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Antique jewelry glossary

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Louis-Philippe, King of the French

Louis-Philippe I, King of the French (6 October 1773 - 26 August 1850) was King of the French from 1830 to 1848 in what was known as the July Monarchy. He was the last king to rule France, but his title was not King of France.

July Monarchy, King of the French (1830-1848)

In 1830, the July Revolution overthrew Charles X. Charles abdicated in favor of his 10-year-old grandson, the Duc de Bordeaux. Louis-Philippe was charged by Charles X to announce to the popularly elected Chambre des Députés his desire to have his grandson succeed him . Louis-Philippe did not do this in order to increase his own chances of succession. As a consequence, because the chamber was aware of Louis-Philippe's Republican policies and his popularity with the masses, they proclaimed Louis-Philippe, who for 11 days had been acting as the regent for his small cousin, as the new French king. In displacing the senior line of the House of Bourbon, Louis-Philippe succeeded where his father, Philippe Égalité, had failed.

In anger over what they regarded as his betrayal, Charles X and his family, including his grandson, left for Great Britain. The grandson, better known as the Comte de Chambord, later became the pretender to Louis-Philippe's throne and was supported by many nobles known as Legitimists.

In direct opposition to the absolutist tendencies of his Bourbon predecessors, Louis-Philippe took the style of King of the French, a constitutional innovation known as popular monarchy which linked the monarch's title to a people, not to a state, as the previous designation King of France did. In doing so, the new king sought to undercut the claims of Charles X and his family by repudiating the Legitimist theory of the divine right of kings.

By his ordinance of 13 August 1830, soon after his accession to the throne, it was decided that the king's sister and his children would continue to bear the arms of Orléans, that Louis-Philippe's eldest son, as Prince Royal, would bear the title Duc d'Orléans, that the younger sons would continue to have their existing titles, and that the sister and daughters of the king would only be styled Princesses d'Orléans, not "of France".

In 1832, his daughter, Princess Louise-Marie (1812-1850), married the first ruler of Belgium, King Leopold I. Interestingly, Leopold I's official title was King of the Belgians and not, King of Belgium. Thus, Louis-Philippe's daughter, Princess Louise-Marie, held the very similar title of Queen of the Belgians, just as her father was King of the French.

In July 1835 Louis-Philippe survived an assassination attempt by Giuseppe Mario Fieschi on the boulevard du Temple in Paris.

Louis-Phillippe ruled in an unpretentious fashion, avoiding the pomp and lavish spending of his predecessors. Despite this outward appearance of simplicity, his support came from the wealthy middle classes. At first, he was much loved and called the "Citizen King" and the "bourgeois monarch," but his popularity suffered as his government was perceived as increasingly conservative and monarchical. Under his management the conditions of the working classes deteriorated, and the income gap widened considerably. An economic crisis in 1847 led to the citizens of France revolting against their king again the following year.

From: Wikipedia

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