Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale

Henri d'Orléans
Duke of Aumale
Born (1822-01-16)16 January 1822
Palais Royal, Paris
Died 7 May 1897(1897-05-07) (aged 75)
Zucco, Sicily
Burial Royal Chapel, Dreux, France
Spouse Carolina Augusta of the Two Sicilies
Issue Louis, Prince of Condé
François Louis, Duke of Guise
Full name
Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans
House Orléans
Father Louis Philippe I
Mother Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily

Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale (16 January 1822 – 7 May 1897) was a leader of the Orleanists, a political faction in 19th-century France associated with constitutional monarchy. He was born in Paris, the fifth son of King Louis-Philippe I of the French and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. He used the title Duke of Aumale. He retired from public life in 1883.

Early life

Henri (left) with his brother Antoine and his mother Queen Marie Amélie.

Born at the Palais Royal in Paris, he was brought up by his parents with great simplicity, he was educated at the college of Henri IV.

At the very young age of 8, he inherited a fortune of 66 million livres (approximately £200 million today), the lands and wealth of his godfather, Louis Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, the last Prince of Condé. Henri also inherited the famous Château de Chantilly, domaines of Saint-Leu, Taverny, Enghien, Montmorency and Mortefontaine. He also gained the Château d'Écouen. At the age of seventeen he entered the army with the rank of a captain of infantry.

Marriage and children

On November 25, 1844, he married Princess Carolina Augusta of the Two Sicilies, daughter of the Leopold of the Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno and his wife Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, in Naples. The couple had several children, two of whom reached adulthood.

  1. Louis Philippe Marie Léopold d'Orléans, Prince of Condé (15 November 1845 24 May 1866) died unmarried and childless.
  2. Henri Léopold Philippe Marie d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (11 September 1847 10 October 1847) died in infancy.
  3. François Paul d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (11 January 1852 15 April 1852) died in infancy.
  4. François Louis Philippe Marie d'Orléans, Duke of Guise (5 January 1854 25 July 1872) died unmarried.
  5. Stillborn son (15 June 1861).
  6. Stillborn son (June 1864).


He distinguished himself during the French invasion of Algeria and, in 1847, he became lieutenant-general and was appointed Governor-General of Algeria, a position he held from September 27, 1847 to February 24, 1848.

In this capacity he received the submission of the emir Abdel Kadir, in December 1847. After the Revolution of 1848, he retired to England and busied himself with historical and military studies, replying in 1861 by a Letter upon History of France to Napoleon III's violent attacks upon the House of Orléans.

On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he volunteered for service in the French army but his offer was declined. Elected deputy for the Oise département, he returned to France, and succeeded to the fauteuil of the comte Montalembert in the Académie française. In March 1872 he resumed his place in the army as Général de division and, in 1873, presided over the court-martial which condemned Marshal Bazaine to death.

At this time, having been appointed commander of the VII Army Corps at Besançon, he retired from political life and, in 1879, became inspector-general of the army. The act of exception, passed in 1883, deprived all members of families that had reigned in France of their military positions. Consequently, the duc d'Aumale was placed on the unemployed supernumerary list.

Subsequently, in 1886, another law was promulgated which expelled from French territory the heads of former reigning families and provided that, henceforward, all members of those families should be disqualified for any public position or function and election to any public body. The duc d'Aumale protested energetically but was nonetheless expelled.

The Duc d'Aumale capturing the Smalah of Abdelkader with his chasseurs d'Afrique (1843), by Horace Vernet


His Château of Chantilly houses one of the finest art collections of France.
Royal styles of
Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

He was a noted collector of old manuscripts and books. His library remains at Chantilly.[1]


By his will of the June 3, 1884, however, he had bequeathed to the Institute of France his Chantilly estate, including the Château de Chantilly, with all the art-collection he had collected there, to become a museum. This generosity led the government to withdraw the decree of exile and the duke returned to France in 1889. He died in Lo Zucco, Sicily, and was buried in Dreux, in the chapel of the Orléans.



  1. Frédéric Vergne. La Bibliothèque du Prince; Château de Chantilly, Les Manuscrits. Editions Editerra (1995) ISBN 978-2-908597-10-3 (In French)


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