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European Royals

French royalists involved in the “Yellow Vest” riots in Paris

The ongoing “Yellow Vest” protests in Paris have increasing royalist support. Several groups from different fractions of the French monarchist movement have demonstrated against the current government. During the early demonstrations, a royalist flag was spotted, and many called out for the restoration of the French monarchy.

French media and the International Monarchist Conference reported that a fraction of 200 royalists attended the protests early in December, and the number has increased over the last weeks. In addition, several Catholic groups have attended the demonstrations. Through the last weeks of demonstrations, more and more royalist symbols have been spotted in the demonstrations, mostly the flag with the Fleur-de-lis. The Fleur-de-lis was the symbol of the French monarchy during the reign until the Bonaparte dynasty.

Yellow Vest royalist with the monarchist flag with the Fleur-de-lis, the symbol of the French monarchy. Photo: The International Monarchist Conference

In addition, the Count of Paris, Henry of Orleans has, on Twitter, published several statements regarding the protests. Early in December, the Count of Paris called everyone to calm and reason themselves. A week later, the Count visited the “Arc de Triomphe” to rekindle the flame of the Unknown Soldier following the request of French General Bruno Dary.

Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France is head of the House of Orléans, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French crown as Henry VII. A descendant in the male-line of France’s “Citizen-King” Louis-Philippe d’Orléans (ruled 1830–1848), he is also recognised as the legitimate claimant to the throne by those French royalists, called Unionists.

Yellow Vest royalists supporting the House of Bourbon. Photo: The International Monarchist Conference

Also, the Bonapartist has had an active role in the ongoing drama in France. On 3 December, French Bonapartist held a ceremony in front of the “Arc de Triomphe” which suffered major damage during the riots. The ceremony was held to commemorate the 213th anniversary of the Victory of Austerlitz.

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 would 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? This is because there is a total of four families that claim the French throne today:

  • Franz, the Duke of Bavaria, from the house of Wittelsbach claims the throne as Jacobite.
  • Prince Louis, Duke of Anjou from the house of Bourbon claims the throne as Legitimist.
  • Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France from the house of Orléans claims the throne as Orléanist.
  • Both Jean Christophe and Charles Napoléon from the house of Bonaparte claims the throne, as Emperor and not a king as the other three.
About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.