Louis Philippe I

gigatos | May 20, 2022


Louis-Philippe I, or simply Louis-Philippe, born on October 6, 1773 in Paris (France) and died on August 26, 1850 in Claremont (United Kingdom), was the last king to have reigned in France, between 1830 and 1848, with the title of “King of the French”. Much less traditionalist than his predecessors, he embodied a major turning point in the conception and image of royalty in France.

First prince of the blood under the Restoration (as a descendant of Louis XIII), Prince Louis-Philippe successively bore the titles of Duke of Valois (1773-1785), Duke of Chartres (1785-1790) and finally that of Duke of Orleans (1793-1830) before acceding to the crown in 1830, his cousin Charles X having been overthrown by the “Three Glorious Ones” of 27, 28 and 29 July 1830.

Eighteen years at the head of a kingdom undergoing profound social, economic and political changes, Louis-Philippe – through the July Monarchy – tried to pacify a deeply divided Nation with the weapons of his time: establishment of a parliamentary regime, accession of the bourgeoisie to the manufacturing and financial affairs, allowing an economic boom of the first importance in France (industrial revolution).

The youngest branch of the Bourbons, the House of Orleans, then came to power. Louis-Philippe was not crowned king of France but enthroned king of the French. His reign, which began with the barricades of the 1830 revolution, ended in 1848 with other barricades, which drove him out to establish the Second Republic. The July Monarchy, which was that of a single king, marked the end of royalty in France. It followed the so-called “conservative” monarchy that constituted the Restoration between 1814 and 1830. The July monarchy was called “liberal”, and the monarch had to renounce the absolute monarchy of divine right (absolutism). The ideal of the new regime was defined by Louis-Philippe, answering at the end of January 1831 to the address sent to him by the city of Gaillac: “We will try to keep ourselves in a just middle ground, equally distant from the excesses of popular power and the abuses of royal power”. However, the fall of the regime that he had brought into being had for main causes on the one hand the pauperization of the “working classes” (peasants and workers) and on the other hand the lack of understanding on the part of the elites of the July monarchy for the aspirations of the whole of the French society.

After an agitation, the king replaces the minister François Guizot by Adolphe Thiers, who proposes the repression. Received with hostility by the troops stationed at the Carrousel, in front of the Tuileries palace, the king resolves to abdicate in favor of his grandson, the Count of Paris, as the new king under the name of Louis-Philippe II, entrusting the regency to his daughter-in-law, Hélène de Mecklembourg-Schwerin, but in vain. The Second Republic was officially proclaimed in the wake of this.

Louis-Philippe wanted to be a “citizen king” listening to the real country, called to the throne and linked to the country by a contract from which he wanted to derive his legitimacy. However, he did not respond to the desire to enlarge the electorate, for the most conservative by lowering the cens, for the most progressive by establishing universal suffrage.

Birth and education

Louis-Philippe d”Orléans was born at the Palais-Royal in Paris on October 6, 1773 and was anointed the same day by André Gautier, doctor of the Sorbonne and chaplain to the Duke of Orléans, in the presence of Jean-Jacques Poupart, parish priest of the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris and confessor to the king.

Grandson of Louis-Philippe d”Orléans, duke of Orléans (himself a grandson of Philippe d”Orléans, “The Regent”), he was the son of Louis Philippe Joseph d”Orléans, duke of Chartres (1747-1793), (later known as “Philippe Égalité”) and of Louise Marie-Adélaïde de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Penthièvre (1753-1821). He was titled duke of Valois from his birth to the death of his grandfather in 1785, then, his father having raised the title of duke of Orleans, duke of Chartres.

On May 12, 1788, Louis-Philippe d”Orléans was baptized the same day as his brother Antoine d”Orléans, in the royal chapel of the castle of Versailles by the bishop of Metz and great chaplain of France Louis-Joseph de Montmorency-Laval, in the presence of Aphrodise Jacob, parish priest of the church of Notre-Dame de Versailles: his godfather was the king Louis XVI and his godmother was the queen Marie Antoinette.

His education was initially entrusted to the Marquise de Rochambeau, who was appointed governess, and to Madame Desroys, sub-governor. At the age of five, the young Duke of Valois passed into the hands of the Chevalier de Bonnard, who was appointed deputy governor in December 1777. Following the intrigues of the Countess de Genlis, who was close to the Duke and the Duchess of Chartres, Bonnard was dismissed at the beginning of 1782, while the Countess de Genlis was appointed Governor of the royal children. The Countess de Genlis, a follower of a Rousseauist and moralizing pedagogy, captivated Louis-Philippe who confided in his Memoirs that, despite her severity, he had been a teenager almost in love with her.

Partisan of the Revolution

Like his father the Duke of Orleans, Louis-Philippe, who became Duke of Chartres in 1785, was a supporter of the French Revolution. Under the influence of his governess, Madame de Genlis, he joined the Jacobin club and supported the formation of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

Starting a military career, the Duke of Chartres took command of the 14th regiment of dragoons on June 1, 1791, with the rank of colonel. He was promoted to marshal of camp on May 7, 1792, and then took part at the head of the 4th brigade as lieutenant general in the battles of Valmy, Jemappes, where he played a significant role in avoiding the retreat of the center during the first assault, and Neerwinden (his title of lieutenant general in the service of the Republican armies earned him an inscription on the triumphal arch of the Étoile). Neerwinden was, however, a defeat in spite of the Duke of Chartres” talent as a strategist, the cause of which would come from harmful measures decreed by the Convention that caused disorganization and insubordination in the army. Following the battle of Valmy, he was sent to Paris to bring the news of the victory. He arrived on September 22 or 23 and was informed of his appointment as governor of Strasbourg. He obtained from Danton, Minister of Justice and then de facto leader of the regime, his retention in the active army, which had been refused to him by the Minister of War Servan, and passed under the command of General Dumouriez. Doubts about the Republic settled in for himself and his chief, General Dumouriez; they thought of installing a constitutional monarchy.

During the battles of Valmy, he tried to persuade his father not to participate in the trial of Louis XVI. However, Philippe Égalité voted for the death of the king. The responsibility for the regicide of his father remains however imputed to him: he was, thereafter, looked upon with hostility by the royalist emigrants.

In April 1793, he joined Belgium following his leader, General Dumouriez, after an attempted putsch against the Convention which led them to side with the Austrians.


He was proscribed by the revolutionary government, accused of collusion with the “traitor” Dumouriez. During the Terror, his father was tried and executed on November 6, 1793. He went to Switzerland where he worked as a teacher at the college of Reichenau in the Grisons under the name of Chabaud-Latour, but his false identity was unmasked, forcing him to emigrate again. In the following years, still under an assumed name, he visited the Scandinavian countries and went on an expedition to Lapland, which led him to the North Cape. “He was the first Frenchman to reach the North Cape, and in 1838 he sent a frigate to carry his bust to the place.

In 1796, the Directory agrees to the release of Louis-Philippe”s two young brothers on the condition that he embarks for the United States with them. They settled in Philadelphia, then made a “truly adventurous” four-month journey to the northeast of the country. Between the spring of 1798 and the fall of 1799, they stayed in Havana before being expelled from there by the Spanish government, eager to get closer to the Directory. The arrival to power of Bonaparte did not put an end to his exile during the Empire, and Louis-Philippe and his brothers settled in England in January 1800.

In 1809, Louis-Philippe put an end to vague plans of marriage with the daughter of King George III, Elisabeth of Hanover, which met with many difficulties. He took refuge in Sicily and married Amélie de Bourbon (1782-1866), princess of the Two Sicilies and daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies (she was the niece of Marie-Antoinette, sister of his mother and therefore cousin of Louis XVII and Madame Royale). The couple settled in Palermo, in the Orléans Palace, and had ten children.

Twice in 1808 and 1810, Louis-Philippe tried to take up arms in Spain against Napoleon”s armies, but his plans were thwarted by the refusal of the British government.

Prince of the blood (1814-1830)

After the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814, Louis-Philippe returned to live in France, where he received the title of Duke of Orleans that his father held, and was given back the Palais-Royal.

During the Restoration, the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, Louis-Philippe”s popularity grew. He embodied a measured opposition to the policies of the ultras of royalism and did not reject the entire French Revolution. Opposition which is illustrated in particular by his disapproval of the White Terror and his voluntary exile in England between 1815 and 1817. He was appointed by the king as general colonel of the hussars.

Louis-Philippe is careful to behave modestly and bourgeoisly, sending his sons to the Lycée Henri-IV. Nevertheless, this “comedy of simple manners” only imperfectly corresponds to the character of Louis-Philippe, who has the “pride of his race” and is infatuated with his birth. The day after the death of Louis XVIII, he obtained the rank of royal highness granted by Charles X.

Reconstitution of the heritage

On May 20, 1814, Louis XVIII gave back to Louis-Philippe by ordinance the goods that had not been sold or confiscated during the revolutionary period. Louis-Philippe”s father had left many claims at his death. Excellent in defending his rights, Louis-Philippe had inventories drawn up to accept estates and only paid debts that were recognized as valid. Untitled property was also assigned to him. He achieves this through the courts and with the help of his lawyer Dupin. The death of his mother in 1821 and his aunt the Duchess of Bourbon in 1822 also increased his fortune. Later, thanks to the new king Charles X, he was the largest of the beneficiaries of the 1825 Billion Emigrants Act. During the reign of the new king, he enlarged his residence in Neuilly. He imposed himself, thus, as a great negotiator making his patrimony bear fruit.

In the 1820s, he commissioned the painter Horace Vernet to paint pictures representing the battles of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, in which he himself had participated, such as at Valmy. These paintings are now kept at the National Gallery in London.

“Three Glorious Years

After a long period of ministerial, parliamentary and journalistic agitation, King Charles X attempted to curb the ardor of the liberal deputies with a constitutional coup de force through his Saint-Cloud ordinances of July 25, 1830. In response, Parisians rose up, set up barricades in the streets, and confronted the armed forces, commanded by Marshal Marmont, in fighting that left about 200 soldiers dead and nearly 800 insurgents dead. The riot quickly turned into a revolutionary insurrection.

During the night of July 28-29, new barricades were erected. On Thursday 29, at dawn, Marmont had to concentrate on a strip that went from the Louvre to the Étoile via the Tuileries and the Champs-Élysées.

Meanwhile, the number of Parisian fighters was constantly increasing. The national guards and the citizens who had weapons met as regularly as possible in order to organize the defense and the attack. The students of the École Polytechnique met in uniform on the Place de l”Odéon, and left from there to attack the Babylone barracks, to take away a convoy of ammunition that was being sent to the Guard, and then to spread out in Paris, fighting as they saw fit, each on his own side. The governor of the Invalides made warn the duke of Raguse that all the population of the Gros-Caillou was in arms and went to the Military School, from where it could cut the communications of the royal troops with Saint-Cloud by the bridge of Iéna.

In the morning, the 5th and 53rd line regiments, which held the Place Vendôme, passed to the insurgents. The 50th line regiment, which was then in the streets of Castiglione and Rivoli, was urged to imitate the example. Colonel Maussion, who commanded it, went to the two cannons that he had put in battery at the entrance of the rue Castiglione and threatened to fire if they advanced, and managed to contain the crowd. The 15th light and the 50th of line were sent to the Champs-Élysées in order to isolate them from the people.

On the eleven o”clock, a numerous column of insurgents advanced by the street of Richelieu. It stopped at the level of the passage Saint-Guillaume, and from there fired at everything in front of it. The defections led to the collapse of the military system: in order to seal the breach, Marmont had to clear the Louvre and the Tuileries. The Parisians gathered on the place Saint-Germain-l”Auxerrois, seeing no one occupying the colonnade, and learning that the Swiss had left the Louvre, had the doors opened. The Swiss, after having retaliated by a fire of battalion, had gone in disorder on the Carrousel whereas a part of the Parisians emerged after them, while the other gained the Tuileries. The royal troops then retreated to the Place Louis XV and continued their retreat, they came across a barricade on Avenue de Marigny before learning that a strong column, composed of inhabitants of Neuilly, Courbevoie, and surrounding villages, was heading for the Bois de Boulogne in order to occupy its gates, and to cut its communication with Saint-Cloud. General Saint-Chamans, who was at the barrière de l”Étoile, moved on this gathering, which dissipated after a few cannon shots. During this time the 15th light, the 50th line and the 1st regiment of the Guard were directed on Saint-Cloud by the quay of Chaillot, while the rest of the royal troops ran back in disorder through the Champs-Élysées to the barrier of the Étoile, where they took position and occupied a part of the faubourg du Roule. In the evening, the insurrection was in control of Paris and the remnants of the royal army took position from the bridge of Neuilly to the bridge of Sèvres in order to protect Saint-Cloud where the royal residence was located.

Abdication of Charles X and hesitation

On the third and last day of the insurrection, July 29, 1830, Charles X – who did not have the support of his best troops, who were in Algiers – gave in to the insurgents: he dismissed the minister Polignac, and appointed Casimir-Louis-Victurnien de Rochechouart de Mortemart, a moderate, as head of government. But when he arrived to face the revolutionaries, on the 30th, it was already too late: Charles X had already been deposed, and the municipal commission, which had become the provisional government, had already announced that “Charles X had ceased to reign over France.

On August 2, Charles X, retired to Rambouillet, abdicated, and convinced his son – the dauphin – to countersign this abdication. He entrusted his cousin, the Duke of Orleans, with the task of announcing that his abdication was in favor of his grandson, the Duke of Bordeaux (the future “Count of Chambord”), making the Duke of Orleans the regent (see “Abdication of Charles X”).

Nothing having been foreseen, a race between different ideas of successor begins. Some shout the name of Napoleon, others advance with the cries of the Republic, of which La Fayette would be the hope, but these two solutions are frightening. Also, although the Bourbons seem definitively to have no more future, others, such as Thiers, are partisans of a royalist orleanist alternative, in favor of the duke of Orleans, rather popular, and France hesitates.

Thiers, like many deputies, does not believe that the establishment of a stable republican regime is possible: he will do everything then, with others such as Mignet, to double the republicans on the line, in favor of the Orleanist cause. It remains to convince the aforementioned prince. Thiers manages to do it, without great difficulty, through the intermediary of the sister of the duke of Orleans, Mrs Adélaïde. The deputies then named the duke of Orleans Lieutenant-general of the kingdom, title which he accepted on July 31.


On July 31, 1830, the liberal deputies present in the capital managed, with the complicity of La Fayette, to tame the republican insurrection that had driven out Charles X and taken control of the capital, by proclaiming Louis-Philippe d”Orléans lieutenant general of the kingdom.

In France, the title of lieutenant general of the kingdom was given, at rare periods in history, to princes who exercised royal authority in the event of the absence or impediment of the legitimate king. Thus, during the First Restoration in 1814, the Count of Artois, who had preceded Louis XVIII in Paris, had taken the title of Lieutenant General of the Kingdom. After the days of July, the formula was chosen because it did not insult the future. By avoiding to say from whom Louis-Philippe got his powers – from Charles X? from the Chamber of Deputies? – one also avoids entering too quickly into quarrels of constitutional order to agree on what, at this moment, appears like the greatest common denominator between rival factions and contradictory aspirations: the person of Louis-Philippe.

The same day, Louis-Philippe sent Captain Dumont d”Urville to Le Havre with orders to charter the two largest American liners he could find and to take them to Cherbourg. The maritime prefect of Cherbourg received a secret dispatch indicating the destination of the liners and recommending that “S.M. le roi Charles X et sa famille soient entourés des marques du plus grand respect tant à Cherbourg qu”à bord des navires”. Finally, Louis-Philippe designated the commissioners in charge of accompanying the king on his way to exile: Odilon Barrot, the marshal Maison, Auguste de Schonen and the duke of Coigny.

Advent of a new regime

Returned to Rambouillet, the general de Girardin reports to Charles X the answer of Louis-Philippe. On the advice of Marmont, the king will try a last maneuver by abdicating to his grandson to try to save the dynasty.

But the lieutenant-general refused to enthrone the young duke of Bordeaux, and thus buried the virtual reign of “Henri V”. Subsequently, Louis-Philippe gave three different reasons for refusing to recognize the double abdication of Charles X and his son:

On August 3, the lieutenant general granted a pension of 1,500 francs to the author of La Marseillaise, Rouget de Lisle, out of his personal coffers. He promoted to the rank of second lieutenant all the students of the École polytechnique who had fought during the Three Glorious Years and awarded decorations to the students of the faculties of law and medicine who had distinguished themselves. In a more questionable way, he appointed baron Pasquier, who had served all the previous regimes, to the presidency of the Chamber of Peers, granted the right to sit in the Chamber of Peers to the duke of Chartres and to the duke of Nemours the grand-cross of the Legion of Honor. On August 6, he decides that the Gallic cockerel will decorate the flagstaff of the national guard.

In the Palace of Luxembourg, the peers can only note their absence of catch on the course of the events. Chateaubriand makes a magnificent speech in which he pronounces himself in favor of Henri V and against the duke of Orleans. By 89 votes out of 114 present (out of the 308 peers having deliberative voice), the Upper House adopts the declaration of the deputies with a slight change concerning the nominations of peers made by Charles X, for which it relies on the high prudence of the prince lieutenant general.


The modalities for the enthronement ceremony of the new king are set for Sunday, August 8:

The official proclamation ceremony of the July Monarchy took place on August 9, 1830 at the Palais Bourbon, in the provisional room of the Chamber of Deputies, decorated with tricolored flags. Three stools were placed in front of the throne, next to which were placed, on cushions, the four symbols of royalty: the crown, the scepter, the sword and the hand of justice. In the hemicycle, the ninety or so peers present, in their street clothes, were seated on the right, instead of the legitimist deputies who were not present at the ceremony, while the center and the left were occupied by the deputies. None of the diplomats accredited in Paris appeared in the stands reserved for the diplomatic corps.

At two o”clock in the afternoon, Louis-Philippe, escorted by his two eldest sons, the Duke of Chartres and the Duke of Nemours, appeared to acclaim. All three were in uniform, with no other decoration than the grand cordon of the Legion of Honor. The duke of Orleans greeted the assembly and took place on the central stool, in front of the throne, having his sons on either side, then, having made them sit, he covered himself, in accordance with the old monarchic customs. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Casimir Perier, reads the declaration of August 7, after which the president of the Chamber of Peers, baron Pasquier, brings the act of adhesion of the upper chamber. Louis-Philippe then declares to accept without restriction or reserve “the clauses and commitments and the title of king of the French” and that he is ready to swear to observe them. The guard of seals, Dupont de l”Eure, presents him the formula of oath, inspired by that of 1791, which Louis-Philippe, uncovering himself and raising his right hand, pronounces in a strong voice:

The assembly then acclaimed the new king while three marshals and a general of the Empire came to present him with the attributes of royalty: the crown for Macdonald, the scepter for Oudinot, the sword for Mortier and the hand of justice for Molitor. Thus ascending to the throne at the age of 57, Louis-Philippe sat down and made a brief speech. He then entered the Palais-Royal in the company of his sons, without an escort and shaking hands along the way.

The ceremony aroused the enthusiasm of the supporters of the new regime, but was the object of sarcasm from its opponents. It marked the official starting point of the July monarchy: in ten days, the popular insurrection was confiscated for the benefit of the duke of Orleans by Thiers, Laffitte and their friends, with the blessing of La Fayette. The new regime, fruit of a bastard compromise, displeased both the republicans, who reproached it for its lack of popular ratification, and the legitimists, who saw it as a usurpation. But, in the bottom, the monarchy of July is not so badly granted to the state of the opinion. The people who revolted against the Bourbons did not do so in order to establish the republic, and the small handful of activists who fanned the flames know this well; they rose up spurred on above all, as Thiers saw it well, by hatred of the “priestly party” which Charles X and Polignac had seemed to install in power. As for the bourgeoisie of the cities and the former notabilities of the Empire, they sought, in favor of the movement, to take their share of a power which they judged more and more confiscated, under the Restoration, to the profit of an aristocracy reduced to its ultra fraction. From this double point of view, the July monarchy, which was resolutely secular and gave the bourgeoisie the upper hand, responded to the aspirations of the country.

Installation of the new regime

Under the jeers of the legitimists, the “citizen-king” distributed handshakes to the crowd; in front of the Palais-Royal, there were constant gatherings of people calling for Louis-Philippe to sing La Marseillaise or La Parisienne. But, as the chansonnier Béranger well understood, the king played a role of composition and was not long in throwing off the mask.

The revolutionaries met in popular clubs, claiming to be the clubs of the 1789 revolution, many of which were extensions of republican secret societies. They demanded political and social reforms and the death sentence of the four ministers of Charles X who had been arrested while trying to leave France (see the article Trial of the Ministers of Charles X). Strikes and demonstrations multiplied and aggravated the economic stagnation.

In the fall of 1830, in order to stimulate activity, the government voted a credit of 5 million to finance public works, primarily roads. Then, faced with the increasing number of bankruptcies and rising unemployment, especially in Paris, the government proposed to grant a state guarantee for loans to companies in difficulty within an envelope of 60 million; in the end, the Chamber voted in early October for a credit of 30 million for subsidies.

On August 27, the July monarchy had to face its first scandal with the death of the last prince of Condé, who was found hanging from the espagnolette of his bedroom window in the Château de Saint-Leu. Louis-Philippe and Queen Marie-Amélie were accused without proof by the legitimists of having had him assassinated to allow their son, the Duc d”Aumale, who had been appointed his universal legatee, to get his hands on his immense fortune.

The supporters of “Henri V”, who contest the legitimacy of Louis-Philippe”s accession to the throne, are part of the legitimists known as henriquinquists. Indeed, the “true” legitimists consider that Charles X is still king and that his abdication is null, Louis-Philippe being considered as a usurper. His legitimacy was not only questioned by the Count of Chambord, but also by the Republicans. Louis-Philippe therefore governed in the center, bringing together the royalist (Orleanist) and liberal tendencies.

On August 29, Louis-Philippe reviewed the National Guard of Paris, which cheered him. “This is better for me than the coronation of Rheims,” he exclaimed, embracing La Fayette. On October 11, the new regime decided that rewards would be given to all the wounded of the “Three Glorious” and created a commemorative medal for the fighters of the July Revolution. In October, the government presents a bill intended to compensate the victims of the July days up to 7 millions.

On August 13, the king decided that the arms of the House of Orleans (of France with a silver label) would henceforth adorn the seal of the State. The ministers lost the titles of Monseigneur and Excellence and became Monsieur le ministre. The king”s eldest son was named Duke of Orleans and Royal Prince; the king”s daughters and sister became Princesses of Orleans.

Laws reversing unpopular measures taken during the Restoration were passed and promulgated. The amnesty law of 1816, which had condemned former regicides to proscription, was repealed, with the exception of its article 4, which condemned members of the Bonaparte family to banishment. The church of Sainte-Geneviève was once again withdrawn from Catholic worship on August 15 and was renamed the Pantheon, a secular temple dedicated to the glories of France. A series of budgetary restrictions hit the Catholic Church, while on October 11, the “law on sacrilege” of 1825, which punished the desecration of consecrated hosts with death, was repealed.

Laffitte Department

“If the leader must be M. Laffitte, confided Louis-Philippe to the duke of Broglie, I agree to it provided that he is himself in charge of choosing his colleagues, and I warn in advance that, not sharing his opinion, I would not know how to promise him to lend him help”. One could not be clearer; nevertheless, the formation of the cabinet gives place to long negotiations and Laffitte, misled by the marks of friendship that the king lavishes him, believes that this last grants him a true confidence.

The trial of the ex-ministers of Charles X took place from December 15 to 21 before the Chamber of Peers, surrounded by the riot that demanded their death. Sentenced to life imprisonment, with civil death for Polignac, the ministers escaped the lynching thanks to the presence of mind of the Minister of the Interior, Montalivet, who managed to get them to the safety of the fort of Vincennes. The National Guard maintained calm in Paris, affirming its essential role as the bourgeois militia of the new regime.

On December 15, the presentation of the king”s civil list – which reached the colossal amount of 18 million francs – caused such an outcry that it had to be withdrawn.

The riots which took place in Paris on February 14 and 15, 1831 were to cause the fall of the ministry. They originated in the celebration, on the 14th, of a funeral service organized in Saint-Germain-l”Auxerrois by the legitimists in memory of the duke of Berry. The religious ceremony actually took a much more political turn, that of a demonstration in favor of the “Count of Chambord. The revolutionaries saw this as an intolerable provocation, invaded the church and sacked it. The next day, the crowd ransacked the archbishop”s palace, which had already been devastated during the “Three Glorious Years”, before looting several churches. The movement spread to the province where seminaries and episcopal palaces were looted in several cities.

The government refrains from reacting energetically. The prefect of the Seine, Odilon Barrot, the prefect of police, Jean-Jacques Baude, the commander of the National Guard of Paris, General Mouton, remained passive. And when the government finally took action, it was to arrest the archbishop of Paris, Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen, the priest of Saint-Germain-l”Auxerrois, and other priests accused, along with a few royalist notables, of having engaged in provocation.

To calm the spirits, Laffitte, supported by the royal prince, proposed to the king a strange parade: to remove the fleurs-de-lis on the seal of the State. Louis-Philippe tried to evade, but he ended up signing the ordinance of February 16, 1831, which replaced the arms of the House of Orleans with a shield bearing an open book with the words Charter of 1830. It was then necessary to have the fleurs-de-lis removed from the king”s carriages, from official buildings, etc. Louis-Philippe did violence to himself, but for Laffitte, it was a Pyrrhic victory: from that day on, the king was determined to get rid of him without further delay.

Casimir Perier Ministry

On March 13, 1831, Laffitte was replaced by the main figure of the party of resistance, Casimir Perier. The formation of the new ministry gave rise to delicate negotiations with Louis-Philippe, who was not anxious to weaken his power and was suspicious of Perier. But Perier ended up imposing his conditions, which revolved around the pre-eminence of the president of the Council over the other ministers and the possibility for him to convene, in the absence of the king, cabinet meetings. Perier also demanded that the royal prince, who professed advanced liberal ideas, cease to participate in the Council of Ministers. For all that, Perier did not want the lowering of the crown, of which he wished on the contrary to raise the prestige, forcing for example Louis-Philippe to leave his family residence, the Palais-Royal, to settle in the palace of the kings, the Tuileries (September 21, 1831).

On March 18, 1831, Perier took the floor before the Chamber of Deputies to present a sort of declaration of general policy: “It is important, he said, that the newly constituted cabinet make known to you the principles which presided over its formation, and which direct its conduct. It is necessary that you vote in full knowledge of the facts, and that you know to which system of policy you lend your support. The principles that presided over the formation of the government are those of ministerial solidarity and the authority of the government over the administration. The principles that the government intended to implement were, on the internal level, “the very principles of our revolution”: “the principle of the July revolution is resistance, and, on the external level, “a peaceful attitude and respect for the principle of non-intervention”.In the second half of May 1831, Louis-Philippe, accompanied by Marshal Soult, made an official trip to Normandy and Picardy, where he was warmly welcomed. From June 6 to July 1, with his two eldest sons, the Prince Royal and the Duke of Nemours, as well as the Count of Argout, he toured eastern France, where the republicans and Bonapartists were numerous and active. The king stopped successively in Meaux, Château-Thierry, Châlons, Valmy, Verdun, Metz, Lunéville, Strasbourg, Colmar, Mulhouse, Besançon and Troyes. The trip was a success and gave Louis-Philippe the opportunity to assert his authority.

On May 31, 1831, at Saint-Cloud, Louis-Philippe signed an ordinance dissolving the Chamber of Deputies, setting the date of the elections for July 5 and convening the chambers for August 9. On June 23, in Colmar, a new ordinance advanced this date to July 23.

The general elections took place without incident, according to the new electoral law of April 19, 1831. The result disappointed Louis-Philippe and Casimir Perier: nearly half of the deputies were newly elected, and it was not known how they would vote. On July 23, the king opened the parliamentary session; the speech from the throne developed the program of Casimir Perier”s government: strict application of the Charter inside, strict defense of the interests and independence of France outside. The two chambers held their first session on July 25. On August 1, Girod de l”Ain, the government”s candidate, was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies against Laffitte, but Casimir Perier, believing that he had not obtained a sufficiently clear majority, immediately submitted his resignation.

Louis-Philippe, very embarrassed, sounded out Odilon Barrot, who evaded by pointing out that he had only about a hundred votes in the Chamber. On August 2 and 3, during the election of the quaestors and secretaries, the Chamber elected ministerial candidates such as André Dupin and Benjamin Delessert. In the end, the invasion of Belgium by the king of the Netherlands, on August 2, forced Casimir Perier to resign in response to the Belgian request for a French military intervention.

“Illustrious swords” and “superior talents

In October 1832, Louis-Philippe called to the presidency of the Council a man of confidence, Marshal Soult, the first incarnation of the political figure known as the “illustrious sword”, which the July Monarchy would reproduce over and over again. Soult could rely on a triumvirate made up of the three main political figures of the moment: Adolphe Thiers, the Duke of Broglie and François Guizot, what the Journal des Débats called “the coalition of all talents” and that the king of the French will eventually call with resentment a “Casimir Perier in three persons.”

In a circular addressed to senior civil and military officials as well as to senior magistrates, the new President of the Council summarized his line of conduct in a few words: “The political system adopted by my illustrious predecessor will be mine. Order within and peace without will be the surest guarantees of its duration.

The ministerial reshuffle of April 4, 1834 coincided with the return of a quasi-insurrectionary situation in several cities of the country. Already, at the end of February, the promulgation of a law subjecting the activity of town criers to authorization had led to several days of skirmishes with the Parisian police.

With the law of April 10, 1834, the government decided to toughen the repression of unauthorized associations, in order to counter the main republican association, the Society of Human Rights. On the day of the final vote of this text by the Chamber of Peers, April 9, the second insurrection of the Lyon canuts broke out. Adolphe Thiers, Minister of the Interior, abandoned the city to the insurgents and recaptured it on April 13, leaving 100 to 200 dead on both sides.

The Republicans sought to extend the insurrection to other provincial cities, but their movement failed in Marseilles, Vienne, Poitiers, and Châlons. The troubles were more serious in Grenoble and especially in Saint-Étienne on April 11, but everywhere order was quickly restored. In the end, it was in Paris that the agitation took on the greatest importance.

Thiers, who foresaw unrest in the capital, concentrated 40,000 men there, whom the king reviewed on April 10. As a preventive measure, he had 150 of the main leaders of the Society of Human Rights arrested and its organ, the virulent daily La Tribune des départements, banned. Nevertheless, on the evening of the 13th, barricades began to be erected. With General Bugeaud, who commanded the troops, Thiers personally directed the operations to maintain order. The repression is ferocious. The troops, having been shot at from the 12th street Transnonain, the chief of the detachment had the house stormed; all the occupants – men, women, children, old people – were massacred with bayonets, which was immortalized in a famous lithograph by Honoré Daumier.

First Thiers ministry (February – September 1836)

The king took advantage of the ministerial crisis to get rid of the doctrinaires, that is to say not only the duc de Broglie, but also Guizot, to replaster the ministry with a few creatures of the Third Party to give it the illusion of an inflection to the left, and to put Adolphe Thiers at its head with the intention of detaching him definitively from the doctrinaires and to wear him down until the hour of Count Molé, whom the king had long since resolved to call to the presidency of the Council, sounded. Entangled in convoluted negotiations, this plan was implemented as Louis-Philippe intended: the new ministry was formed on February 22, 1836.

The same day, Thiers spoke before the Chamber of Deputies: he justified the policy of resistance carried out until then, but he remained very vague about his program, limiting himself to promising “better days” and to challenging “systems”.

In the Chamber, which on March 22 easily adjourned the proposal to convert the annuities – proof, if any were needed, that the subject had been no more than a pretext – the debate on the secret funds, marked by a remarkable speech by Guizot and a evasive reply by the Minister of Justice, Sauzet, was concluded by a vote largely favorable to the government.

If Thiers accepted the presidency of the Council and took the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, it was because he hoped to be able to negotiate the marriage of the Duke of Orleans with an Archduchess of Austria: since the attack of Fieschi, the marriage of the heir to the throne, who had just turned twenty-five years old, was the obsession of Louis-Philippe, and Thiers could see himself, like a new Choiseul, as the architect of a spectacular reversal of alliances in Europe. But the attempt ended in failure: Metternich and the Archduchess Sophie, who dominated the court of Vienna, rejected an alliance with the Orleans family, which they considered to be insecure on its throne.

Alibaud”s attack against Louis-Philippe on June 25 justified their fears. To the failure on the international level was added for Thiers, a failure on the internal level, with the resurgence of the republican threat, so much so that the inauguration of the triumphal arch of the Étoile, on July 29, which should have been the occasion of a great ceremony of national harmony, during which the July monarchy would have warmed up to the glory of the Revolution and the Empire, took place in secret, at seven o”clock in the morning, and without the presence of the king.

To restore his popularity and to take revenge on Austria, Thiers toyed with the idea of a military intervention in Spain, which Queen Regent Marie-Christine, confronted with the Carlist rebellion, demanded. But Louis-Philippe, supported by Talleyrand and Soult, resolutely opposed it, which led to Thiers” resignation. This time, the government fell not as a result of a hostile vote of the Chamber – Parliament was not in session – but because of a disagreement with the king on foreign policy, proof that the parliamentary evolution of the regime remained quite uncertain.

Marriage of his daughter with the King of the Belgians

When the negotiations for her marriage to the King of the Belgians were rushed, the princess did not hide her repugnance at what she called “a sacrifice of reason, a very painful sacrifice for the future”.

Twenty-two years older than her, the first king of the Belgians was an austere Lutheran, widowed 14 years ago of Princess Charlotte, heir to the throne of England, whom he had loved deeply. As a child, she saw him dining at Twickenham or Neuilly, and she remembered him as a cold and morose man. As she described it to her friend Antonine de Celles, her fiancé “was as indifferent to her as the man who passed in the street”.

This marriage, which displeased the princess so much, inspired Alfred de Musset, a former classmate of the princess” brothers, to write the plot of the play Fantasio.

On August 9, 1832, 20-year-old Louise married 42-year-old Leopold I, King of the Belgians.

The ceremony was not celebrated in Paris but in Compiègne. Romain-Frédéric Gallard, bishop of Meaux, blessed the royal couple according to the Catholic rite, and then Pastor Goepp, of the Augsburg Confession, renewed the blessing according to the Lutheran rite. For political reasons, the children of the couple were raised in the religion of their subjects, which was also that of their mother.

To enhance the brilliance of the civil marriage ceremony, King Louis-Philippe chose prestigious witnesses for the princess: the Duke of Choiseul, one of his aides-de-camp, Barbé-Marbois, First President of the Court of Auditors, Portalis, First President of the Court of Cassation, the Duke of Bassano, Marshal Gérard and three deputies, Alphonse Bérenger, André Dupin and Benjamin Delessert. On the other hand, he had to suffer the humiliation of a refusal, that of the duke of Mortemart, who had accepted to be appointed, in 1830, ambassador in Saint Petersburg, but who, in his heart, remained faithful to the legitimate monarchy.

Leopold I, who had never forgotten Charlotte, but considered his second wife a dear friend, regularly spent evenings in the queen”s salons at the castle of Laeken, where Louise read recent works aloud. During the day, she takes care of her children:

Wedding of the Duke of Orleans

When Molé took the podium on April 18, the deputies were eagerly awaiting him. Gentlemen,” announced the President of the Council, “the King has charged us with communicating to you an event that is equally happy for the State and for his family…” This is the future marriage of the royal prince with Princess Helen of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The announcement of this news cut short all criticism and debate. The deputies can only ratify the increase of the dowry of the duke of Orleans, and the dowry of the queen of the Belgians, which is represented to them at once, the more so as Molé specifies to them that “S.M. decided that the request presented for the prince his second son .

On the strength of this skilful start, the government got through the debate on the secret funds without a hitch, despite the attacks of Odilon Barrot. An ordinance of May 8, well received by the Chambers, decreed a general amnesty for all politically convicted persons. At the same time, crucifixes were re-established in the courts and the church of Saint-Germain-l”Auxerrois, which had been closed since 1831, was restored to worship. To show that order had been restored, the king reviewed the National Guard on the Place de la Concorde.

The marriage of the Duke of Orleans was celebrated with pomp and circumstance at the Château de Fontainebleau on 30 May 1837.

Transformation of the Palace of Versailles

A few days later, on June 10, Louis-Philippe inaugurated the Palace of Versailles, which he had had restored since 1833 to house a history museum dedicated “to all the glories of France”, and where, as part of a policy of national reconciliation, the military glories of the Revolution and the Empire, and even those of the Restoration, were displayed alongside those of the Ancien Régime. These military campaigns, represented in large canvases installed in the Battle Gallery, also include the Mexican War and the fight with the Dutch for Antwerp. They end with the colonization of Algeria, which began under Charles X.

He had already commissioned the painter Horace Vernet, in 1827, when he was only Duke of Orleans, to paint four pictures of battles from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, including the Battle of Valmy, in which he had participated. In 1838, he commissioned seven more battle paintings, which became fourteen in 1840 for the “King”s Pavilion”. He completed them with his own expeditions to Mexico and Belgium.

Second Thiers ministry (March – October 1840)

The fall of the Soult ministry forced the king to call upon the principal figure of the left, Adolphe Thiers, to form the new government. There was even less of an alternative on the right as Guizot, appointed ambassador to London to replace Sébastiani, had just left for the United Kingdom.

For Thiers, it was time for revenge: he intended to take advantage of this return to business to wash away the affront of 1836 and to commit the regime definitively to the path of parliamentarianism, with a king who “reigned but did not govern”, according to his famous formula, and a ministry emanating from the majority of the Chamber of Deputies and responsible to it. This was obviously not Louis-Philippe”s conception. The last round of a decisive game between the two conceptions of constitutional monarchy and the two readings of the Charter that had clashed since 1830 was thus played out.

The ministry was formed on March 1, 1840. Thiers pretended to offer the presidency of the Council to the Duke of Broglie, then to Marshal Soult, before “devoting himself” and taking it himself, together with the Foreign Affairs. The team was young, 47 years old on average, and its leader was himself only 42 years old, which made him say with a laugh that he had constituted a cabinet of “young people.

From the outset, relations were difficult with the king, who took (or pretended to take) Thiers” return as a real “humiliation. Louis-Philippe embarrassed Thiers by suggesting that the marshal”s baton be given to Sébastiani, who was returning from his embassy in London: the head of the government was torn between his desire to please one of his political friends and his fear that this first measure would appear to be guided by the same favoritism that he had previously reproached the “castle ministries. He thus decided to wait and the king, according to Charles de Rémusat, “does not insist and takes the thing dryly, like a man who expects it and who is not annoyed to note from the first step the resistance of his ministers to his most natural wishes”.

In Parliament, on the other hand, Thiers scored points in the debate on the secret funds that had begun on March 24, where he obtained confidence by 246 votes to 160.

Napoleonic heritage

At the same time that he flattered the conservative bourgeoisie, Thiers caressed the desire for glory of a large part of the left. On May 12, 1840, the Minister of the Interior, Rémusat, announced to the Chamber of Deputies that the king had decided that the mortal remains of Napoleon I would be buried at Les Invalides. With the agreement of the British government, the prince of Joinville will go to St. Helena on a warship, the frigate Belle-Poule, and will bring them back to France.

The announcement arouses an immense effect in the opinion, which is immediately inflamed with patriotic fervor. Thiers saw in it the completion of the undertaking to rehabilitate the Revolution and the Empire that he had led with his Histoire de la Révolution française and his Histoire du Consulat et de l”Empire, while Louis-Philippe – who had only been persuaded with difficulty to attempt an operation of which he was aware of the risks – sought to capture for his own benefit a little of the imperial glory by appropriating Napoleon”s symbolic legacy, just as he had appropriated that of the legitimate monarchy at Versailles.

Wanting to take advantage of the movement of Bonapartist fervor, Prince Louis-Napoleon disembarked at Boulogne-sur-Mer on August 6, 1840, accompanied by a few accomplices, including one of Napoleon I”s companions on St. Helena, General de Montholon, with the hope of rallying the 42nd line regiment. The operation was a total failure: Louis-Napoleon and his accomplices were arrested and imprisoned in the fort of Ham. Their trial was held before the Chamber of Peers from September 28 to October 6, to general indifference. The prince, defended by the famous legitimist lawyer Berryer, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment.

In Algeria, faced with the murderous raids launched by Abd el-Kader in retaliation for the Iron Gates raid carried out by Marshal Valée and the Duke of Orleans in the autumn of 1839, Thiers pushed for the colonization of the interior of the territory up to the limits of the desert. He convinced the king, who saw Algeria as an ideal theater for his sons to cover his dynasty with glory, of the merits of this orientation and persuaded him to send General Bugeaud to Algeria as Governor General. Horace Vernet was again commissioned to illustrate the conquest of Algeria for the Battle Gallery and the Morocco Room in Versailles.

Influence of Guizot

By calling to power Guizot and the doctrinaires, that is to say the center-right after the center-left of Thiers, Louis-Philippe was probably far from thinking that this combination would last until the end of his reign. He probably imagined that after a few months he would be able to return to Molé. However, the team thus constituted will prove to be welded around the strong personality of Guizot and this one will not be long in gaining the confidence of the king until becoming his favorite Prime Minister, making him forget Molé.

Guizot, who left London on October 25, arrived in Paris the next day. He subordinated his return to business to the possibility of composing the ministry as he wished. With skill, he limited himself to taking the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and left the nominal presidency of the ministry to Marshal Soult: this satisfied the king and the royal family without bothering Guizot in any way on the essentials, because the aging Marshal was ready, as long as he was given a few satisfactions of detail, to let him govern as he wanted. The center-left having refused to remain in the government, the latter included only conservatives, from the ministerial center to the doctrinaire center-right.

The column of July is erected in memory of the Three Glorious. The question of the East was settled by the Convention of the Straits in 1841, which allowed a first Franco-British rapprochement. This favored the colonization of Algeria conquered by Charles X.

The government is Orleanist, as well as the Chamber. This one is divided between :

Crisis of the monarchy

In 1846, the harvest was very bad. The increase in the price of wheat, which reached a record high in the summer of 1847, the basis of the food supply, caused a shortage of wheat, which could not be replaced by potatoes because of the many diseases associated with potatoes at that time. In order to alleviate the shortages, the government imported wheat from imperial Russia, which made the balance of trade negative. Purchasing power decreased. The domestic consumer market was no longer growing, leading to an industrial crisis of overproduction. Immediately the bosses adapt by firing their workers. Immediately, there was a massive withdrawal of popular savings, the banking system was in crisis. Bankruptcies multiply, stock market prices fall. The great works stop. The excessive speculation on the railroad market caused the “financial bubble” to burst and ruined savers.

To this economic crisis was added a political crisis. In 1847, the king, who was 75 years old, became more and more authoritarian and forgot that he was only there to represent the continuity of the state and, according to a famous formula of Thiers, that he was only there to reign and not to govern. Guizot, for his part, was completely confident and did not hear the protests that sometimes came from his own camp. Some deputies of the party of the resistance proposed to Guizot some light reforms which the government could be satisfied with and which would satisfy the Orleanist left, excluded from the power since 1840, but Guizot remained inflexible and refused to change his political line. He thus alienated a part of the bourgeois oligarchy, the founding base of the regime, and led the regime towards its inevitable fall.

To make matters worse, France was also in a rather thorny international situation, particularly with the United Kingdom. Following the Pritchard affair where the French violated the British area of influence, Guizot, a convinced pacifist, multiplied the discussions to avoid a war. The Entente Cordiale was signed between the two countries in 1843, during the meeting between Queen Victoria and Louis-Philippe at the Château d”Eu. This treaty of friendship was strongly reproached to him, indeed, the major part of the population was then anti-British and found in Guizot a convinced Anglophile, the image of the statesman was dented.

Since associations were restricted and public gatherings were forbidden from 1835, opposition was blocked. To get around this law, opponents followed the civil funerals of some of them, which turned into public demonstrations. Family celebrations and banquets were also used as a pretext for gatherings. The campaign of banquets, at the end of the regime, takes place in all the big cities of France. Louis-Philippe hardened his speech and prohibited the closing banquet on January 14, 1848. The banquet, postponed to February 22, will provoke the revolution of 1848.

Last years of the reign

From 1842, the installation in the Ivory Coast begins, by the treaty of Grand-Bassam. The French troops first took over the lagoon area.

In 1843, through the intermediary of Rochet d”Héricourt, a treaty of friendship and trade was signed with the sovereign of Choa Sahle Selassie.

As a sign of the Entente Cordiale between France and the United Kingdom, King Louis-Philippe received Queen Victoria at his castle in Eu on two occasions in 1843 and 1845, while he visited the British sovereign at Windsor Castle in 1844.

Victor Hugo mentions in Choses vues that this king willingly pardoned those sentenced to death, saying of the death penalty, “I have hated it all my life.”

For a few years, Louis-Philippe reigned rather modestly, avoiding the arrogance, pomp and excessive spending of his predecessors. Despite this appearance of simplicity, the king”s supporters came from the middle class. At first he was loved and called the “Citizen King”, but his popularity suffered when his government was perceived as increasingly conservative and monarchical. He is regularly mocked, caricatured (often in the form of a pear), mocked and doubts about his talents as a bourgeois monarch crystallize in this word of Victor Hugo: “The current king has a great amount of small qualities.” For his part, Alexandre Dumas, who recounted the days of July, in which he participated, expresses the deep disappointment that the sovereign has finally aroused in the bourgeoisie: the Three Glorious had brought to the throne “a king in his image. This king, she mirrored herself in him, until she herself broke the glass where she ended up seeing herself too much in ugly.”

The support initially given to the party of the “Movement” led by Adolphe Thiers gave way to the conservatism embodied by François Guizot. Under his leadership, the living conditions of the working classes deteriorated, with the income gap increasing considerably. An economic crisis in 1846-1848 and scandals involving government officials (the Teste-Cubières affair, the Choiseul-Praslin affair), combined with the actions of the Republican party which organized the banquet campaign, led the people to a new revolution against the king when the latter forbade the banquet of February 22, 1848, leading to the resignation of Guizot on February 23.

French Revolution of 1848

In the week before the revolution, the king does not realize the seriousness of the events that are preparing. Prince Jerome Napoleon tries, during a visit to the Tuileries, to warn him. He tells the scene to Victor Hugo, who reports it in his notebooks on February 19. The king is satisfied to smile and to say:

“My prince, I fear nothing.” And he adds, “I am needed.”

On the evening of the same February 23, 1848, the crowd strolled under lanterns to show its joy and considered going under Guizot”s windows to boo him. The discontent had been so deep for months and the tension of the last few hours so sharp that the slightest incident could still jeopardize this “legalistic” and improvised settlement of the crisis and rekindle the revolutionary ardor. In the Capucines district, a street was blocked by the 14th line infantry regiment and the provocation of a demonstrator carrying a torch towards an officer had tragic consequences. Believing themselves to be threatened, the guard opened fire, leaving 35 to more than 50 people dead, depending on the source, which “justified” the rebound and the amplification of the protest movement, whereas appeasement seemed to be on the right track. This shooting on the Boulevard des Capucines, the walking of the corpses, at night, by torchlight, on a cart in the streets of Paris, the call of the tocsin announcing the massacre, between 11 p.m. and midnight, from Saint-Merri to Saint-Sulpice, revived the insurrection. Since there were 52 martyrs, they robbed the gunsmiths and built barricades. There were soon 1,500 of them all over the city. The working world elbows the student youth and the petty bourgeoisie.

The shooting on the Boulevard des Capucines set off the fire. On the night of February 23-24, 1848, Paris was bristling with barricades. In the early morning, the rioters of the previous day became revolutionaries. Leaving his home early, the historian Alexis de Tocqueville remarked: “The middle of the street was empty; the stores were not open; no carriages or pedestrians were to be seen; the ordinary cries of the itinerant merchants were not heard; in front of the doors, the neighbors were talking among themselves, in half voices, in small groups, with a frightened look, all their faces upset by worry or by anger. I crossed a national guard who, rifle in hand, walked with a hurried step and a tragic bearing; I accosted him, but could learn nothing from him, except that the Government was massacring the people.

Upset by the dramatic outcome of the shooting on Boulevard des Capucines, King Louis-Philippe made the mistake of entrusting the command of the troops in the capital to the unpopular Marshal Bugeaud, whose name rhymes with repression. As for the ministers, in order to restore order, they wanted to “flood” Paris with the National Guard. But its members (those who had not fraternized with the revolutionaries) had the greatest difficulty in containing the increasingly violent insurgents. The Parisians attacked 35 of them who held a post at the corner of the Place de la Concorde and Avenue Gabriel. They attacked the water tower. The detachment that defended the big building located in the middle of the alleys separating the place of the Palais Royal from the Carrousel was smoked, overrun and partly massacred.

As the riot approached the Tuileries Palace, where the royal family resided, Louis-Philippe put on a uniform and went to review the 4,000 infantrymen and the three legions of the National Guard, presumed to be faithful to the established order, charged with defending the palace. The king was greeted by the hostile cries of the troops and, disconcerted, returned to his cabinet. But he no longer had a government: overwhelmed by the events, the count of Molé, in charge of constituting a new ministry after the dismissal of François Guizot, gave his resignation. Louis-Philippe resigned himself without enthusiasm to call upon Adolphe Thiers, one of his former heads of government. The latter accepted only on condition that he be joined by Odilon Barrot, the leader of the dynastic opposition, who moaned: “Thiers is not possible, and I am hardly possible.

In the street, the king was known to be totally isolated. Overwhelmed, Bugeaud”s troops withdrew, leaving the capital in the hands of the insurgents. The leaders of the republican party and the secret societies took the lead of the revolutionary movement: in a few hours, the power tilted. Adolphe Thiers kept repeating that “the tide was rising, rising. Odilon Barrot was given an ultimatum by François Arago, a deputy of the extreme left: “Abdication before noon … or else the revolution!” The journalist Émile de Girardin burst into the Tuileries, and declared that the king must abdicate.

Abdication and flight from Paris

Louis-Philippe questions the generals present: “Is the defense still possible? No answer. “I abdicate”, he then professes, completely demoralized at the idea to finish “like Charles X”. Queen Marie-Amélie begged him not to “consume such a cowardice”, proclaimed the need to defend herself: she would be killed in front of him before anyone could touch her person. But the sovereign, supported by his son, the duke of Montpensier, takes place at his office, and, without hurrying, with his large handwriting, writes and signs his act of abdication: “I abdicate this Crown that the national voice had called me to carry, in favor of my grandson the Count of Paris. May he succeed in the great task that falls to him today”. It is thus at the end of 17 years of reign, on February 24, 1848 at midday, that Louis-Philippe abdicates in favour of his grandson, Philippe d”Orléans (his son Ferdinand-Philippe having died in 1842).

Shortly afterwards, the king exchanged his uniform and his bicorn for a frock coat and a round hat, and, giving the arm to the queen, joined the Place de la Concorde by the central alley of the Tuileries garden. The insurgents are at the gates of the palace, and nothing has been planned for the departure of the royal family. The wait seemed interminable, until two Broughams and a cabriolet finally pulled up at the bottom of the Orangerie. Louis Philippe, the Queen and three of their grandchildren boarded one of the cars, which immediately set off for Saint-Cloud. They had not yet passed the barrier of Passy when the people invaded the Tuileries. Symbolically, the crowd seized Louis-Philippe”s throne and carried it to the Place de la Bastille, where the last royal throne of France was finally burned under the cheers of the people. The Chamber of Deputies, although at first ready to accept the grandson of the deposed sovereign as king, had to face insurgents who invaded the Bourbon Palace. Following public opinion, the Second Republic was finally proclaimed in front of the Paris City Hall.

The old deposed sovereign, on his way to exile, would not have stopped repeating: “Worse than Charles X, a hundred times worse than Charles X…”.

Departure from France

Traveling in an ordinary car under the name of “Mr. Smith”, the deposed king embarked on March 2 in Le Havre on a liner bound for England where he settled with his family at Claremont Castle (Surrey) provided by Queen Victoria.

Death and burial

Louis-Philippe died on August 26, 1850 at the age of 76 in his place of exile. He was buried in the chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo in Weybridge. In 1876, his body and that of his wife, Queen Marie-Amélie, who died on March 24, 1866, were brought back to the royal chapel of Saint-Louis, the family necropolis that his mother had built in 1816 in Dreux, and that he himself had enlarged during his reign.


1804: Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (the marriage does not succeed.

1809 : Marie-Amélie of Bourbon-Siciles, princess of the Two Sicilies (1782-1866), daughter of king Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and archduchess Marie-Caroline of Austria.


(non exhaustive list)

External links


  1. Louis-Philippe Ier
  2. Louis Philippe I
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