28 February 2008

Vive le Roi!

The NYTimes reported back in 1993 of the resurgence of monarchism in France, as evidenced by the memorial for the execution of King Louis XVI attended by 5,000 people, and the many Masses held in his honor.
With Cherubini's Requiem for Louis XVI blasting from loudspeakers, men and women carrying white flowers and banners with the royal fleur-de-lis crowded around the spot where the guillotine was positioned before dawn on Jan. 21, 1793.

The crucial moment -- 10:22 A.M. -- was marked by one minute's silent meditation. Then, after a reading of the King's final testament -- in which he forgave those who had done him wrong -- as well as prayers, hundreds of people left bunches of lilies, tulips and carnations in homage.
More recently, Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, has been the subject of a petition denouncing his governance's so-called drift towards monarchy. To a significant minority (in a recent poll, as much as 17%), this would seem a compliment.

There are several pretenders to the French throne backed by their parties (Bonapartists, Orléanists, Legitimists), but the Legitimists alone follow Salic Law and claim Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou (King Louis XX), is the legitimate monarch of France, being the heir of the elder Bourbon line (as opposed to Henri, comte de Paris, who descends from King Louis-Philippe, illegally placed on the throne during the July Revolution of 1830).


Louis Alphonse, Duc d'Anjou, with his wife Maria Margarita de Vargas y Santaella, Duchess of Anjou and their daughter, Princess Eugenie of Bourbon
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