Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Louis Charles Philippe Raphael, duc de Nemours

Louis Charles Philippe Raphael, duc de Nemours (October 25, 1814 - June 26, 1896) was the second son of the duke of Orleans, afterwards King Louis Philippe.

At twelve years of age he was nominated colonel of the first regiment of chasseurs, and in 1830 he became a chevalier of the order of the Saint Esprit and entered the chamber of peers. As early as 1825 his name was mentioned as a possible candidate for the throne of Greece, and in 1831 he was elected king of the Belgians, but international considerations deterred Louis Philippe from accepting the honour for his son.

In February 1831 he accompanied the French army which entered Belgium to support the new kingdom in its separation from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and took part in the siege of Antwerp. He accompanied the Algerian expedition against the town of Constantine in the autumn of 1836, and in a second expedition (1837) he was entrusted with the command of a brigade and with the direction of the siege operations before Constantine. General Damrémont was killed by his side on October 12, and the place was taken by assault on the 13th.

He sailed a third time for Algeria in 1841, and served under General Bugeaud, taking part in the expedition to revictual Medea on April 29, and in sharp fighting near Miliana on the 3rd to 5th of May. In the expedition against the fortified town of Takdempt he commanded the 1st infantry division. On his return to France he became commandant of the camp of Compiègne. He had been employed on missions of courtesy to England in 1835, in 1838 and in 1845, and to Berlin and Vienna in 1836.

The occasion of his marriage in 1840 with Victoria, daughter of Duke Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, was marked by a check to Louis Philippe's government in the form of a refusal to bestow the marriage dowry proposed by Thiers in the chamber of deputies.

The death of his elder brother, Ferdinand, duke of Orleans, in 1842 gave him a position of greater importance as the natural regent in the case of the accession of his nephew, the young count of Paris. His reserve, and dislike of public functions, with a certain haughtiness of manner, however, made him unpopular. On the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 be held the Tuileries long enough to cover the king's retreat, but refrained from initiating active measures against the mob. He followed his sister-in-law, the Duchess Helen Louise of Orleans, and her two sons to the chamber of deputies, but was separated from them by the rioters, and only escaped finially by disguising himself in the uniform of a national guard.

Table of contents
1 Exile
2 Return to France
3 Reference


He embarked for England, where he settled with his parents at Claremont. His chief aim during his exile, especially after his father's death, was a reconciliation between the two branches of the house of Bourbon, as indispensable to the re-establishment of the French monarchy in any form. These wishes were frustrated on the one hand by the attitude of the comte de Chambord, and on the other by the determination of the duchess of Orleans to maintain the pretensions of the count of Paris. Nemours was prepared to go further than the other princes of his family in accepting the principles of the legitimists, but lengthy negotiations ended in 1857 with a letter, written by Nemours, as he subsequently explained, at the dictation of his brother, François, prince de Joinville, in which he insisted that Chambord should express his adherence to the tricolour flag and to the principles of constitutional government. In 1871 the Orleans princes renewed their professions of allegiance to the senior branch of their house, but they were not consulted when the count of Chambord came to Paris in 1873, and their political differences remained until his death in 1883.

Nemours had lived at Bushey House after the death in 1866 of Queen Marie Amélie, widow of Louis Philippe.

Return to France

In 1871 the exile imposed on the French princes was withdrawn, but he only transferred his establishment to Paris after their disabilities were also removed. In March 1872 he was restored to his rank in the army as general of division, and placed in the first section of the general staff. After his retirement from the active list he continued to act as president of the Red Cross Society until 1881, when new decrees against the princes of the blood led to his withdrawal from Parisian society. During the presidency of Marshal MacMahon, be had appeared from time to time at the Elysée. He died at Versailles on June 26, 1896, the duchess having died at Claremont on November 10, 1857.

Their children were:

See René Bazin, Le Duc de Nemours (1907); Paul Thureau-Dangin, Histoire de la monarchie de France (4 vols., 1884, etc.).