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King Louis XV had ten legitimate children, but there were only two sons, only one of whom survived to adulthood, Louis, Dauphin of France. This did not help dispel the concerns about the future of the dynasty; should his male line fail, the succession would be disputed by a possible war of succession between the descendants of Felipe V of Spain and the House of Orléans descended from Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the younger brother of King Louis XIV.

The Dauphin Louis predeceased his father but left behind three sons, Louis Augusté, Duke of Berry, Louis Stanislas, Count of Provence and Charles Philippe, Count of Artois. The Duke of Berry succeeded his grandfather as King Louis XVI.

King Charles X of France and Navarre

Louis XVI would be the only French king to be executed, during the French Revolution. For the first time, the Capetian monarchy had been overthrown. The monarchy would be restored under his younger brother, Louis Stanislaus, Count of Provence, who took the name Louis XVIII in consideration of the dynastic seniority of his nephew, Louis, from 1793 to 1795 (the child never actually reigned but is counted as King Louis XVII).

Louis XVIII died childless and was succeeded by his younger brother, Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, as King Charles X. Louis XVIII is the last King of France to die while still being King.

Compelled by what he felt to be a growing, manipulative radicalism in the elected government, Charles felt that his primary duty was the guarantee of order and happiness in France and its people; not in political bipartisanship and the self-interpreted rights of implacable political enemies. He issued the Four Ordinances of Saint-Cloud, which were intended to quell the people of France.

However, the ordinances had the opposite effect of angering the French citizens. In Paris, a committee of the liberal opposition had drawn up and signed a petition in which, they asked for the ordonnances to be withdrawn; more surprising was their criticism “not of the King, but his ministers” – thereby disproving Charles X’s conviction that his liberal opponents were enemies of his dynasty.

Charles X considered the ordonnances vital to the safety and dignity of the French throne. Thus, he did not withdraw the ordonnances. This precipitated the July Revolution.

Louis Philippe I, King of the French

The July Revolution resulted in King Charles X of France and Navarre (1824-1830) being deposed. He unsuccessfully tried to abdicate the throne in favor of his eldest son, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême whom the Legitimist faction call King Louis XIX of France and Navarre. His tenure on the French throne was brief and never officially recognized. 30 minutes later Louis XIX abdicated his claim to the throne to his nephew Henri of Artois, Comte de Chambord.

The Comte de Chambord claimed the throne of France as Henri V until the Chamber of Deputies proclaimed his distant cousin, Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans as King of the French on August 9, 1830. The Legitimist faction view Louis Philippe as a usurper to the French throne and rightly so.

The National Assembly had at first named Louis Philippe, Lieutenant général du royaume, and he was to act as regent for the young King Henri V in the same role as his ancestor, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans played as regent to the young King Louis XV.

The National Assembly also gave him the responsibility to proclaim to the Chamber of Deputies his desire to have his cousin, Henri V, Count of Chambord, mount the French throne.

Louis Philippe failed to do this in an attempt to seize the throne for himself. This hesitation gave the Chamber of Deputies time to consider Louis Philippe in the role of king due to his liberal policies and his popularity with the general public.

Despite Louis Philippe being regent for the young Henri V, the Chamber of Deputies proclaimed Louis Philippe as the new French king, displacing the senior branch of the House of Bourbon. This coup which displaced the senior Bourbons was in direct violation of the Fundamental Laws of Succession to the French Crown.