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France

The Prophetic Chaplain of King Louis XI

The reign of Louis XI was dominated by his struggles against the Duke of Burgundy, his cousin. King Louis’ thoughts and preoccupations revolved entirely around France; how can he unite the disparate provinces under his scepter and create a state of order in the country that would meet the needs of his people? His cousin,…


Paris

Saturday, November 14, 2015. Paris, 8am. The morning after the attacks in Paris.   Love is spontaneity. Love is a desire. Love is universal. It concerns everyone and everything. This morning, after the horrors of the night in Paris, let love be felt by: – The victims and their friends and families, the grieving, the…

Bonaparte

My maternal family, the House of Orléans, hated Napoleon III. One of his first acts upon coming into power was to confiscate their fortune, to which the journalist Henri de Rochefort remarked, “C’est le premier vol de l’aigle.” (The play on words here cannot be translated into English, vol means both flight and theft in…

Belhomme’s Clinic

In the midst of the Terror, at a time when Parisians were laying low, afraid of falling victim to the revolutionaries, when a heavy atmosphere weighed down on the city and dread and anxiety suppressed all amusement, when shortages grew ever more dramatic and severe, there was at Charenton, a refuge, a haven where all the…

Family Portrait, XII

The life of Louis Philippe I, King of the French, reads like a novel. Born in 1773 during the reign of Louis XV, the young prince saw the Court of Versailles, Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette. He joined the ranks during the Revolution and became the youngest general in France. The son of a regicide, his…

Family Portrait, IX

Helen of France, the Duchess of Aosta, returned from one of her African expeditions with two children bought from a slave market. The children became her pages at the Capodimonte Palace in Naples. One day, while the duchess was away from home, her elder sister, Queen Amelie of Portugal, had the children baptized. After informing her sister,…

Family Portrait, VIII

The baptism of Princess Marguerite of Savoy Aosta at the Capodimonte Palace, Naples, Italy, in 1930. From left to right, Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Aosta, Queen of Italy Elena of Montenegro, whose hand my father, Prince Christopher, is kissing. Next to him, Anne of France, the future Duchess of Aosta and mother of the newborn,…

Family Portrait, V

Princess Antonia of Luxembourg was the second wife of Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria. The prince was a staunch opponent of the Nazis, and joined in the battle against Hitler. His family was eventually arrested by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Princess Antonia survived the camp, but left in such a vulnerable state…

Family Portrait, IV

Philippe, the Duke d’Orléans, and King Alphonse XIII of Spain at Wood Norton, England. The Duke d’Orléans, son of the exiled Count of Paris, like many of the House of France, had chosen England as his place of exile. He owned the sumptuous property of Wood Norton, the future site of the marriage between his…