. Ernest Leopold, Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg
13. Polyxena Christina of Hesse-Rotenburg
27. Princess Eleonore of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort
3. Princess Marie Thérèse of Savoy
28. Louis, Dauphin of France
14. Philip V of Spain
29. Maria Anna of Bavaria
7. María Antonieta of Spain
30. Odoardo II Farnese
15. Elisabeth of Parma
31. Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Mackenzie-Stuart, A.J., (1995), A French King at Holyrood, John Donald Publishers Ltd., Edinburgh, ISBN 0 85976 413 3
Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 6 August 1775 Died: 3 June 1844
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles X
King of France and Navarre

2 August 1830
for fifteen or twenty minutes
July Revolution in progress
Succeeded by
Henri V
French royalty
Preceded by
Louis XVII
Dauphin of France
16 September 1824 – 2 August 1830
Title abolished
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Charles X
King of France and Navarre
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
6 November 1836 – 3 June 1844
Reason for succession failure:
July Revolution
Succeeded by
Henri V
French royalty
Preceded by
Charles, Count of Artois
Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
16 September 1824 – 2 August 1830
Succeeded by
Louis-Philippe III, Duke of Orléans
Family information
Louis, Dauphin of France
House of Bourbon
Charles X of France Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
Marie-Josèphe of Saxony
House of Wettin
Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
House of Savoy
Marie Thérèse of Savoy
Maria Antonietta of Spain
House of Bourbon

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