Friday, September 23, 2011

Life of Louise-Marie d'Artois

Author Gareth Russell gives a brief sketch of Louise d'Artois, also known as Louise de Berry, granddaughter of Charles X.
As dramatised in Elena Maria Vidal's novel, Madame Royale, Princess Louise-Marie's life was not to be as happy or tranquil as royalists would have hoped. At the age of only five months, she lost her father when he was stabbed to death by a republican assassin as he left the opera one evening with his wife who was, already, two months pregnant as her husband bled to death in front of her. The Duke's death led to a backlash of anti-republican legislation and sentiment in France, with royalism in France losing its liberal base and becoming more and more dominated by conservatives of the far Right. When the old King died in 1824 and Louise-Marie's grandfather inherited the throne as King Charles X, he was determined to preside over a government with a policy of zero tolerance for compromise. Along with colonial expansion in Algeria and government support for the Industrial Revolution, Charles's government also curtailed the freedom of the press, limited the suffrage and promoted the Catholic religion so overzealously to the extent that one wit once quipped that it was a government for priests, by priests. Intent on atoning for the sins of his youth, Charles X apparently could not understand that the whole nation was not content for the government to insist they atone along with him. In 1830, the King was badly advised by those around him and betrayed by members of his own family, when he was swept off the throne in favour of his liberal cousin, Louis-Philippe. (Read entire post.)


Gareth Russell said...

Thank you for the link!

May said...

I may have garbled this, but wasn't there a plan, before the birth of Louise's brother, Henri, to have Louise marry the eldest son of Louis-Philippe and Marie-Amélie, the Duc de Chartres, who was expected to become King eventually if the elder line failed? I even recall reading an anecdote about the little Duc de Chartres, hearing celebrations of the birth of Louise and saying something like: "Either my king or my wife has just been born".

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, I remember reading that somewhere as well.