Louis-Charles, Count of Beaujolais

Louis-Charles, Count of Beaujolais

Prince Louis-Charles of Orléans, Comte de Beaujolais (October 17, 1779 - May 30, 1808) was the younger brother of King Louis-Philippe I of the French.


Louis-Charles was born in Paris, the third and youngest son of Louis-Philippe-Joseph, Duc d'Orléans, better known as "Philippe Égalité", and of his wife, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince du Sang.

In 1781 the Comtesse de Genlis was appointed to be the governess to Louis-Charles and to his two older brothers Louis-Philippe and Antoine. ["Memoirs of the Countess de Genlis" (New York: Wilder and Campbell, 1825), II, 88.] Two years later the abbé Mariottini, nephew of the apostolic nuncio to France was made his tutor, but he resigned in 1786 after a conflict with Madame de Genlis. Louis-Charles was then tutored by the first chamberlain Barrois, before being assigned to the under-governor Lebrun in 1789.

In April 1793 Louis-Charles was arrested with his father and imprisoned at Fort-Saint-Jean in Marseille. During his imprisonment he contracted tuberculosis, a condition which eventually caused his death. His father was executed in November 1793 but Louis-Charles remained imprisoned until August 1796 when the Directory decided to exile him and his brother Antoine to Philadelphia. The French chargé d'affaires in Philadelphia settled upon Louis-Charles an annual pension of 15,000 francs.

In February 1797 Louis-Charles and Antoine were joined in Philadelphia by their older brother Louis-Philippe. Together they travelled to New York City and Boston, and as far north as Maine and as far south as Nashville.

In September 1797 Louis-Charles and his brothers learnt that their mother had gone into exile in Spain, and so they decided to return to Europe. They went to New Orleans, planning to sail to Cuba and from there to Spain. The ship they took from New Orleans, however, was captured by a British warship in the Gulf of Mexico. The British seized the three brothers, but took them to Havana anyway. Unable to find passage to Europe, the three brothers spent a year in Cuba, until they were unexpectedly expelled by the Spanish authorities. They sailed via the Bahamas to Nova Scotia. Eventually, the brothers sailed back to New York, and in January 1800, they arrived in England, where they settled at Twickenham outside London.

In September 1804 Louis-Charles entered the Royal Navy, but his health did not allow him to continue a military career. In October he and his brothers went on a brief expedition to the French coast. They were fired upon by the French batteries at Boulogne but escaped without harm. ["The Times" (October 3, 1804): 2.]


In 1808, in an attempt to improve Louis-Charles' health, his older brother Louis-Philippe accompanied him on a voyage to Gibraltar, Sicily and Malta. Louis-Charles, however, continued to deteriorate; he died of tuberculosis a fortnight after his arrival on the island. His funeral took place on June 3. Ten years later his body was buried on April 10, 1818 in St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta. James Pradier designed and sculpted his tomb, a replica of which is at Dreux.

Louis-Charles' portrait was painted posthumously in 1818 by Albert Grégorius (now in the Palais Royal) and by Charles-Francois Phelippes (now in the Palais-Royal). Another portrait was painted in 1835 by Amédée Fauré (now at the Château d'Eu). There are copies of all three portraits in the Palace of Versailles. [Claire Constans, "Musée National du Château de Versailles, Les Peintures" (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1995).]


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1= 1. "Louis-Charles d'Orléans"'
2= 2. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
3= 3. Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre
4= 4. Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
5= 5. Louise Henriette de Bourbon-Conti
6= 6. Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
7= 7. Marie Thérèse Félicité d'Este-Modène
8= 8. Louis of Bourbon, Duke of Orléans
9= 9. Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden
10= 10. Louise-Élisabeth de Bourbon-Condé
11= 11. Louis Armand II de Bourbon, prince de Conti
12= 12. Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse
13= 13. Marie Victoire de Noailles
14= 14. Francesco III d'Este
15= 15. Charlotte Aglaé of Orléans
16= 16. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
17= 17. Françoise-Marie de Bourbon
18= 18. Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
19= 19. Sibylle Auguste of Saxe-Lauenburg
20= 20. Louis III, Prince of Condé
21= 21. Louise-Françoise de Bourbon
22= 22. François Louis, Prince of Conti
23= 23. Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon-Condé
24= 24. Louis XIV of France
25= 25. Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan
26= 26. Anne-Jules, 2nd duc de Noailles
27= 27. Marie-Françoise de Bournonville
28= 28. Rinaldo III, Duke of Modena
29= 29. Charlotte Felicity of Brunswick-Lüneburg
30= 30. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
31= 31. Françoise-Marie de Bourbon



* The Adami Collection - collection of Parish records of Marriages, legacy and nobility, National Library of Malta, vol 10, pp 1838.
* Abela, A.E. "A Nation's Praise - Malta: People, Places and Events. Historical Sketches". Progress Press, 1994. ISBN 99909-3-038-4

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