Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fulfilment of a Promise

So how did I end up being a French Legitimist, a supporter of  le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien? That journey is part of the monarchist ideology that I've held as long as I can remember, except for a short flirtation with leftism in my early 20s. I posted on this topic in a short introduction to a video by my good friend, Chevalier Charles Coulombe, 'How Do People Become Monarchists?'

I have ancestral ties to the British monarchy. My Mother and my Grandmother were both Hampshire women. My Mother's Father was the son of Canadian subjects of the British Crown, and despite being an American citizen, he had enlisted in the British Army as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery in 1915. My male ancestors, in my Grandmother's family, had, for generations, either served in the Royal Navy, or worked in Royal Dockyard Portsmouth. I cannot remember a time in my life that I have not felt a loyalty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.


Plus on my Father's side of the family, my Grandmother Weismiller was born in Sweden during the reign of HM King Oscar II. She had two brothers, one named Oscar for the King reigning at his birth, and one named Gustav for the Crown Prince, later HM King Gustav V.


However, I'm also a mediæval history buff. I even read mediæval history at university. I knew that, in the middle ages, it was not at all unusual to owe allegiance to two (or more) different lords. When I became a Traditional Catholic, as well as a monarchist, I wanted a Catholic prince. and because on my Father's side of the family, his Father's people had come from Imperial land that is now part of Germany, thanks to the protestant aggression of Otto von Bismarck, As a result of this connection, I wanted a tie to the old Holy Empire. I wrote to Otto von Habsburg, de jure, tho' not de facto, Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary offering to swear allegiance to him. He replied that he would rather I swore allegiance to an 'United Europe'. I was already becoming suspicious of the whole EU project, so I chose a different route, tho' he and his gracious consort did, later, become Godparents to my youngest daughter.


So, with the Emperor himself out of the running, I realised that there is only one State in the world, still existing, that was a constituent part of the Holy Roman Empire, and that is still ruled by a monarch, i.e. Liechtenstein. The story of how Liechtenstein, as Liechtenstein, became a State of the Empire is fascinating in itself, and is the subject of a future post. At any rate, since I only had one choice, I took the chance and wrote  His Serene Highness Franz Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein. I offered him my allegiance, and in reply he told me that, as long as I realised that it gave me no claim on Liechtensteiner citizenship, he would be happy to accept my oath. I took the oath of allegiance and was content until he died in 1989.


At that point, I wrote to his son and successor Prince Hans Adam offering him my renewed allegiance. He replied that he wasn't interested. So I was 'Catholic prince-less' again. I had no ties to Luxembourg or Belgium. Andorra was out because one of its Co-Princes is the republican President of revolutionary France. My opinion of the Royal Perjurer on the Throne of Spain at the time was less than accepting, so I had to look in the deposed Houses. Italy was out, because in its origins the Kingdom of Italy was a Freemasonic plot to destroy the Papal States. I had no ties to Portugal, either, so I was left with the choice of France. I actually have a tenuous ancestral connection to la Belle France, tho'. That Canadian Great Grandfather I mentioned had come of mixed English and French Huguenot stock, so I looked seriously at France.




Plus, in my increasing immersion in integralist and counter-revolutionary thought and politics and my reading in Catholic prophecy, especially of Yves Dupont's Catholic Prophecy, in which occur many prophecies regarding a Frankish King who will rule, or how the Great Monarch will come from the 'House of Lilies', the 'Fleur-de-Lis', as can be seen here. I became more and more convinced, that if the Revolution were to be defeated, it must first be defeated in France, where Satan had won his great victory.


STCM Louis XVI, 
foully murdered by
the Revolution

Because of these prophecies, it became vital to know who the Legitimate King of France, 'God's Lieutenant on earth', as the Maid of Orleans, Ste Jeanne d'Arc, called him, actually is. 


There are three families who claim the Crown, not counting the idiotic Naundorffists, the House of Bourbon, the House of Orleans, and the Bonapartes. Plus there are the 'Providentialists' who believe that 'God will choose the King'. They were the first to be dismissed, because, whilst I truly believe that God chooses kings, he chooses them by descent in the royal family.


The second to go were the Bonapartes, because I believe that Napoleon was a committed and convinced Revolutionary, who saw his mission as the completion of the Revolution and the total destruction of la vraie France, le pays reel.


That left the Bourbons and the Orleans. Both have large numbers of supporters, but the succession question is complicated. 


La Maison de Bourbon represents the Eldest line of the House of France, descended by strict Salic Law from male to male from Hugh Capet, King of the Franks from AD 987 until AD 997. In other words, this line has an unbroken line of male descent for 1020 years! It is true that the Orleans also trace their descent in an unbroken male line back to Hugh, but they have no legitimate claim to the headship of the House of France by strict Salic Law. 


La Maison d'Orleans,  is a cadet branch of la Maison de France. The Head of this junior branch of the Royal House is a direct descendant in the male line of Phillipe II, le Régent, le duc d'Orleans. Wikipedia has this to say about him:

«Philippe was a professed atheist who boasted to read the satirical works of François Rabelais inside a Bible binding during mass, and liked to hold orgies even on religious high holidays.». He was also an unrepentant sodomite who only married for reasons of state.

His son, Louis, duc d'Orleans, rebelled by being a good man and a good Catholic, but his grandson, Louis-Phillipe, duc d'Orleans, began to revert to type, though in a less perverted manner, fathering at least two bastards.

His great grandson, Louis-Philippe-Joseph duc d'Orléans, is known to history as Philippe-Égalité. He was Grandmaster of the violently anti-Catholic Freemasonic Grand Lodge of France and an active supporter of the Revolution (in the hope of usurping the Throne, many think!). He voted for the murder of his cousin, His Most Christian Majesty, King Louis XVI and is thus often referred to as «the Regicide». Despite his devotion to its ideals, the Revolution turned on him and he was guillotined in November, 1793, during the reign of terror, thus surviving his cousin, the King, by only ten months.

However, his dreams and those of his forebears back to his great grandfather came true in 1830 when the Revolution succeeded in overthrowing the last Legitimate King of France and Navarre, His Most Christian Majesty, King Charles X, and replacing him on the «Throne» with Phillipe-Égalité's son, Louis-Philippe, as le roi des francaises (King of the French, rather than of France and Navarre, the title of the true Kings of France).


The diversion came as a result of the Revolution of 1830. King Charles X had succeeded his childless brother, King Louis XVIII in 1824. When the second French Revolution (there would be a third in 1848) overthrew him, he was technically succeeded by his son, Louis, Duc d'Angoulême for 20 minutes. While the revolutionaries were clamouring for a Masonic government under Louis-Philippe, he abdicated in favour of his son, Henri, Duc d'Artois.


The Revolution won, however, and Louis-Philippe became the 'Citizen King', 'King of the French, by the Grace of God and the Will of the People', throwing a title 843 years old, 'King of France' out the window to pander to the mob.


Legitimists such as myself, have never accepted the forced abdication of King Charles, however, and he was still considered King until his death in 1836. He was succeeded as Legitimate King by his son as Louis XIX. On his death, eight years after his father, in 1844, he was succeeded in turn by his son, the Duke of Artois, as Henri V.



STCM Henri V

Then, in the early 1870s, as the Second Empire collapsed following its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War at the battle of Sedan on 1 September 1870, the royalists became a majority in the National Assembly. The Orléanists agreed to support the ageing Charles' claim to the throne, with the expectation that at his childless death he would be succeeded by their own claimant, Philippe d'Orléans, comte de Paris, of the revolutionary, usurping, Freemasonic House of Orleans. Henri was then pretender for both Legitimists and Orléanists, and the restoration of monarchy in France seemed a close possibility. However, Henri insisted that he would accept the crown only on condition that France abandon its tricolour flag and return to the use of the white fleur-de-lys flag. He rejected a compromise, whereby the fleur-de-lys would be the new king's personal standard, and the tricolour would remain the national flag.


A temporary Third Republic was established, to wait for Henri's death and his replacement by the more liberal Comte de Paris. But by the time this occurred in 1883, public opinion had swung behind the Republic as the form of government which, in the words of the former President Adolphe Thiers, "divides us least". Thus, Henri could be mockingly hailed by republicans such as Georges Clemenceau as "the French Washington" — the one man without whom the Republic could not have been founded.

Henri's death left the Legitimist line of succession distinctly confused. On one hand, Henri himself had accepted that the head of the Maison de France (as distinguished from the Maison de Bourbon) would be the head of the Orléans line, i.e. the Comte de Paris. However this was compltely ultra vires, since it did not lie in his power to alter the Fundamental Laws of France or the Salic inheritance of the Headship of the House of France, which is one of those Laws. This was accepted by many Legitimists, and was the default on very dubious legal grounds, for reasons I shall explain shortly; the only surviving Bourbon line more senior was the Spanish branch, which had supposedly renounced its right to inherit the throne of France as a condition of the Treaty of Utrecht. However, many if not most of Henri's supporters, including his widow, chose to disregard his statements and this law, arguing that no one had the right to deny to the senior direct-male-line male Bourbon to be the head of the Maison de France and thus the legitimate King of France; the renunciation of the Spanish branch is under this interpretation illegitimate and therefore void. Thus these Legitimists settled on Juan, Count of Montizón, who became by the Fundamental Laws, Jean III, King of France and Navarre. He issued a declaration saying, "Having become Head of the House of Bourbon by the death of my brother-in-law and cousin, the Comte de Chambord, I declare that I do not in any way renounce the rights to the throne of France which I have held since my birth". He was also, at the time, the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne (the Salic law having been suspended in Spain, the actual king, Alfonso XII, was not the senior descendant in the male line), as their claimant to the French crown. Juan is considered by Legitimists to have been His Most Christian Majesty Jean III.



STCM Jean III

Wikipedia has a very good section on the Fundamental Laws. In fact, the entire article has a great deal of information. It can be read here, The section on the Laws says (my emphasis):

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.

Whether or not the operation of Salic Law in Spain was actually abolished, is of course, a bone of contention between the Carlists and the Alfonsists which has led to the three Carlist Wars plus the Spanish Civil War is considered by many Carlists to have been a fourth, but that is the topic of another post.

The entire French succession questions turns on two points. 1) Was it within the power of the Head of the House to change it and the Salic Law determining it, and 2) was the Treaty of Utrecht binding on the question. The first point is the crux of the succession problem in both France and Spain, but the Treaty of Utrecht affects only the French question, since, as I pointed out above, the actual King of Spain is not the Eldest Born of the House of Bourbon.

As I pointed out, no one, not even the King can change the Fundamental Laws of France, and Henri's attempt to so was ultra vires, so, in France it boils down to the Treaty of Utrecht. What is it? The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, is actually a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of the Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713. The treaties were between several European states, including the Kingdoms of SpainGreat BritainFrancePortugalSavoy, and the Dutch Republic, which helped end the war.

The War of the Spanish Succession was caused by the Will of the last Habsburg King of Spain, Charles II, who, infirm and childless, had willed the Kingdoms of the Spains to his distant cousin, Philippe, duc d'Anjou, the son of Louis le Grand Dauphin, and grandson of Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil. The other major Powers of Europe, fearing a dynastic union of France and the Spains, objected, which led to the war.


After 13 long years of facing those parts of Spain loyal to Charles von Habsburg,  the Crown of Aragon, Austria, Great Britain (1707-1713, which had been England and Scotland until 1707), the Dutch Republic, Prussia, Portugal, Savoy, and Hanover, and having had peace for only four years after having faced much the same Coalition in the Nine Years War, France was exhausted. A condition of the peace was that King Louis and Philippe should renounce, forever, the rights of the Spanish Bourbons to the Throne of France. Most Legitimists, myself included, believe that this promise was extorted from an exhausted Kingdom that could not afford to continue the war.


Beyond the fact that this was a putative change in the Fundamental Laws, and thus ultra vires, we do not feel that an pledge included in what was, essentially, an extorted treaty is any more binding than an extorted oath or vow. As a result, having rejected the Providentialists on 'theological' grounds, the Bonapartes for their devotion to the Revolution, and the Orleanists because of their usurpation of the Throne, their Revolutionary ties, and the fact that the Fundamental Laws require the King to be Catholic (cf. Henri IV, who said 'Paris is worth a Mass', and converted so he could become King) and as Masons they are not Catholic, (in fact the current Orleanist 'claimant', a few years ago, was the founding Master of a new lodge!), I became a Legitimist.


The line from Jean III is as follows.

  • Charles XI
  • Jacques I
  • Charles XII
  • Alphonse I
  • Jacques II
  • Alphonse II
  • Louis XX, By the Grace of God, Most Christian King of France and Navarre; Count of Provence, Forcalquier and the lands adjacentDauphin of Viennois, Count of Valentinois and of Diois, Whom God Preserve!
STCM Louis XX
Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!

2 comments:

  1. This is numinous to read and very relevant to my present travels in France. My only regret is that it will be some time yet before I can engage with it as fully as I want ...

    ReplyDelete

Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.