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European Royals

French pretenders release statement’s on Yellow Vest riots

Earlier this week, Royal Central reported that the French monarchist movement was heavily involved in the “Yellow Vest” riots in France. Now several of the pretenders to the French throne have released statements with their thoughts about the riots and their hope for the future political situation in France.

As of now, there are five pretenders to the French throne. These are Franz, the Duke of Bavaria; Prince Louis, Duke of Anjou; Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France as well as both Jean Christophe and Charles Napoléon from the house of Bonaparte.

Yellow Vest royalist at protests. Photo: The International Monarchist Conference

Prince Louis, Duke of Anjou from the House of Bourbon claims the throne as Legitimist. Prince Louis says that he: “does not want to get involved in politics, not today, not tomorrow”. In a recent interview with the magazine Vanitatis he says he has enough work with his three children, and his upcoming fourth child. The Duke of Anjou is currently living in Spain where he recently became the new leader of the Franco Foundation.

On his Facebook page, Prince Louis, expressed his solidarity and his deep compassion for those who are suffering in France, without any financial resources, overwhelmed with burdens, humiliated and deprived of hope. The International Monarchist Conference can confirm to Royal Central that it is unlikely Prince Louis will take up an important political role in France in the near future. They also revealed that the Legitimist branch of the French monarchist movement is a small minority.

Prince Jean of Orléans, Duke of Vendôme. Photo: Hadrien Guisalemont via Wikimedia Commons.

One French pretender who is more active in French politic is in the House of Orléans. Prince Henry of Orleans, Count of Paris and his son, Jean of Orleans, the Duke of Vendome have taken active roles in the French monarchist movement. Prince Henry is himself a descendant of King Louis-Philippe I, who was overthrown in 1848 by a revolution. This made his statement about the “Yellow Vest” riots more relevant.

Both Prince Henry and his son, the Duke of Vendome have stated that they are strongly concerned about the current crisis in France. They also expressed doubts about the French government’s ability to offer a “long-term vision for the future”. Prince Jean of Orleans calls on the French to unite and find a common denominator that would allow them to build a unifying project through a common foundation and end of the divisions.

The monarchist group “Action Française” supports the House of Orléans, also known as the Orléanist-fraction of the French monarchist movement. This a well-known and very active monarchist movement in France which recently merged with another smaller Orléanist faction of France’s biggest royalist movement, called “Restauration Nationale”.

There have been major protests in Paris where several thousand were arrested and hundreds injured in what some describe as the beginning of a revolution. Photo: KRIS AUS67 via Wikimedia Commons.

The House of Bonaparte has not released a statement regarding the “Yellow Vest” riots.

French and international media have pointed out that there are parallels between the unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron and King Louis XVI who was killed by a revolution that ended the monarchy for a short time in France. Many believe now, and hope, that a new revolution will now be able to bring down the republic and bring back the monarchy. If France was to return the monarchy, there would still be the difficult task of choosing their new regent. Should France be an Empire or Kingdom? Would they have Emperor or King?

The last poll on the monarchy issue in France is from 2016 and stated that only 16% of the population supported the restoration of the monarchy. Some believe there are now reasons to believe that this has increased dramatically since 2016. However, that the monarchist movement is so divided, is a big problem. With five pretenders, there is no clear leader of the monarchist movement as of today.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.