LOUIS PHILIPPE I., king of the French (1773-1850), was the eldest son of Louis Philip Joseph, duke of Orleans (known during the Revolution as Philippe Egalité) and of Louise Marie Adelaide de Bourbon, daughter of the duc de Penthiévre, and was born at the Palais Royal in Paris on the 6th of October 1773. On his father's side he was descended from the brother of Louis XIV., on his mother's from the count of Toulouse, “legitimated ” son of Louis XIV. and Madame de Montespan. The legend that he was a supposititious child, really the son of an Italian police constable named Chiapponi, is dealt with elsewhere (see MARIA STELLA, countess of Newborough). The god-parents of the duke of Valois, as he was entitled till 1785, were Louis XVI. and Queen Marie Antoinette; his governess was the famous Madame de Genlis, to Whose influence he doubtless owed many of the qualities which later distinguished him: his wide, if superficial knowledge, his orderliness, and perhaps his parsimony. Known since 1785 as the duc de Chartres, he was sixteen at the outbreak of the Revolution, into which-like his father-he threw himself with ardour. In 1790 he joined the Jacobin Club, in which the moderate elements still predominated, and was assiduous in attendance at the debates of the National Assembly. He thus became a persona gram with the party in power; he was already a colonel of dragoons, and in 1792 he was given a command in the army of the North. As a lieutenant-general, at the age of eighteen, he was present at the cannonade of Valmy (Sept. 20) and played a conspicuous part in the victory of Jemappes (Nov. 6).
The republic had meanwhile been proclaimed, and the duc de Chartres, who like his father had taken the name of Egalité, posed as its zealous adherent. Fortunately for him, he was too young to be elected deputy to the Convention, and while his father was voting for the death of Louis XVI. he was serving under Dumouriez in Holland. He shared in the disastrous day of Neerwinden (March 18,1 79 3); was an accomplice of Dumouriez in the plot to march on Paris and overthrow the republic, and on the 5th of April escaped with him from the enraged soldiers into the Austrian lines. He was destined not to return to France for twenty years. He went first, with his sister Madame Adelaide, to Switzerland where he obtained a situation for a few months as professor in the college of Reichenau under an assumed name) mainly in order to escape from the fury of the émigrés. The execution of his father in November I7Q3 had made him duke of Orleans, and he now became the centre of the intrigues of the Orleanist party. In 1795 he was at Hamburg with Dumouriez, who still hoped to make him king. With characteristic caution Louis Philippe refused to commit himself by any overt pretensions, and announced his intention of going to America; but in the hope that something might happen in France to his advantage, he postponed his departure, travelling instead through the Scandinavian countries as far north as Lapland. But in 1796, the Directory having offered to release his mother and his two brothers; who had been kept in prison since the Terror, on condition that he went to America, he sct sail for the United States, and in October settled in Philadelphia, where in February 1797 he was joined by his brothers the duc de Montpensier and the comte de Beaujolais. Two years were spent by them in travels in New England, the region of the Great Lakes, and of the Mississippi; then the news of the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire decided them to return to Europe. They returned in ISOO, only to find Napoleon Bonaparte's power firmly established. Immediately on his arrival, in February ISOO, the duke of Orleans, at the suggestion of Dumouriez, sought an interview with the comte d'Artois, through whose instrumentality he was reconciled with the exiled king Louis XVIII., who bestowed upon his brothers the order of the Saint Esprit. The duke, however, refused to join the army of Condé and to fight against France, an attitude in which he persisted throughout, while maintaining his loyalty to the king? He settled with his brothers at Twickenham, near As M. Chabaud de la Tour. He was examined as to his fitness before being appointed. Gruyer, p. 165.
2 This at least was his own claim and the Orleanist view. The matter became a question of partisan controversy, the legitimises asserting that he frequently offered to serve against France, but that London, where he lived till 1807-for the most part in studious retirement.
On the 18th of May 1807 the duc de Montpensier died at Christchurch in Hampshire, where he had been taken for change of air, of consumption. The comte de Beaujolais was ill of the same disease and in 1808 the duke took him to Malta, where he died on the 29th of May. The duke now, in response to an invitation from King Ferdinand IV., visited Palermo where, on the 25th of November 1809 he married Princess Maria Amelia, the king's daughter. He remained in Sicily until the news of N apoleon's abdication recalled him to France. He was cordially received by Louis XVIII.; his military rank was confirmed, he was named colonel-general of hussars, and such of the vast Orleans estates as had not been sold were restored to him by royal ordinance. The object may have been, as M. Debidour suggests, to compromise him with the revolutionary parties and to bind him to the throne; but it is more probable tha.t it was no more than an expression of the good will which the king had shown him ever since 1800. The immediate effect was to make him enormously rich, his wealth being increased by his natural aptitude for business until, after the death of his mother in 1821, his fortune was reckoned at some £8, o0o, oo0. Meanwhile, in the heated atmosphere of the reaction, his sympathy with the Liberal opposition brought him again under suspicion. His attitude in the House of Peers in the autumn of 1815 cost him a two years' exile to Twickenham; he courted popularity by having his children educated en bourgeois at the public schools; and the Palais Royal became the rendezvous of all the leaders of that middle-class opinion by which he was ultimately to be raised to the throne.
His opportunity came with the revolution of 1830. During the three “July days” the duke kept himself discreetly in the background, retiring first to Neuilly, then to Rainey. Meanwhile, Thiers issued a proclamation pointing out that a Republic would embroil France with all Europe, while the duke of Orleans, who was “ a prince devoted to the principles of the Revolution” and had “ carried the tricolour under fire ” would be a “ citizen king ” such as the country desired. This view Was that of the rump of the chamber still sitting at the Palais Bourbon, and a deputation headed by Thiers and Lafiitte waited upon the duke to invite him to place himself at the head of affairs. He returned with them to Paris on the 30th, and was elected by the deputies lieutenant-general of the realm. The next day, wrapped in a tricolour scarf and preceded by a drummer, he went on foot to the Hotel de Ville-the headquarters of the republican party where he was publicly embraced by Lafayette as a symbol that the republicans acknowledged the impossibility of realizing their own ideals and were prepared to accept a monarchy based on the popular will. Hitherto, in letters to Charles X., he had protested the loyalty of his intentions# and the king now nominated him lieutenant-general and then, abdicating in favour of his grandson the comte de Chambord appointed him regent. On the 7th of August, however, the Chamber by a large majority declared Charles X. deposed, and proclaimed Louis Philippe “King of the French, by the grace of God and the will of the people.”
The career of Louis Philippe as King of the French is dealt with elsewhere (see FRANCE: History). Here it must suflice to note something of his personal attitude towards affairs and the general effects which this produced. For the trappings of authority he cared little. To conciliate the revolutionary his oiiers were contemptuously refused. A. Debidour in the article “ Louis-Philippe ” in La Grande Encyclopédie supports the latter view; but see Gruyer, La Jeunesse, and E. Daudet, “ Une reconciliation de famille en ISOO, " in the Revue des Deux Mondes, Sept. 15, 1905, p. 301. M. Daudet gives the account of the interview left by the comte d>'Artois, and he also makes it clear that Louis Philippe, while protesting his loyalty to the head of his house, did not disguise his opinion that a Restoration would only be possible if the king accepted the essential changes made by the Revolution. 3 To say that these protestations were hypocritical is to assume too much. Personal ambition doubtless played a part; but he must have soon realized that the French people had wearied of “ legitim rsm and that a regency in the circumstances was lmpossrble.