This Family Claims to Be French Royalty, and It’s Really Controversial

A French family claims to be royalty. The only problem is France doesn’t have a monarchy. Not since King Louis XVI was guillotined more than two centuries ago has France had a monarchy, according to The Telegraph. Ahead, learn why one family in France claims to be French royalty.

Royal House of Orléans

Coat of Arms Kings of France Orleans

It’s what’s left of the royal French family. | Sodacan/Wikimedia Commons

The Royal House of Orléans is the French family line containing royal blood. The line goes back to King XVI and further. Today, Henri d’Orléans, a descendant of King Louis-Philippe, the last king to ascend to the throne, is embroiled in a controversy over the throne with his family.

Hint: Why does it matter?

The argument goes back generations

Louis XVI Execution

There is been nothing if not turmoil over the monarchy. | Bibliothèque nationale de France/Wikimedia Commons

Remember, France hasn’t had a monarchy in more than 200 years. So, why is this family fighting over who will have rights to the throne? Because, who wouldn’t want to be a king? As it turns out, Henri d’Orléans, and his eight siblings fought over their father’s property with royal ties in court, according to The Telegraph.

Hint: ‘Pretenders’ as their called, have courtesy titles.

Heri holds a courtesy title

Prince Henri D'Orleans, Duc de Vendome and Philomena de Tornos Celebrate Wedding in Senlis

Henri has no legal status as a member of the royal family. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Henri holds the courtesy titles of Count of Paris and Duke of France. As the term “courtesy titles” suggests, the titles are nothing more than that, titles. They give Henri no legal status under the French Republic.

Hint: Henri’s youngest son has a problem with his older brother being heir.

François heir to throne until his death

Francois d'Orleans

He suffered from mental disability since birth. | Prince Jean de France via Twitter

Henri’s oldest son, François, remained the heir to the nonexistent throne until his death in 2017, according to Royal Central. François had suffered from a severe mental disability since birth. To help François, his father had enlisted François’s brother, Jean, Duke of Vendôme, as regent.

Hint: A disease caused mental disabilities among the family.

 Mental disabilities run in the family

Pregnant woman

Their mother had a parasite during pregnancy. | shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

The youngest of Henri’s three children, Blanche, lives with a disability as a result of her mother having toxoplasmosis — a disease caused by one of the world’s most common parasites, according to the Mayo Clinic  — during pregnancy. François, also had the same disease.

Hint: Jean had a good reason for wanting to the title.

Jean couldn’t wait to be king

Prince Jean de France, Duc d'Orleans

He argued that he should become the next in line. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Before the death of François, Jean argued he should become the next pretender to the throne. He claimed he should no longer act as regent on behalf of François, and have the title for himself.

Hint: Father used French tradition to back up his decision.

Why Henri believes François was the rightful heir

The face of Prince Jean de France, duc d'orleans

Jean must not have been happy hearing his father deny his claim to the thrown. | Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Before the death of François, Henri refuted his son, Jean’s, claims to becoming the heir in a Right-wing magazine, Point de Vue. Henri claimed “French monarchical tradition” supported his decision to appoint a regent when the rightful heir is unable to govern. Since the death of François, Jean has become the next heir to the throne.

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