House of Bourbon

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Descended from France's ruling Capetian dynasty, the house of Bourbon became monarchs of France, Spain and southern Italy.

The Bourbon Dynasty owes its name to the marriage (1268) of Robert, count of Clermont, sixth son of king Louis IX of France, to Beatrice, heiress to the lordship of Bourbon. Their son Louis was made duke of Bourbon in 1327. Though his line was dispossessed of the dukedom after two centuries, a junior line of the family went on to gain the crown of Navarre (1555) and of France (1589).

Other lines descended from the French Bourbon dynasty went on to rule Spain (from 1700-1808, 1813-1868, and 1875-1931, and again from 1975 to the present) and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1806 and 1815-1860, and Sicily only in 1806-1816), but the French line lost the throne for a first time in 1792 and finally in 1830 after a sixteen-year restoration.

The Bourbon dynasty in France:

Following the French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, the House of Bourbon was restored:

The Orleanist July monarchy, which took power in July 1830, brought to the throne the head of the Orleanist cadet branch of the Bourbons:

With the advent of the Second Republic in 1848, Bourbon monarchy in France ended.

The Bourbon pretender to the throne of France, the Comte de Chambord, was offered a restored throne following the collapse of the empire of Emperor Napoleon III in 1870. However the stubborn Chambord refused to accept the throne unless France abandoned the revolution-inspired tricolore and accepted what he regarded as the true Bourbon flag of France, something the French National Assembly could not possibly agree to. (The tricolour, having been associated with the First Republic, had been used by the July Monarchy, Second Republic and Empire.)

A temporary Third Republic was established, while monarchists waited for Chambord to die and for the succession to pass to the Comte de Paris, who was willing to accept the tricolour. However Chambord did not die for over a decade, by which public opinion switched to support the republic as the 'form of government that divides us least.'

See also: List of French monarchs, Members of the French Royal Families, Kings of France family tree, Bourbon family tree


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