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 Comte de Chambord 
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Post Comte de Chambord
I was wondering if anybody knows much about this man, and your opinions of him?

I think he was a colossal idiot. He was the last living male of the French Bourbons, and was offered the throne of France after the fall of the Olreans pretender. Yet he refused it because France insisted on keeping the tri-color as their flag, instead of returning to the fleur-de-lis as he wanted. They were even willing to compromise, and allow him to fly the fleur-de-lis as long as the nation retained the tri-color. Still he refused. He rejected a crown---the crown so many wars and revolutions had been fought over---because of a silly flag. Idiot!

Also, knowing he was the last, he failed to have any children to continue the line, and thus it went extinct with him. You'd think he could have tried a little harder to beget a son.

Just think, if this clod had only compromised, and had a son or two, the Bourbons might still be ruling France today!

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:05 am
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
that is an interresting idea...

but maybe he was not really an idiot...I think it was not the flag....it was just his pride....and to have pride was important those days for all these aristocrats.....

maybe he had a few children...but illegal once

reine :angel6:


Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:20 am
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
I think his upbringing and education may have had a lot to do with him refusing the French throne. In the Susan Nagel book about Marie-Therese Charlotte it does mention that when the family were in exile (after Orleans taking the throne) a visitor to them (don't have the book to hand - sorry!!!) was extremely worried about the education the Comte de Chambord was receiving from MTC and tutors chosen by her - he was being brought up to believe in the divine right of kings etc. which just wasn't a realistic belief to have in relation to post-revolutionary France. So I don't think he was an idiot....he was just too proud to accept the tri-colour because what it stood for went against his beliefs and what he thought was his god-given right.

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From the Declaration of Arbroath (Scottish Declaration of Independence), 1320.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:21 pm
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
I'm sorry, he was still an idiot. A choice between sacrificing family pride, or complete extinction. That he chose extinction is mind-boggling.

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:39 pm
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
I think that is probably the epitome of Talleyrand's quote on the Bourbons, still playing out long after he was dead. "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing."


Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
Hey hey, now, watch the Bourbon-knocking! :lol:
Actually not all of the Bourbons were so obtuse. Henri IV was quite the statesman; he faced a far more difficult choice, between his (Protestant) faith and the Crown. He wisely chose the crown, ending the civil war and uniting France behind him.

Had Chambord been as clever, he could have accepted the compromise and later, once his power was established, changed the flags the way he wanted. Sort of the bait-and-switch like Henri IV pulled on the Catholics, and Napoleon III on all the French. But no.... pride before everything.

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
Haha, that quote is specifically applicable only for post-Revolutionary Bourbons. But on the subject, I like Henri IV. Very intelligent man and one who was actually concerned with the living conditions of his people.


Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:21 am
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Post Re: Comte de Chambord
I don't think he is an idiot...in fact, I believe you are judging him rather unfairly. As Talleyrand remarked, and one poster already stated, the Bourbons after the Restoration "Forgot nothing and learned nothing."

The Comte de Chambord, Henri-Dieudonné was born September 29, 1820; seven months earlier his father had been assassinated, but left his wife, Caroline Louise, pregnant. He was the Duc de Bordeaux for ten years, before the July Revolution. I don't believe he was an idiot because he refused to compromise; merely stubborn. He grew up in an atmosphere of reactionary emigres, deprived of what he saw as rightfully is. As such, it is no surprise he rejected the Tricolor flag in 1870, just as his great-uncle Louis XVIII rejected it in 1815; during the Bourbon Restoration, the white flag WAS the national flag. I don't see how Chambord was in the wrong. He was raised to believe in the type of monarchy embodied by his grandfather, Charles X. He did not reject the throne just because the flag: he desired to be a monarch more akin to the Austrian or German emperors; he refused to be a monarch like Victoria in Great Britain.

In many ways, I think it was better that he rejected the crown; although the National Assembly elected in 1870 was overwhelmingly Royalist, just a few years later it turned Republican. At any rate, Chambord did compromise on one issue: he recognized the Orléanist claimant, the Comte de Paris as his heir. The Third Republic was meant to be temporary; if Chambord had died a little sooner, then the monarchy would've been restored, just with the Comte de Paris as King. However, as Adolph Thiers said, "The Republic is the government that divides us (Frenchmen) the least." If the monarchy had been restored, who knows what might've happened. There might've been another Republic eventually. The French seemed to like swapping government institutions in the 19th century. Just as in 1830 the French revolted against Charles X, if Chambord was too heavy-handed, he might've seen something similar happen if he had been King!

As for begetting an heir...I believe that is also unfair to throw on Chambord. He DID marry, Archduchess Marie-Thérèse of Austria-Este; they had no children, it might be likely that Chambord or the Archduchess were infertile; afterall, Chambord's uncle, the Duc d'Angoulême was impotent. Chambord was not the last of the Bourbons, anyways, the senior line still lives on through the descendants of Philippe V, the King of Spain. Some French legitimists recognize his heirs, and not the Orléanists as the rightful King of France.

I apologize for getting so emotional, but I have a special place in my heart for Chambord, or Henri V for some people. I believe he is greatly misunderstood; I think one has to admire his actions, for he stuck to the principles instilled in him by his aunt, Madame Royale. Of course, he was very out of touch with the society of the time...that nostalgia for before the French Revolution and the monarchy, a government on high dominated by an aristocracy and the Catholic church was simply out of touch with the political realities of 1870. Maybe in some ways, Chambord knew that what he desired would never be accepted, and thus he refused to accept the crown and the restrictions the French sought to place on him.

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Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:19 am
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