French dynastic disputes

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The French dynastic disputes refer to a set of disputes in the history of France regarding the person who should inherit the crown.

Four such disputes had been identified:

At the moment, there are three main groups who claim the crown:

It further notes:


The Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom of France

To better understand three of the four dynastic disputes regarding the succession to the French throne, it is necessary to have an understanding of the ancient constitution of the Capetian monarchy. The fundamental laws of the Kingdom of France referred to certain fixed rules that the French public law has placed above the sovereign will. They were the unwritten laws which were invoked during the ages when serious difficulties arose: in them can be seen the foundation of the monarchy. Their origin coincides with the development of the House of Hugh Capet; they are related to that house, they existed as long as it reigned, and when the old French monarchy disappeared, they disappeared with it.

The fundamental laws concerning the royal succession

In Ancien Régime France, the laws that govern the succession to the throne are among the fundamental laws of the kingdom. They could not be ignored, nor modified, even by the king himself, since it is to these very laws to which he owes his succession. In the French monarchy, they are the foundation of any right of succession to the throne. They have developed during the early centuries of the Capetian monarchy, and were sometimes transferred to other countries linked to the dynasty.

  • Heredity: the French crown is hereditary. The early Capetians had their heirs crowned during their lifetime, to prevent succession disputes. The first such coronation was in favor of Robert II, in 987.
  • Primogeniture: the eldest son is the heir, while cadets only receive appanages to maintain their rank. This principle was strengthened in 1027, when Henry, the eldest surviving son of Robert II, was crowned despite the protests of his mother, Constance of Arles, and younger brother, Robert.
  • Masculinity: females are excluded from the succession. This issue was not raised until 1316, as the Capetian kings did not lack sons to succeed them for the preceding three centuries. This was invoked by Philip V of France to exclude his niece, Joan, daughter of his elder brother.
  • Male collaterality: the right of succession cannot be derived from a female line. This was invoked in 1328 by Philip VI of France, to counter the claims of Edward III of England, making the succession exclusive to the Capetian family.
  • Continuity of the Crown (or immediacy of the Crown): as soon as the king dies, his successor is immediately king because "the King (the State) never dies". Philip III, who was in Tunis when his father died, was the first to date his reign from the death of his predecessor (1270), instead of his own coronation. Orders made under Charles VI, in 1403 and 1407, anxious to avoid any interregnum, declared that the heir to the throne should be considered King after the death of his predecessor. But even after these decisions, Joan of Arc persisted in the old position by calling Charles VII, whose father died in 1422, the "Dauphin" until his coronation at Reims in 1429
  • Inalienability of the Crown (or unavailability of the Crown): the crown is not the personal property of the king. He cannot appoint his successor, renounce the crown, or abdicate. This principle arose circa 1419, in anticipation of the Treaty of Troyes, which sought to exclude the Dauphin Charles from the succession. The succession can no longer be regulated by the king, and would rely only on the force of custom.
  • Catholicism: this principle was not specifically identified in the Middle Ages, but it was implied. Since the baptism of Clovis, the kings of France were Catholic. The Protestantism of Henry of Navarre led to a civil war wherein the king had to reestablish his legitimacy. In the famous Arrêt Lemaistre (1593), Parlement protected the rights of the legitimate successor, Henry of Navarre, but deferred his recognition as legitimate king, pending his conversion.

It is clear that the constitution of the fundamental laws is empirical: masculinity, Catholicity and inalienability for example, have been added or rather clarified because there is uncertainty on points considered already implied by others or by custom (as was the case for masculinity, practiced with the rule of male collaterality, in 1316 and 1328 before being formulated in 1358 and formally put into effect in 1419). The 'fundamental' character of the laws was that they could be supplemented in order to clarify, but not changed, or have any or all of the basic laws ignored to change the direction of the whole. It also appears that the role of parliaments is essential in these various clarifications, the fourteenth to the eighteenth century or the nineteenth century if we add the episodes from the history of the French Capetian dynasty in 1830, 1848, 1875 and 1886.

The throne of the Valois

Template:Main article The first two French dynastic disputes are linked to the succession in 1328, of the House of Valois on the throne of France, and later, their successor in 1589 after their extinction in the legitimate male line.

It is noteworthy that, although the Valois dynasty reigned in France since 1328, the dispute related to this succession cannot be extinguished until 1453. The problem of the succession of Navarre was set more than a hundred years later, as the heir to the throne who was to inherit the crown of France in 1589. Note, however, the period of the years 1420-1801 when, according to the Treaty of Troyes, the kings of England, and of Great Britain and the United Kingdom are considered legitimate heirs because of a legal act.

The Valois succession


In 1328, Edward III of England unsuccessfully claimed the French throne, which passed instead to Philip of Valois. The legal basis of this outcome is a corollary to the masculinity principle established in 1316. Women do not have a right to the throne; hence, no right of succession can be derived from them (Nemo dat quod non habet). Edward III had to give in, and for nine years the matter seemed resolved.

But the ancient alliance of the Scottish and the French, the disputes over the suzerainty of Gascony, and Edward III's expansionist policy against Scotland, led to a long war between the kingdoms of England and France. To alleviate the pressure on the Scots, Philip VI confiscated the French possessions of Edward III. In doing this, he was only following the actions of his Capetian predecessors, who took over most of the Plantagenet inheritance in this manner. But instead of submitting, Edward III revived his claim to the French throne, and began the Hundred Years' War.

In the Treaty of Troyes, Henry V of England married Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France. Henry recognized Charles as king for the remainder of his life, while he would be the king's regent and heir. The treaty was ratified by the Estates General the next year, after Henry entered Paris. But Henry predeceased Charles, and it would be his infant son Henry VI who would inherit according to the Treaty of Troyes.

The Treaty of Troyes threw the French in an uncomfortably humiliating position. To accept its terms meant that a defeated King of France could be coerced to hand over his kingdom to the enemy. To counter this act, the French developed the principle of the inalienability of the crown. The succession is to be governed by the force of custom alone, rather than by the will of any person or body. This effectively removed the king's power to relinquish his kingdom, or disinherit the heirs, the princes of the blood. From that moment the succession to the French throne was firmly entrenched in the Capetian lineage. As long as it continued to exist, the Estates cannot elect a new king. By this principle, the French do not consider Henry VI of England as one of their kings. Charles VII of France directly succeeded his father, not his nephew. Curiously, the French kings never asked the English monarchs to drop their nominal claim to France, which they persistently retained until 1800.

The Bourbon succession

Template:Main article As early as the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou, brother of Henry III of France, in 1584, the succession of Henry of Navarre, Head of the House of Bourbon, had been a likely eventuality. Henry III was the sole remaining representative of the House of Valois, and he was still childless. The laws of succession designated the head of the next branch of the Capetian family as heir presumptive. Normally this would not have been controversial; but the 16th century was a period of religious discord in France, and Henry of Navarre was the chief of the Protestant party. For the Catholics, France is the eldest daughter of the Church; the anointing of the king implied that he must belong to the Catholic faith. Ultra-Catholics rejected Henry of Navarre as a relapsed heretic; they would not accept him even if he converted again. Moderate Catholics supported Navarre, provided that he would convert.

At the death of Henry III, Henry of Navarre became Henry IV of France. He was the legitimate successor designated by the Salic law, but his authority was rejected by most of Catholic France. Next in line to Henry in the throne of France was his elderly uncle Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon. The cardinal had been detained by Henry III for having been the royal candidate of the Catholic League and Spain. After Henry III's death he fell in Henry IV's custody.

The Parlement of Paris proclaimed the cardinal as King Charles X of France in 1589. But despite their similar names, the French Parlement is not an equivalent of the British Parliament, which had the power to choose the king and regulate the succession. The French Parlement is a court of justice, not a sovereign legislative body.

Events favored the cause of Henry IV. He won brilliant victories at Arques and Ivry. In 1591, the Cardinal de Bourbon died. The heir presumptive of Henry IV was now the infant Prince of Condé, son of a Protestant prince. The remaining Bourbons supported the claim of their chief. The Catholic League were left without a plausible successor to the throne. Henry converted to Catholicism in 1593, and was anointed at Chartres the next year.

The proclamation of Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, as King Charles X, went against the principle of primogeniture, and was therefore void. By the principle of continuity of the crown, the reign of Henry IV is dated from 1589, immediately after the death of his predecessor, and not from 1594, when he was crowned, or in 1593, when he became a Catholic. Contrary to the interpretation of the League, the late conversion of the "relapsed heretic" Henry IV was not enough to exclude him from the succession.

Arrêt Lemaistre emphasized the fulfillment of all the principles of royal succession prior to the recognition of a king:

  • Masculinity could be fulfilled by any male;
  • Male collaterality could only be fulfilled by an agnate of the royal line;
  • Primogeniture could only be fulfilled by one person, the head of the royal line;
  • Inalienability meant that no member of the royal line can be deprived of his position, since it would break the order of primogeniture;
  • Catholicity can be fulfilled by any Catholic.

Hence, at any point in time only one person has the potential of fulfilling all the conditions of French kingship — the chief of the Capetian dynasty. His non-fulfillment of the only remaining condition, Catholicism, will not necessarily exclude him, such being contrary to the inalienability principle. By not being a Catholic, what he actually does is to delay the full acquisition of his royal powers, which would be exercised by other persons, as happened during the Protestantism of Henry IV (1589-1593).

The dispute of the Bourbons and Orléans

The current dynastic dispute concerns the devolution of the crown between the two extant branches of the Capetian dynasty: the Bourbons and the Orleans, legitimately descended from the two sons of Louis XIII.

  • The Bourbons descend from the elder son, Louis XIV of France, surviving in the male-line to the present through his grandson Philippe, Duke of Anjou, who became Felipe V, King of Spain in 1700, where his male-line continues to reign as the House of Borbón.
  • The Orléans descend from Louis XIII's younger son, Philippe, Duke of Orleans. But Louis XIV's senior line of descendants produced several more French kings, including Louis XVI, who was executed in 1791, his only son, styled Louis XVII, was never enthroned and died aged 13 in a French prison in 179?. Louis XVI's younger brothers, having previously fled into exile during the French Revolution, returned to France and mounted the throne as, respectively, Louis XVIII from 1814 to 182? and Charles X from 18??. When revolution again drove Charles from the country, accompanied by his son and grandson in 1830, his kinsman the 6th Duke of Orléans became Louis Philippe, King of the French, until he and his children were likewise banished in 1848.

France returned to republicanism briefly before the Bonapartes again took power and proclaimed an empire under Napoleon III until 1870.

The primitive movements of Legitimism and Orléanism arose around the exiled Bourbon and Orléans monarchs and their heirs, followers advocating the restoration of their respective branches and forms of monarchy. Supporters of Louis-Philippe's line later became one of the great French parties in the Chamber of Deputies.

Following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, monarchists achieved a majority in the French legislature by 1873. Although Philippe "Égalité" d'Orléans had voted in the revolutionary Assembly for the execution of his cousin Louis XVI de Bourbon before himself being guillotined two years later, and his son Louis Philippe had crowned himself when the Bourbon king was dethroned rather than Louis XVIII's elder son, the Duke of Angoulême, or his grandson, Henri d'Artois, Count of Chambord.

Since then, two new schools of royalists clash, but this time in a republic, emerging from the early years of post-revolutionary Orléanism and Legitimism in France, between 1830 and 1870:

  • The faction that relied on the fundamental laws and principles of the ancien régime as its sole justification has, since 1883, embraced the Spanish Bourbons, male-line descendants of Philippe d'Anjou, as the senior branch,[note 1]
  • The faction which considers as valid the renunciation to the French throne of Philippe d'Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. It is now defended by the Orleanists in the person of Henri d'Orleans, Count of Paris. It is not the Orléanism known in the 19th century, since this branch considers itself as legitimate, within the meaning of fundamental laws.

The majority obtained by royalists in the National Assembly coupled with the "fusion" or reconciliation effected between Henri, Count of Chambord and Philippe, Count of Paris on 5 August 1873 made restoration of the monarchy likely under the childless Chambord, with the Orléans as his eventual successors, provided only that he would reign under the tricolor, symbol of the people's sovereignty.[1][2][3] He would not.[1] This time the Orléans refrained from making a bid for the crown while the head of the dynasty lived, and by the time Chambord died inn 1883 the Assembly's monarchist majority had dwindled away and the impetus for restoration had been lost.[1][2][3] The Legitimists broke up. Most followed Orleans, but a few turned to the Spanish branch.[3]

In the early twentieth century, a revival of doctrine is observed: university theses of quality supported the rights of the Bourbons of Spain.[4] The response to these works eventually revived Legitimism after World War II, in favor of Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, son of Alfonso XIII of Spain, who had renounced his rights to the Spanish throne.

Their arguments, now purely academic, rests on the interpretation of the fundamental laws and the renunciations in the Treaty of Utrecht.

Law of succession according to the French Constitution of 1791

The French Constitution of 1791, Title III, Chapter II, Section I, codified the ancient succession law of the Kingdom of France:

Kingship is indivisible and delegated hereditarily to the race on the throne, from male to male, by order of primogeniture, to the perpetual exclusion of women and their descendants.

Followed by a parenthesis:

(Nothing is prejudged on the effect of renunciations in the race on the throne.)

The last statement was inserted in September 1789, during the development of the 19 original articles, following heated debates on the meaning and value of the renunciations of Philip V of Spain in Utrecht.

Vice de pérégrinité and Catholicity: Arrêt Lemaistre

To consider the Bourbons as non-dynasts in France, the Orleanists based their claims on an interpretation of the Arrêt Lemaistre, taken by the parliament sitting at Paris on June 28, 1593. Orleanists claim, that a "vice de pérégrinité" (defect of foreignness) affects princes who become foreigners, with "no intention of returning," that is to say, having ceased to be a subject of the King of France and prince of the blood of France, and excluding them and their descendants from the succession.

Context of the Arrêt Lemaistre

Since 1589 and the death of the last Valois king Henry III, the heir to the throne by primogeniture and male collaterality was his cousin in the 21st degree, Henry of Navarre. Catholics reject him because he is Protestant, and they believe the coronation of the Kings of France makes Catholicism intrinsic to the French monarchy. Many, however, are willing to accept him provided he converted to Catholicism. But this requirement does not appear (yet) in the fundamental laws.

Other competitors for the throne of France are certainly Catholics but descendants of kings by women: the Duke of Lorraine (grandson of Henry II, but by his daughter Claude), the Duke of Savoy (son of Margaret of France, sister of Henry II) and the Infanta of Spain, who claimed the throne of France as a granddaughter of King Henry II of France, by her mother. Yet inheritance by agnatic primogeniture and male collaterality are among the fundamental laws of the French succession.

The question then, is whether the principle of masculinity must be subordinated to the principle of Catholicity (estimated to have been previously implied by the fundamental laws as intrinsic to the French monarchy) or the reverse, with masculinity fundamental and Catholicity optional.

The Infanta of Spain, Isabella Clara Eugenia is best placed in the contest to the throne of France as many members of the ultra-Catholic League seemed willing to accept her as long she married a French prince.

Favoring the conversion of Henry of Navarre to Catholicism, an act that would solve everything, the Duke of Mayenne convened the Parliament to decide the issue when on May 17, Henry of Navarre announced his intention to convert. To get him to move from intention to action, in June 28, Parliament made the Arrêt Lemaistre (named after the president of the Parliament of Paris, Jean Le Maistre) that does not make any principle subordinate to another but demands respect for all the fundamental laws of which it highlights consistency, supplementing them with the law of Catholicity.

Decisions of the Arrêt Lemaistre

Arrêt Lemaistre:[5][6]

  • Remember the purpose of Parliament: to maintain the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion and the state and crown of France, under the protection of a good king most Christian, Catholic and French.
  • Ordered that no treaty is to be passed to transfer the crown to foreign princes
  • Recall that the fundamental laws must be observed to declare a Catholic and French king
  • Remember that religion should not be an excuse to transfer the crown to foreign hands in a manner contrary to the fundamental laws
  • Remember that although the relief of the people must be sought because it is in a state of extreme necessity, treaties for the establishment of foreign princes would be null and void if they are made to the prejudice of the Salic law and other fundamental laws.

The decision betrays a visceral attachment to the fundamental laws and a concern no less keen to keep Catholicism and have a French sovereign. The third point notes that these three principles should not oppose each other but must be harmoniously applied to declare a Catholic and French king.

This is an address pointing directly to Catholic applicants to the French crown, which were a woman (Isabella Clara Eugenia, daughter of the King of Spain) and male descendants of the kings of France, but by the distaff line: the Parliament recalls these applications, contrary to the Salic law, do not conform to the fundamental laws which should not be subject to religion or the desire to put an end to the suffering of the people.

The parliament then expressed its concern that these fundamental laws, heredity, primogeniture, male collaterality, inalienability of the crown combine with Catholicism and the French character to declare a king ("declare" and not "designate"; for the Parliament has no sovereignty, it can only declare that the king is legitimate based on the laws of the kingdom).

The concern to prevent the kingdom from falling into foreign hands is present throughout the arrêt. Philip II had agreed to have his daughter married to the Duke of Guise if he could be raised to the throne of France.

Interpretation of the Arrêt Lemaistre

From there, according to the Legitimists, the future King Henri IV was indeed from another country, Navarre, but was not a foreign prince, because he was a descendant of the kings of France in male line, and it was for that reason alone that he was a dynast of France. In addition, his French possessions were more important than his Navarrese possessions, the kingdom of Navarre being divided into two parts by the Pyrenees since 1512.

For Orleanists, the only thing that needs to be examined is the French quality of the successor, not the fact that he owns property outside of the realm, which is separate. Furthermore, they cite in support of their thesis the eminent jurist Charles Dumoulin, Customs of Paris, 1576 (included in la Légitimité monarchique en France by Guy Coutant de Saisseval, 1959), who considers it "common sense" to remove the princes who became foreigners in the same manner as princesses and their descendants, for the same reasons.

Legitimists argue, that the interpretation of "French" and "foreign" is anachronistic; a "French" prince meant a prince of the royal house of France, in contrast to a "foreign" prince, such as the House of Lorraine (to which Guise and Mayenne belonged). Had it referred to nationality, rather than dynasty, then it would have been meaningless, for the Guise were Frenchmen and there was no prince of the blood who was not a Frenchman.

Consequences of the Arrêt Lemaistre

In July 1593, Henry of Navarre decided to convert to Catholicism.

The Arrêt Lemaistre enshrines the principle of Catholicity as intrinsic to the French monarchy and places it on the same footing as the fundamental laws that state the essential pillars of the French monarchy since no treaty present or future could contradict them without nullity.

The Arrêt Lemaistre confirmed that Parliament is the guardian of fundamental laws, which is verified even later.

The arrêt does not mention "vice de pérégrinité"; but it declared null and void any treaty aimed to establish a "foreign prince", for the establishment of one is against the fundamental laws. The only question is the correct interpretation of "French" and "foreign" — whether it referred to the dynasty or the nationality.[no citations needed here]

Vice de pérégrinité as founding principle of the fundamental laws

Orleanists assert that the founding principle of the fundamental laws is the vice de pérégrinité. The election of Hugh Capet meant that a national monarchy had replaced the dynastic monarchy of the Carolingians. They say that when Adalberon, Archbishop of Reims, anointed Hugh Capet, he declared "the kingdom of France can not be governed in Aachen." In the election of Hugh Capet, the barons chose a French usurper instead of a German Carolingian. In 1328, they rejected the King of England, of the illustrious House of Plantagenet, in favor of a French count, the first of the Valois.

For Orleanists, the Royal House of France is not international. The Head of the House of France is not the eldest of the Bourbons of the world, but the eldest of the national dynasty, which had been in France since the death of the Count of Chambord in 1883, the Bourbon House of Orleans. From Louis XV to Charles X, the respective Dukes of Orleans were the First Princes of the Blood, and thus the presumptive heirs in the absence of a direct heir. The nationality of the prince is the guarantor of the independence of the Crown, the strength and pride of France in Europe, that the French throne was never occupied by a foreigner, unlike most of the other monarchies and principalities of Europe.

Letters patent concerning succession rights

In 1573 the King, Charles IX, and nine princes of the blood[note 2] all signed a declaration assuring Charles' brother Henry, Duke of Anjou, who was about to assume the crown of Poland, that his rights to the French throne would not lapse, nor those of any children he may have, even though they were to be born outside France. The blood right in this instance overcame the law of aubain by which foreign-born heirs forfeited their rights of succession; that is to say, being "capable of the crown" was a unique kind of birthright which transcended all usual legal regulations. Blood heirs no matter where they were born or resided were to be regarded "tout ainsi que s'ilz estoient originaires et regnicoles."[7] This was recorded in letters patent in Parliament. Similar letters were issued for Philip, Duke of Anjou, when he was about to assume the crown of Spain (1700). But in his case, the letters were later withdrawn (1713) due to pressure from other European powers.

For Orleanists, the purpose of the letters patent is to preserve the nationality of the prince and his descendants. For Legitimists, the letters patent are precautionary letters, which declare the rights for the sake of record, but are not the foundation or source of such rights, which were ultimately derived from the fundamental laws.

The treaties of Utrecht (1713) and their consequences

The nature and origin of the Treaty of Utrecht

In 1700, King Charles II of Spain had appointed one of the grandsons of Louis XIV, then Duke of Anjou, as his successor on the throne of Spain. Charles II died childless, and the succession was contested based on the dynastic rights of the Spanish princesses of the House of Austria and the European courts. On November 16, 1700, Louis XIV accepted the will and recognized his grandson as King of Spain.

In order to press their claim in the succession, Austria declared war on France and Spain, followed by England, frightened by the possibility that Spain and France may have the same king and create a superstate (this reason is the basis of the peace treaty), resulting in the War of Spanish Succession. In 1713, at the end of the war, Louis XIV and other nations had signed the Treaty of Utrecht which recognized, as King of Spain, Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou, but also included mutual renunciations that excluded him and his descendants from succession to the crown of France, while the Duke of Orleans, also successors to Spain, gave up their right to succeed to the Spanish throne.

Historical context of the renunciations

Louis XIV was fully aware of the fundamental laws of the kingdom. In 1713, France was exhausted by twelve years of war. To avoid having to sign such renunciations, Louis XIV should either continue the war to an uncontested victory, or abandon the Spanish throne for his grandson; but if the Austrian Habsburgs were to succeed to the Spanish throne, France would be surrounded once again by the Habsburgs, as happened during the exhausting struggle of Francis I of France against Emperor Charles V. Thus, he preferred to sign a treaty that could be denounced.[8]

On March 15, 1713, in the "report of the secret Council and the audience held on the letters of the King by the Court of Parliament consisting of the Princes of the blood, the Peers of the Realm, all chambers assembled, to register the letters patent which authorize with the aim of peace the renunciation of the King of Spain to the Crown of France, and those of the Duke of Berry and the Duke of Orleans to the crown of Spain," Louis XIV declares, "divided between the fundamental laws of his state and his affection for his subjects tired of a long and cruel war." He said he "tried in vain to reconcile these different views by proposing that the King of Spain give up the Crown that he has, and to content himself with States which we would give up to him to compensate him for the sacrifice he made to his homeland and the rest of Europe."

But the present possession of the Spanish crown, the loyalty and love of the Spaniards having prevailed over all other considerations in the heart of this prince, the resolution taken to prefer Spain to France has left to this Kingdom a choice more sad and difficult between the continuation of a long war and a speedy peace to which the renunciation of the King of Spain must be the node.

The members of Parliament "felt the greatness of the price that a peace so desirable is going to cost France, their dignity absolutely dedicated to the defense of the order venerable for its antiquity and still more respectable by its wisdom, which for so many centuries, defers the crown to a single and necessary heir, that their feelings were suspended at first between the desire for peace and the fear of violating for the first time the law to which France owes a large line of kings and the longest monarchy which the world had ever seen."

The members of Parliament expressed their opposition to Louis XIV. The members of parliament "could not contain these movements at the bottom of their heart, that they dared to carry them to the feet of the throne and reported this consolation that King was kind enough to himself tell them of the futile efforts which he made to give to his kingdom peace if necessary at a lesser price: that while entering with them a detail so deserving of his kindness they learned that he had thought of everything they could represent: after weighing in such an important occasion what he owed to his crown, to the king of Spain and to his subjects, he thought, as he explained by letters patent, that the salvation of his people would be dearer to him than the rights of the king his grandson, as there was not for him a law more inviolable than his love for the people who, by their zeal made them exert incredible effort even beyond their strengths to support so long a war, had deserved that he sacrifice what was dearest to him for their happiness."[9]

One can draw parallels between the concerns of Louis XIV for his people to avoid the hardship of the war that led him to sign a treaty contrary to the fundamental laws and recall the Arrêt Lemaistre by the Parliament of Paris in 1593, which sought to ignore the suffering of the people to sign a treaty contrary to those laws.

Philip, meanwhile, has never recognized the validity of renunciations signed under duress of England. In 1726 he wrote to the parliament of Paris to be proclaimed king, "in case of the death of his nephew the King of France, to ordain him as the successor to the crown by right of birth and by the fundamental laws of the State, until he can take possession of the kingdom":

Dear and good friends, if the times comes, that King Louis XV our nephew dies without male heirs, the crown of France where we are undeniably vested by the law of our birth and by the fundamental laws of the state, we order you to have us proclaimed king and give the necessary orders wherever it is up to us to be recognized as such by all provinces and all levels of our kingdom, until we were going to take over in person as we will do so without any delay, we rely entirely on your loyalty to us and your attention to the good of the kingdom; that you will see with the utmost care to ensure that nothing disturbs the tranquility until our arrival, and you can be assured on your side of our affection for your illustrious body, and that our happiness will always be from that of our subjects'. With that, I pray God, my beloved ones and friends, to have you in his holy keeping. (Alcala Archives, iS. I., 24260.)

The inalienability of the Crown and the Treaty of Utrecht

A question of hierarchy of legal norms?

The term "hierarchy of norms" is new but what it means is at the heart of the dynastic question: should we apply the fundamental laws of the kingdom of France or the Treaty of Utrecht? In another analysis: can the renunciations of Utrecht add up to the fundamental laws?

  • Theoretically, if we put in vis-à-vis the body of fundamental laws and the treaties themselves, which include renunciations, we will in fact violate the principle of the inalienability of the crown. Here the question is whether an international treaty (still in force) is a standard higher than the fundamental laws.
  • According to the theory of Orleans, yes: Philip V of Spain could not have the crown of France for himself and his descendants.

Legal Issues: This view rejects one of the fundamental laws, that of the inalienability, and subordinates the dynastic succession in the Kingdom of France to an international treaty. What would become of the sovereignty of the royal family of France against the foreign powers?

  • According to the theory of Bourbon, no, Philip V had no right to dispose of the crown of France, either for himself or for his descendants. The renunciation is not legitimate, it cannot have legal force.

Legal Issues: What is the value of the commitment of France in signing treaties if it considers it invalid?

A question of law?

To oppose the treaties themselves (with the renunciations contained in the appendix) with the body of fundamental laws of France and Spain is putting them on the same level as internal constitutional acts, even if France did not yet have a constitution at the time, and bilateral treaties acting on a foreign policy. And indeed, the legal act of application of renunciations in France as in Spain has been in the recording of such renunciations. The Parliament of Paris, that is to say the jurists, recorded such renunciations, and so did the parliaments of the French provinces. For their part, the Spanish Cortes made the same records, giving legal force to such renunciations.

The legal problem is then to consider such renunciations today as a part of the body of fundamental laws. Saying no is to refuse that Parliament could just as legitimately break in 1717 the will of Louis XIV, saying yes is to accept that the French Parliaments play an essential role in the formation of the corpus of fundamental laws.

Consequences of renunciations in 1713

Male collaterality

On the acceptance of renunciations, the application depends on the rule of male collaterality at the death of the last undisputed heir[10] to the throne, the Count of Chambord:

If the renunciation is valid for Philip V of Spain and his descendants (Spanish Bourbons, Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Bourbon-Parma), then the heir of the Count of Chambord by male collaterality is Henri of Orleans. If it is not, the heir to the throne by male collaterality is Louis de Bourbon.

These mutual renunciations resulted in the following evolution in the thinking of the rules of succession, but have an influence on the body itself.

The principle of the inalienability of the crown since 1789
The House of Orleans

The Orleanist devolution of the crown has been fluctuating since 1987 but it seems that they do not consider the rule of inalienability to be absolute.

Indeed, in 1987, the Count of Paris has a "designated successor" and the successor was not his eldest son, Henry, but his grandson, Jean d'Orléans.

After the death of his father, the new Count of Paris has restored himself as the legitimate heir of the kings of France.[11] Then in 2003 he made a statement on an Orleanist Web site, Institut de la Maison Royale de France[12] where he presented his eldest son Francis as "Dauphin of France", and his younger son Jean, as "Regent of the Dauphin" because of mental disability of the elder: "The fact that my eldest son, the dauphin, has a disability is not a sufficient reason to deprive him of his rights. Such an arbitrary act would open the door to all sorts of further abuse. That's why my son Jean, Duke of Vendome, bears the burden of his elder brother as Regent of the Dauphin. "

In the end, it seems that the position of the Count of Paris is indeed consistent with the principle of agnatic primogeniture.

However, in the official website of the Orleanist movement, the younger son Jean, is presented as "Dauphin"[13] and his older brother is not named. Also on the cover of his book Un Prince français[14] and on his own site Gens de France, Jean d'Orléans presents himself as "heir of the kings of France"[15] and shows his brother as "not successor" in the family tree of the site.[10]

The mental disability of the eldest son of the Count of Paris, recalls the situation experienced by France in the fifteenth century, when King Charles VI of France has gone mad: his son, the future Charles VII, acted as regent and became king at the death of his father. The Count of Paris seems to have addressed this idea by appointing his younger son as "Regent of the Dauphin", yet he seems to be ignored.

These two decisions show a fluctuating perspective on the question, though it does not endorse the rejection of the rule of inalienability of the Crown by the Orleanists but its relativity: they do not reject it because they believe the Crown can only go to Orleans, but it becomes relative in the house of Orleans as its transmission depends on the decisions of those who inherited it.

The House of Bourbon

In 1830, Charles X, who had wanted to be not only a crowned king, but crowned in Reims, nevertheless abdicated in favor of his son Louis, who himself has abdicated in favor of his nephew, the future Count of Chambord. The three then went into exile, which probably destabilized the principle of legitimacy and paved the way to the Duke of Orleans, whom the House elected King of the French, instead of the title of lieutenant-general of the kingdom.

If abdications show a change in mentality towards more interested relativism on constitutive laws of the monarchy or political expediency in order to save the monarchical principle (note the paradox that there is to "relativize" a "principle" in particular to preserve it), they are nevertheless considered legally invalid by the Legitimist thought dating the "reign" of the son of Charles X from 1836 to his death, and the "reign" of the Count of Chambord from 1844 at the death of his uncle, whom they regard as de jure "Louis XIX". One wonders then about reading the history of France between realism and rewriting.

The Treaty of Utrecht: conditional renunciations?

For Legitimists, even if the Treaty of Utrecht had been a legal standard superior to the fundamental laws, the necessary conditions to the renunciations are now obsolete.

Renunciation of the right to the crown of France set out in section 6 was intended to prevent a union of France and Spain: "Safety and liberty of Europe cannot possibly suffer the crowns of France and Spain united on one head." The grandson of Louis XIV, Philip, then undertook "to establish a balance of power so that it can happen that several are combined into one (...) to prevent the union of this monarchy to that of France (...) to renunciations for me and my descendants to the succession of the monarchy of France.".[16]

But in 1830, King Ferdinand VII of Spain made his daughter Isabella succeed him, disregarding his brother, Carlos de Borbon, who, at the death of the King of Spain in 1833, became the eldest of the Spanish Bourbon branch by primogeniture and male collaterality. He died in 1855, succeeded by his eldest son Carlos, then at the death of the latter without issue in 1861, his second son, Juan.

As the eldest of the Spanish branch of the Bourbons, they became the eldest of the Capetians at the death of the Count of Chambord in 1883. Not reigning over Spain, the risk that the crowns of France and Spain are united in the same person no longer exists and it is considered that, even assuming that the Treaty of Utrecht had been valid, the reasons for which it had aimed to exclude the descendants of Philip V to renounce the succession to the throne of France are no longer met.

This situation lasted until 1936, with the death of the eldest of the Capetians Carlos Alfonso de Borbon. The dethroned King Alfonso XIII of Spain succeeded in that position by primogeniture and male collaterality (his great-grandfather was the next younger brother of Ferdinand VII). The ex-King Alfonso died in 1941.

The eldest of the Capetians became his son, Jacques Henri de Bourbon (1908-1975). Now he had renounced his rights to the throne of Spain June 21, 1933 and renewed his renunciation repeatedly including July 19, 1969 in favor of the future Juan Carlos I, resignation accepted by his two sons July 23, 1969. So the younger branch of the Spanish Bourbons, descended from Juan Carlos, reigned over Spain.

According to this reasoning, with the junior branch reigning in Spain, the elder branch in the person of Louis de Bourbon, grandson of Jacques-Henri, is free of any Spanish commitment: a union between France and Spain could no longer take place, the reasons for the renunciation of the throne of France no longer exist.

The Orleanists do not address this issue but argue that over time the Bourbons are only Spanish princes and rulers and are no longer in France (vice de pérégrinité).


The Orleanists speak of a "fusion" between the Count of Chambord, last of the Bourbon branch descended from Charles X, and the Count of Paris.[10] According to them, Count of Chambord would have appointed the Count of Paris as his successor, saying in an interview to the newspaper Freedom March 1, 1872: "the princes of Orleans are my sons".[17]

The newspaper then asked the Count of Chambord if he would make Robert of Parma his heir. The grandson of Charles X said it was "a fable" and that he would never dream of "breaking the old Salic law" because Robert of Parma was his closest male relative, but by his sister, Louise of Artois.

He also said he was "fond of principles" and that he had "no choice", his heir being "the one imposed on him since Providence had decided that the eldest branch of the Bourbons would be extinguished with him."

The journalist then approached the question of the fusion; the count of Chambord answered that it existed, that he considered the princes of Orléans as his sons and did not hold against them the wrongs which their forefathers had committed to the Bourbons, but that on the contrary the misfortunes had moved them closer together.

  • The Orleanists see an appointment of the Count of Paris as the heir of the last Bourbon. They consider that this designation is an additional legitimation of their royal heritage. The "fusion" is, they say, the continuity of the Bourbon monarchy by the House of Orleans.
  • The Legitimists regard this text as anecdotal, for legitimacy derived only from the fundamental laws. They see it as a mere declaration of peace between two branches. They even consider the reflection of the Count of Chambord—"I who am fond of principles"—shows that he wanted to follow the fundamental laws and argue that the Count of Paris is not specifically named. The "fusion", they say, was a reconciliation.

According to them, as the heir to the throne receives the crown by heredity, primogeniture and male collaterality, any designation is therefore unnecessary since the king is in any case the eldest of the Capetians. In this logic, any designation is void due to the inalienability of the crown: the Count of Chambord cannot dispose of, he could not appoint an heir, and if he did, it was both unnecessary and could only be a simple, personal opinion without legal effect.

Details of dynastic controversies since 1883

On the death in 1883, the Count of Chambord ("Henry V"), grandson of Charles X, the French Legitimism split up. A majority of his supporters, behind Albert de Mun and Athanase de Charette, rallied to the Count of Paris ("Philippe VII"), grandson of Louis-Philippe I. A minority, however, refused to go along with an Orleans.

Legitimists and Carlists

Among the Legitimists who did not join, some refused to join the Count of Paris for the sake of dynastic right, but others primarily by uncontrollable animosity towards Orleans. Part of the Legitimists who did not recognize the Orleanist claim recognized Juan, Count of Montizón, son of Infante Carlos, Count of Molina (first Carlist pretender to the throne of Spain). In fact, Juan de Borbon ("John III" to his followers) was, in 1883, by agnatic primogeniture, the eldest of the Bourbons (but the Count of Montizón seemed as little interested in Carlism as in France). Supporters of Juan de Borbon received the nickname of Blancs d'Espagne, while the Legitimists who joined the Count of Paris received the name the Blancs d'Eu (named after the Chateau d'Eu, then the residence of the Orleans).

However, not all the Legitimists found themselves in these two sides: others converted to survivantism (survival of Louis XVII and his hidden line).

Orleanist and Legitimist

Until the mid-twentieth century, this debate remains a minority in rural French royalists, the claims of Orleans is the subject of broad consensus, both Carlist princes seem unable to sustain their French claims. Indeed, the Spanish Bourbons, even though they have repeatedly stated their heritage, are too busy with the disputes of succession to the throne of Spain, which occupied the political scene since the Spanish accession to the throne of Isabella II.

However, since the permanent renunciation of the Spanish throne of the Duke of Madrid Jacques-Henri de Bourbon in 1969 which allowed the restoration of the monarchy in 1975 with the rise in Spain on the throne of Juan Carlos I, a major part of the French royalists again support the elder branch of the Bourbons, first in the person of Prince Alfonso. Since his death in 1989, they recognized as heir to the throne his son Louis, who is for them "Louis XX".[18]

Orleanism and Action Française

Meanwhile, the Blancs d’Eu in France held the upper hand in monarchism. It would be quite wrong to describe the Blancs d’Eu within the meaning of Orleanist politics and ideology. Of course, the Blanc d’Eu supported the dynastic rights of Philippe d'Orleans, "Philippe VII, Count of Paris". However, they were absolutely not rallied to the Orleanism of the 19th century — that is, the political liberalism of the French, and remained of authentic Legitimists, traditionalists and artisans of Catholic social doctrine. René de La Tour du Pin, a prominent royalist, was an authentic "Blanc d'Eu". In the same movement, they were short-lived as the ideological Orleanists no longer supported the Count of Paris and the Orleans, and had rallied behind Thiers to moderate republicanism in the 1870s.

Without renouncing his grandfather Louis Philippe I, the Count of Paris decided, in 1873, to support the cause of the Count of Chambord, and not that of the July Monarchy, much to the chagrin of his uncles Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale and François d'Orléans, Prince of Joinville, the last representatives of Orleanist dynastic politics.

The contribution of Charles Maurras and Action Française was decisive at the turn of the century, so that before 1914, French royalism seemed to be composed entirely of the Action Française, loyal to the pretender "Philippe VIII," Duke of Orleans (son of "Philippe VII, Count of Paris"). As the Duke of Orleans had little interest in politics and was a great traveler, he fully deferred discharge of his obligations to Charles Maurras and his followers.

Succeeding the Duke of Orleans (d. 1926) was his cousin, the Duke of Guise ("John III"). As little political and no less cynical than his predecessor, the duke did not show much initiative. This left the way open again to the Action Française. It was the duke’s son, the new Count of Paris, who gradually assumed a political function in the place and name of his father, slowly shaking the monopoly of Maurras. Hence the political break between the Count of Paris and his father on the one hand, and the Action Française on the other hand, in 1937; the break was particularly hard felt by the Blancs d’Eu (and elsewhere following the condemnation of the Action Française by the Holy See in 1926, but lifted in 1939). The political rupture between Orleans and the Action Française, however, did not translate into a break of dynastic order. Charles Maurras continued to support the rights of Orleans, and until his death.

However, the political rupture of 1937, and the political orientation of the Count of Paris (now "Henry VI" on his father's death in 1940), led to a progressively disorientative environment for the "Blancs d’Eu," and some alienation vis-à-vis the claimant, that disaffection then resulting in a dynastic shift.

Almost unheard of in the heyday of the Action Française, the Blancs d'Espagne returned suddenly to the front of the royal scene, following the divisions, insults and political adventures of the Count of Paris. Hence the progression from the 1950s, the 'legitimate' Blancs d’Espagne, joined by newcomers and those disappointed in the Count of Paris or Maurrassism. In accordance with Salic law, the Legitimists proved "Alphonsists," that is to say, not supporters of Bourbon-Parma (which had been supported by the majority of the Carlists since the death of the last male descendant of Don Carlos), but the former Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia and Anjou, removed from the Spanish succession by his father Alfonso XIII, who was indeed, just as the Count of Montizón in 1883, the eldest Bourbon by agnatic primogeniture.

Hence the following succession, according to the neo-Legitimists: Alphonse de Bourbon (1886-1941), Jacques Henri de Bourbon (1908-1975), Alphonse de Bourbon (1936-1989) and finally Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou (1974 - ).

In the eyes of the neo-Legitimist, Henri d'Orléans was HRH Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, Duke of Valois, Duke of Chartres, Duke of Nemours, Duke of Montpensier, Dauphin of Auvergne, Prince of Joinville, Hereditary Seneschal of Champagne, Marquis of Coucy, Marquis of Folembray, Count of Soissons, Count of Dourdan, Count of Romorantin, Baron of Beaujolais, etc.. They also deny Henri d'Orleans the full arms of France and the title of Count of Paris (used for the first time since the Robertians, by the great uncle of Henri d'Orleans, Philippe d'Orleans (1838-1894), on concession of King Louis-Philippe I).


In 1988, the Henri d'Orleans, Count of Clermont, son of the Count of Paris, sued his cousin Alphonse de Bourbon (1936-1989) to forbid him from using the title "Duke of Anjou" and the arms of France "three lilies of gold positioned two and one on a blue field", stating that the Bourbons were using a "symbol of France" and that he was prejudiced.

The title

Alphonse de Bourbon claimed that he was using the title "Duke of Anjou" as a courtesy title. The court observed, that the title was used for the second son of the Kings of France, whenever the title "Duke of Orléans" was unavailable. The title had merged with the crown, the last holder being Louis XVIII. Since Orleans' ancestor had given up the title "Duke of Anjou" in 1661, he has no standing to prevent Alphonse de Bourbon from using the title.

Henri d'Orléans then claimed, that the title "Duke of Anjou" is an exclusive prerogative of the House of France. But in ancient France, the "House of France" referred to the family of the reigning king, and since there is no monarchy, there is no "House of France".

The coat of arms
According to current French civil law, the arms marshalled azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, formerly borne by the kings of France, have become a private insigna in 1830 and belong to the entire family

Note that a coat of arms, being recognized as an accessory of the name in French civil law, meant that a court of republican France is perfectly entitled to hear the case if there is damage done by illegal carrying of arms; but such a court is incompetent to judge the dynastic dispute.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, December 21, 1988 (JCP 89.II.21213) dismissed the Count of Paris.[19]

Precautions of the court:

  • The court said that the arms in question are only private and not emblems or a symbol of France as Henri d'Orleans claims, and declared that the French Republic does not have any prejudice to their use by the Bourbons.
  • The court is careful to note that this decision is by no means an arbitration on the dynastic dispute ("Whereas it is not for the courts of the Republic to arbitrate the dynastic rivalry that in reality underlies this heraldic dispute")
  • However the court accepts jurisdiction with respect to the protection of the name and its accessories (i.e. the arms).

The court recognized:

  • That the arms belong to the House of Bourbon (not just seniors but for the whole family, because the current law does not recognize birthright by primogeniture) and that within that house, the princes of the House of Orleans are the younger branch of the Bourbons
  • That according to ancient customs, the use of these arms was reserved for seniors while the cadets were to add a label to carry them.
  • That the Bourbons of Spain have always worn the plain arms (without brisures) without protest from the Orleans, and that Henri d'Orleans could not prove that he had been prejudiced.

The court does not prevent Orleans from bearing arms without label since the arms belong to the whole family, but reminds him that according to ancient custom the younger branch must add a label.

This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Paris, 22 November 1989 (12/21/1988 call TGI Paris, D.90, IR 4, JCP 90.II.21460, GP 03/08/1990)

The surname

Henri d'Orleans asked to substitute for his surname Orleans that of Bourbon. He claimed that his ancestors had stopped using that surname, but it remained his true patronym, so he had a right to resume its use. This request was denied on March 29, 2000 by the High Court of Paris, and was confirmed on 1 February 2001 by a decision of the 1st Division of the Court of Appeal of Paris, judgment endorsed on September 30, 2003 by the Court of Cassation.

The Bonapartist claim

Charles is the eldest of the family of Napoleon Bonaparte by agnatic primogeniture and is the descendant of Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon.

The legitimate descendants of Napoleon I became extinct with the death of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1832. Napoleon's brothers, Joseph and his younger brother Louis, have been successively his heirs. On the death of Louis in 1846, his son Louis Napoleon, the future Napoleon III, succeeded him as Bonapartist pretender. Napoleon III died in 1873, followed by his only son in 1879. The branch of Jerome became the elder branch of Bonaparte at that time.

On May 27, 1996, Louis Napoleon (who died May 3, 1997), appointed by will his grandson Jean-Christophe to succeed him and not his son Charles Napoleon. The lawyer Jean-Marc Varaut, as an executor, revealed the political testament December 2, 1997. Charles Napoleon has stated that his republican convictions made him a stranger to the dynastic struggles, but he contested the will of his father.[20]


In 1810 in Berlin where he was a watchmaker, Karl Wilhelm Naundorff had to present his passport to the police. This document stated that he was born in Weimar, and that he was 43 years old, but Naundorff appeared to be around 25 years old only. When questioned, Naundorff then said he was Louis XVII, the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who escaped from the Temple in 1795 and he sought to protect himself from Napoleonic troops. He presented documents which he said proved his royal birth.

From 1813 until his death in 1845, he sought to gain the recognition of European rulers and the Bourbons. Under Louis-Philippe, he had few supporters among the "Survivantists" but their numbers declined rapidly from 1837 after the failure of his petitions to the Chamber of Deputies and especially when he wanted to create a new religion. He died August 10, 1845 in Delft. His tomb bears the inscription "Here lies Louis XVII King of France and Navarre, born in Versailles March 27, 1785, died August 10, 1845". He left behind a wife and eight children who never ceased to defend the claim of their father.

The scientific question

In 1943, comparative analysis of the hair of Naundorff and of the Dauphin by Professor Locard, of the forensic laboratory in Lyon, concluded that the two strands had the same eccentricity of the medullary canal. But in 1951, a second finding turned out that this feature affects one in three individuals. The similarity could be a coincidence.

In 1999, heart drawn in 1795 by the physician Jean-Philippe Pelletan, after the autopsy of Louis XVII, and kept in the royal crypt of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, is subjected to DNA analysis being carried out by professors Cassiman, Leuven, and Brinkmann, University of Münster in Germany, at the initiative of the historian Philippe Delorme. On 3 April 2000, comparisons of mitochondrial DNA from the heart and the hair of Marie Antoinette and her two sisters have confirmed the authenticity of the heart.

The Survivantists

DNA analysis of the heart of the dead child in the Temple is contested by the Survivantists because they claim it might belong to the older brother of Louis XVII, Louis-Joseph, the first Dauphin who died in 1789. However, the heart of Louis-Joseph was embalmed according to royal tradition, as attested by the archives, while that of Louis XVII was preserved in alcohol, which immediately makes confusion impossible.

The descendants of Naundorff bear the surname "de Bourbon", whose use was granted by the Netherlands. There remains today a number of supporters. Nicknamed the "Naundorffists," they form a subset of Survivantists who believe that Louis XVII did not die in the Temple and survived.

Form of monarchy

In order to avoid diplomatic problems and for the sake of democracy, the royalists (pro-Capetian) want, if the monarchy is to be restored, to establish a parliamentary monarchy, based on the model of the UK as well as along the Second Restoration, including the reign of Louis XVIII. Unfortunately, some royalists want the executive (the king and ministers) to also hold legislative power (this is based entirely on the Second Restoration). These are the only inconsistencies on this point, however. All the royalists agree not to restore an absolute monarchy.


  1. The Boubon-Busset branch, though genealogically senior, is deemed illegitimate in origin and therefore non-dynastic and therefore as heirs to the French crown: their claim is now defended by the Legitimists in the person of Louis Alphone de Bourbon, known as Duke of Anjou. His lineage represents the continuity of Legitimism, within the meaning of that word in the 1830s and since.
  2. The signatories were: the King, Charles IX, and his brothers, Henry, Duke of Anjou and Francis, Duke of Alençon; Henry, King of Navarre and his uncle, Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon; the Montpensier family, Louis, Duke of Montpensier, and his son, Francis de Bourbon; the Condé brothers, Henry, Prince of Condé, Francis, Prince of Conti, and Charles de Bourbon.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh. "Burke’s Royal Families of the World: Volume I Europe & Latin America, 1977, pp. 81-82. ISBN 0-85011-023-8
  2. 2.0 2.1 Paoli, Dominique (2006). ’’Fortune et Infortune des Princes d'Orléans’’. France: Editions Artena. pp. 225, 227–228, 232–233. ISBN 2-35154-004-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Valynseele, Joseph. Les Prétendants aux Trônes d'Europe. Saintard de la Rochelle. 1967. France. pp. 186-189
  4. Stéphane Rials, Le légitimisme, PUF, coll. « Que sais-je ? » (no 2107), 1983, p. 120
  6. ARRÊT du parlement séant à Paris qui annulle tous traités faits ou à faire qui appelleraient au trône de France un prince ou une princesse étrangère, comme contraire à la loi salique et autres fois fondamentales de l'état. Paris, 28 juin 1593 La cour, sur la remontrance ci-devant faite à la Cour par le procureur général du roi et la matière mise en délibération, ladite cour, toutes les chambres assemblées, n'ayant, comme elle n'a jamais eu, autre intention que de maintenir la religion catholique, apostolique et romaine et l'état et couronne de France, sous la protection d'un bon roi très chrestien, catholique et françois, A ordonné et ordonne que remontrances seront faites cette après-dînée par maistre Jean Lemaistre président, assisté d'un bon nombre de conseillers en ladite cour, à M. le duc de Mayenne, lieutenant général de l'estat et couronne de France, en la présence des princes et officiers de la couronne, estant à présent en ceste ville, à ce que aucun traité ne se fasse pour transférer la couronne en la main de prince ou princesse estrangers ; Que les lois fondamentales de ce royaume soient gardées et les arrêts donnés par ladite cour pour la déclaration d'un roi Catholique et français exécutés ; et qu'il y ait à employer l'autorité qui lui a été commise pour empescher que sous prétexte de la religion, ne soit transférée en main étrangère contre les lois du royaume ; et pourvoir le plus promptement que faire se pourra au repos et soulagement du peuple, pour l'extrême nécessité en laquelle il est réduit ; et néanmoins dès à présent ladite cour déclare tous traités faits et à faire ci-après pour l'établissement de prince ou princesse étrangers nuls et de nul effet et valeur, comme faits au préjudice de la loi salique et autres lois fondamentales de l'état
  7. Giesey, Ralph E. The Juristic Basis of Dynastic Right to the French Throne, p. 39-40
  8. François Bluche, Louis XIV
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2
  18. Daniel de Montplaisir, Le comte de Chambord, dernier roi de France, Paris, Perrin, 2008, p. 601 et s.
  19. . « Sur le port des armes pleines. Attendu que les armoiries sont des marques de reconnaissance accessoires du nom de famille auquel elles se rattachent indissolublement, que cette famille soit ou non d'origine noble ; qu'il s'ensuit que les armoiries sont l'attribut de toute la famille, et qu'elles jouissent de la même protection que le nom lui-même ;
    Attendu que les armes en litige, constituées de "trois fleurs de lys d'or en position deux et un sur champ d'azur" n'ont été celles de France qu'autant que régnait l'aîné de la Maison de Bourbon à laquelle elles appartiennent - qu'elles sont devenues emblèmes privés à l'avènement du roi Louis-Philippe ;
    Attendu que selon les anciennes coutumes, les armes pleines étaient réservées aux aînés, les cadets devant introduire une brisure dans leur blason ; qu'ainsi, les princes de la Maison d'Orléans, branche cadette des Bourbons, portaient, y compris le roi Louis-Philippe, les armes des Bourbons avec un lambel (brisure) d'argent ;
    Attendu que la République à nouveau instaurée, Charles de Bourbon, Duc de Madrid, faisant valoir, à la mort du Comte de Chambord, sa qualité d'aîné d'une branche aînée, s'attribua les armes pleines ; que Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, petit-fils du roi Louis-Philippe en fit alors de même, provoquant les protestations des Bourbons d'Espagne ; que le Tribunal civil de la Seine, saisi par l'un d'eux, Marie-François de Bourbon y Castellvy, devait cependant considérer en sa décision du 28 janvier 1897 que « ces armoiries pleines à trois fleurs de lys d'or, qui étaient jadis attachées à la qualité de Roi de France, avaient disparu avec elle » ;
    Attendu qu'il n'appartient pas à une juridiction de la République d'arbitrer la rivalité dynastique qui sous-tend en réalité cette querelle héraldique, comme l'ensemble de la procédure ; Attendu qu'en tout état de cause le demandeur, qui ne peut ainsi avec pertinence soutenir qu'Alphonse de Bourbon se servirait du « symbole » de la France, ne prétend nullement que le port de ces armes sans brisure, qui résulte d'un usage ouvert et constant des Bourbons d'Espagne depuis plus de cent ans, soit à l'origine pour lui-même ou sa famille, d'un préjudice actuel et certain ; que dans ces conditions, Henri d'Orléans, qui ne justifie pas d'un intérêt à faire interdire le port de ces armoiries, sera déclaré également irrecevable en sa demande de ce chef ;
    Par ces motifs, le Tribunal,
    - déclare irrecevable Henri d'Orléans en ses demandes d'interdiction de port de titre et d'armoiries, ainsi que Ferdinand de Bourbon-Siciles et Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme en leur intervention ;
    - laisse au demandeur et aux intervenants la charge des dépens. » Droit héraldique français
  20. C. de Badts de Cugnac et G. Coutant de Saisseval, Le Petit Gotha, Paris, 2002, p. 441-442.