Monday, January 1, 2018

HRH Prince Francois d'Orléans, Count of Clermont (1961-2017)

Prince Francois with his siblings, arriving for the Duke of Vendome's wedding at Senlis in 2009.  @Ulrike Bartsch

HRH Prince Francois  Henri Louis Marie of Orléans, the second child and eldest son of HRH Prince Henri, Count of Paris and his first wife, HRH Princess Marie-Therese, Duchess of Montpensier (nee  Duchess of Württemberg),  died on December 31, 2017.   He was 56 years old.

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Prince Francois was the heir apparent to his father's position as head of the House of Orléans, but it was a position in name only.  He was born mentally handicapped as his mother suffered from toxoplasmosis during her pregnancy.  He died peacefully in his sleep at Prince Jean's home in Dreux.  It is believed that the Duchess of Montpensier and Princess Blanche were also staying with the Duke and Duchess of Vendome.

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His father named bestowed the Clermont title on him in 1999.  It was the title the Count of Paris held before he succeeded his father, Prince Henri, as the head of the royal house.  The present Count of Paris also named Prince Francois as his heir, but due to Francois' disability, a regency would be named when he succeeded his father.   The Count of Paris' second son, Prince Jean, Duke of Vendome, disputed his father's decision and stated that he was his father's heir.

The announcement of Francois' death was made by both the Duke of Vendome and the Count of Paris.

It is understood that the Prince died at Prince Jean's home as he often spent the holidays with his brother and his family.  For most of each year, he lived at the 'l'Arche in Paris, a residence for mentally handicapped individuals.

Prince Francois was born on February 7, 1961, at Boulogne-sur-Seine, the second of five children of then Count and Countess of Clermont.  His godparents were his paternal grandfather, the Count of Paris, and his maternal grandmother, Duchess Rosa of Württemberg.  His first name was in honor of his paternal uncle, HRH Prince Francois Gaston Michel Marie, Duke of Orléans, who had been killed on October 11, 1960, in the Algerian War.

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Prince Francois is survived by his parents, his siblings,  Princess Marie (Princess Gundakar of Liechtenstein), Prince Jean, the Duke of Vendome, Princess Blanche (who was also born mentally handicapped due to toxoplasmosis), and Prince Eudes, Duke of Angouleme and 11 nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.


Gérard Caule said...

Prince Eudes, Duke of Angouleme, was also staying with his family.

Helena Pinto said...

Une triste nouvelle. Mes pensees vont pour le prince François, ses soeurs et freres mais surtout pour sa mere, la duchesse de Montpensier, qui a toujours ete une grande mere et une grande dame!

A. Giraud said...

Le prince François n'est pas mort à Dreux mais à Nantes (Loire-Atlantique).