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European Royals

Prince François of Orléans, eldest son of Henri, Count of Paris, pretender to the defunct French throne, has died

Prince François of Orléans, the eldest son of Henri, Count of Paris, one of the pretenders to the defunct French throne, and Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg died yesterday morning, 31 December. He was 56. The announcement came from his younger brother, Prince Jean, who tweeted: “I’m sad to announce the death of my brother HRH Prince François d’Orléans occurred this morning. I entrust it to your prayers.”

Prince François, Count of Clermont was the second child Henri, Count of Paris and Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg. He was born on 7 February 1961 in Boulogne-sur-Seine. Marie Therese suffered from toxoplasmosis during the pregnancy, which resulted in Prince François being born mentally disabled. His younger sister, Princess Blanche who was born in 1963 was also born mentally disabled due to toxoplasmosis. His godparents were Henri, Count of Paris, his paternal grandfather and Duchess Rosa of Württemberg, his maternal grandmother.

There had been a dispute in the House of Orleans whether or not Prince François would be recognised as Head of House despite his disability. His father claimed that he would be surrounded by a regency council while Prince Jean released a press release challenging the decision of his father and said he would be the next leader of the House of France.

Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme, the second son of Henri, Count of Paris, will take his brother’s place as heir to the defunct French throne. He married Philomena de Tornos Steinhart (born 1977) on 2 May 2009. They have four children Prince Gaston (born 2009), Princess Antoinette (born 2012), Princess Louise-Marguerite (born 2014) and Prince Joseph (born 2016). Prince Jean obtained a master’s degree in philosophy in 1989, a master’s degree in law in 1992 and a Masters in Business Administration in 1994. He created his own company, Avenir & Patrimoine Conseil, in 2007.