Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou

Louis Alphonse
Duke of Anjou (disputed)
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
Pretendence 30 January 1989 – present
Predecessor Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz
Heir apparent Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Born (1974-04-25) 25 April 1974
Madrid, Spain
Spouse María Margarita Vargas Santaella (m. 2004)
Issue Princess Eugénie
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Prince Alphonse, Duke of Berry
Full name
Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú
House Bourbon
Father Alfonso de Borbón-Segovia, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz
Mother María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
Religion Roman Catholicism
French Royal Family

HRH The Duke of Anjou
HRH The Duchess of Anjou

  • HRH Princess Eugenie
  • HRH The Duke of Burgundy
  • HRH The Duke of Berry

Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou[1][2] (Spanish: Luis Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón-Segovia y Martínez-Bordiú, French: Louis Alphonse Gonzalve Victor Emmanuel Marc de Bourbon;[3][4][5] born 25 April 1974, Madrid) is a member of the Royal House of Bourbon, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French throne as Louis XX.

He is recognized as the "Head of the House of Bourbon" and rightful claimant to the French crown by the Legitimist faction of French royalists, who also considered him as the senior male heir of Hugh Capet, being the senior descendant of King Louis XIV of France (ruled 1643–1715) through his grandson King Philip V of Spain.[6]

Louis Alphonse is a great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and second cousin of King Philip VI of Spain. Through his mother, he is also a great-grandson of Spain's former dictator Francisco Franco.[3]


Louis Alphonse was born in Madrid, the second son of Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz, and of his wife Doña María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, granddaughter of Francisco Franco. Alfonso was at that time the dauphin (using "Duke of Bourbon" as title of pretence) according to those who supported the claim of his father, Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia to the French throne. On 20 March 1975, the Infante Jaime ("Henri VI" by Legitimist reckoning) died. Alfonso then asserted his claim to be both Head of the House of Bourbon and Legitimist claimant to the throne of France. As such, he took the title Duke of Anjou,[7] and on 19 September 1981 gave Louis Alphonse the title Duke of Touraine.

Louis Alphonse's parents divorced in 1982. The religious marriage was annulled in 1986. His mother has since remarried civilly twice; he had two stepsisters Mathilda (deceased) and Marella, and a stepbrother Frederick, all born before his mother's marriage to Jean-Marie Rossi and a half-sister, Cynthia Rossi, born afterwards. On 7 February 1984, Louis Alphonse's older brother Francisco died as the result of a car crash in which Louis Alphonse was also injured, although less so than their father, who was driving the automobile.[8] From that date Louis Alphonse was recognised as the heir apparent to his father by the Legitimists. As such, he was given the additional title Duke of Bourbon on 27 September 1984 by his father.[8] In 1987, the Spanish government declared that titles traditionally attached to the dynasty (such as the Dukedom of Cádiz) would henceforth be borne by its members on an ad personam basis, forestalling Louis Alphonse from inheriting it.[8]

On 30 January 1989, his father died in a skiing accident near Vail, Colorado (in 1994 Louis Alphonse would receive 150 million pesetas following a lawsuit against Vail Associated, which owned the ski resort where the accident occurred).[8] Louis Alphonse was recognised by some members of the Capetian dynasty as Chef de la Maison de Bourbon (Head of the House of Bourbon)[8][9] and took the title Duke of Anjou, but not his father's Spanish dukedom. He is considered the rightful pretender to the French throne by adherents of the Legitimist movement.[8]

Louis’ father was elected by the French Society of the Cincinnati to be the representative of Louis XVI (leading to the resignation of the Count of Paris, who had represented the Admiral d'Orléans). On 16 June 1994, Louis Alphonse was elected to succeed his father as the Representative of Louis XVI,[10] whose military aid was instrumental to the independence of the United States of America. In accordance to the statutes of this Society, he represents the French king as the eldest male of the senior collateral line.

In addition to his Spanish citizenship, Louis Alphonse acquired French nationality through his paternal grandmother, Emmanuelle de Dampierre, also a French citizen.[8] He attended the Lycėe Français de Madrid, obtaining his COU in June 1992.[8] He studied economics. He worked several years for BNP Paribas, a French bank in Madrid. Although he regularly visited France, where his mother lived for several years, he continued to live in Spain.

Louis Alphonse's engagement to marry Venezuelan María Margarita Vargas Santaella, the daughter of Victor Vargas, was announced in November 2003. They were married civilly in Caracas on 5 November 2004 and religiously on 6 November 2004 in La Romana, Dominican Republic. None of the members of the Spanish Royal Family attended the wedding. Although no official reason was given, it was no secret that the then King of Spain did not approve his cousin's claim to the French throne and the fact that Louis Alphonse issued the wedding invitations as "Duke of Anjou" did not sit well with the king.[11] As from 2005, the couple resided in Venezuela, where he worked at Banco Occidental de Descuento, before moving to the United States. They currently live in Madrid.

In June 2006, Louis Alphonse refused to attend his mother's third wedding, because he disagrees with her way of life as a celebrity, and with her separation from her previous husband, a man whom he greatly respects.[12]

Louis Alphonse and Maria Margarita had their first child, a daughter, named Eugénie, on 5 March 2007, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, Florida. She was baptised at the papal nunciature in Paris in June 2007. Her godparents are Prince Charles-Emmanuel of Bourbon-Parma and his wife Constance. Legitimists recognise her as Princess Eugénie (in Spain her name is Eugenia de Borbón y Vargas). The couple had twin sons, Louis and Alphonse, on 28 May 2010.[13] Louis has been given the title of Duke of Burgundy (duc de Bourgogne), and Alphonse the title of Duke of Berry (duc de Berry). Prince Louis, as Legitimist Dauphin of France, is expected to succeed his father as Head of the French Royal House in Legitimist reckoning (in Spain, the twins are Don Luis and Don Alfonso de Borbón y Vargas). Prince Louis and Prince Alphonse were baptized on 5 September 2010 at St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The godparents of Louis were Arancha Martínez-Bordíu and Francisco D'Agostino. The godparents of Alphonse were Amparo Corell de Trenor baroness de Alacuas and Lorenzo Perales.


Titles and styles

The title "Duke of Anjou" was the last French title held by Philip V of Spain prior to his accession. It had long merged with the French crown, last granted by Louis XV to his grandson Louis Stanislas. Legitimist pretenders use this style as a courtesy title.[7][15] According to Legitimist usage, dynasts who are French nationals are accorded the style Prince of the Blood (prince du sang).

He was expected to succeed to the Dukedom of Franco, held by his grandmother Carmen Franco and through his mother, but his grandmother beqeathed that Louis Alphonse’s mother will not be Duchess of Franco but Marquise of Villaverde.[16]


House orders

Louis Alphonse furthermore claims to be Grand Master of the following dynastic orders. The Grand Mastership of these orders is disputed between Prince Louis Alphonse as Legitimist pretender and Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France, the Orleanist pretender. The Legitimist pretenders to the French throne have continued to nominate members of the Order of the Holy Spirit long after the abolition of the French monarchy itself.


See also Descendants of Louis XIV of France.

Patrilineal descent

Louis is a member of the House of Bourbon, the senior-surviving cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, itself a branch of the Robertians.

Louis' patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Kings of Spain, then of France, the Dukes and Counts of Vendôme, the Counts of La Marche, the first Duke of Bourbon, a Count of Clermont, and before them, again the Kings of France. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.


  1. His name as described in his biography at the website of the Institut Duc d'Anjou is "Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, duc d'Anjou."
  2. His name is given as "Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon and Martínez-Bordiú, Duke of Anjou" by Olga S. Opfell in Royalty who wait: the 21 heads of formerly regnant houses of Europe (2001), p. 11.
  3. 1 2 3 Eilers, Marlene A. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Princess Beatrice. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. pp. 166, 181; ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  4. Enache, Nicolas. La Descendanace de Marie-Therese de Habsburg Reine de Hongrie and Boheme. Maison royale regnante d'Espagne. ICC/Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris, 1999, p. 535. ISBN 2-908003-04-X. In French.
  5. 1 2 Willis, Daniel A. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. The Descendants of Princess Anne, The Princess of Orange. Clearfield, Baltimore, 2002. p. 231. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1
  6. Opfell, Olga S. (2001). Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0901-3.
  7. 1 2 Gazette du Palais, Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1re Ch.) 21 décembre 1988, accompanied by the comments of G. Poulon, président de chambre honoraire à la cour de Paris. Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon. 8 March 1990. In French.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Les Manuscrits du CEDRE V, Le Royaume d'Espagne III. Cercle d'Etudes des Dynasties Royales Europėennes (CEDRE), Paris, 1992, ISSN 0993-3964 p. 162-164
  9. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XV. "Spanien". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, p.98. ISBN 3-7980-0814-0.
  11. "de Dampierre, a cuchillo contra Carmen Martínez Bordíu". Elsemanaldigital.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  12. "relaciones". Elsemanaldigital.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  13. Terra Noticias. "Los Duques de Anjou anuncian el nacimiento de sus hijos Luis y Alfonso". Noticias.terra.es. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  14. 1 2 Louda, Jirí; MacLagan, Michael (1999). Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe (2nd ed.). London, U.K.: Little, Brown and Company.
  15. Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon, 21 Dec 1988. JCP 89.II.21213.
  16. López, Gema (20 June 2013). "La familia Franco se reparte los títulos: Carmen Martínez Bordiú será marquesa de Villaverde; Luis Alfonso de Borbón nunca será duque de Franco" (in Spanish). Vanitatis. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  17. Les chevaliers de l’humanitaire - website of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  18. État présent de la maison de Bourbon. Quatrième édition. Paris, Le Léopard d’or, 1991; p. 222: « Louis XIX, Henri V, Charles XI et Jaques I continuèrent à donner l’ordre dans la discrétion et en 1972, Jacques-Henri VI suivit leur exemple, son fils Alphonse II faisant de même. L’État présent... donne ensuite le nom de quatre chevaliers, créés par lettres patentes de 1972 et 1973.
  19. Warner, Gerald (29 May 2010). "French royalists celebrate the birth of twin sons to Louis XX, rightful King of France". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2012. The Duke and Duchess of Anjou and their daughter were recently received in private audience by Pope Benedict XVI, when the head of the Bourbon dynasty wore the cordon and plaque of the Order of the Holy Ghost, of which he is hereditary Grand Master. This news will give immense pleasure to French legitimists and traditionalists who have never abandoned the principles of Throne and Altar and for whom Louis XX is the embodiment of the France of Saint Louis and his descendants, the Most Christian Kings.
  20. "Biographie de Monseigneur le Duc d'Anjou". Institut du Duc d'Anjou. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2012. En qualité de chef de la Maison de Bourbon, il est le Grand-maître des ordres de Saint-Michel (fondé par Louis XI) et du Saint-Esprit (fondé par Henri III).


Louis XX of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 25 April 1974
French nobility
Preceded by
Alphonse II
Duke of Anjou
30 January 1989 – present
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Preceded by
François de Bourbon
Duke of Bourbon
27 September 1984 - present
New title Duke of Touraine
19 September 1981 – 27 September 1984
Title dissolved
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Alphonse II
King of France and Navarre
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
30 January 1989 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Bourbon monarchy deposed in 1830
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
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