Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans

French duke (1725-1785)

Louis Philippe d'Orléans (12 May 1725 – 18 November 1785) was Duke of Orléans and the father of Philippe Égalité. He greatly augmented the already huge wealth of the House of Orléans.

Louis Philippe d'Orléans
Duke of Orléans
Louis Philippe by a member of the French school
Born(1725-05-12)12 May 1725
Palace of Versailles, France
Died18 November 1785(1785-11-18) (aged 60)
Château de Sainte-Assise à Seine-Port, France
SpouseLouise Henriette de Bourbon
Madame de Montesson
Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Bathilde, Duchess of Bourbon
Full name
Louis Philippe d'Orléans
HouseHouse of Orléans
FatherLouis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans
MotherJohanna of Baden-Baden
SignatureLouis Philippe d'Orléans's signature



Louis Philippe d'Orléans was born at the Palace of Versailles on 12 May 1725. As the only son of Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and his wife Johanna of Baden-Baden.

First marriage


In 1743, his paternal grandmother, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon the formidable Dowager Duchess of Orléans, and Louise Élisabeth, Dowager Princess of Conti arranged his marriage to his seventeen-year old cousin, Louise Henriette de Bourbon. The couple was married on 17 December 1743 at Versailles.

After a few months of a passion that surprised everyone at court, the couple started to drift apart as the young Duchess of Chartres began to lead a scandalous life.

Étiennette Le Marquis


After the death of Louise Henriette on 9 February 1759, Louis Philippe took as his mistress Étiennette Le Marquis, a former dancer who liked to act in comedy plays, and who introduced him into the world of the theater. Louis Philippe had three children with Étiennette, they were raised under the care of the Orléans family:

  • Louis Étienne d'Orléans, (21 January 1759 – 24 July 1825), Count-abbé of Saint-Phar
  • Louis Philippe d'Orléans, (7 July 1761 – 13 June 1829), Count-abbé of Saint-Albin,
  • Marie Étiennette Perrine d'Auvilliers, (7 July 1761 - ?), who married François-Constantin, Count of Brossard, a dragon regiment officer.

Second marriage


In spite of his liaison with Étiennette, Louis Philippe had several other mistresses until he met, in July 1766, Madame de Montesson, a witty but married twenty-eight year old. After the death of the Marquis of Montesson in 1769, Louis Philippe tried to obtain Louis XV's authorisation to marry the young widow. Finally, in December 1772, the King gave his consent on the condition that the Marquise of Montesson would never become Duchess of Orléans or succeed to any other Orléans titles. In addition, the couple was to live a quiet life away from the court. The morganatic wedding took place on 23 April 1773.

Later life


Surrounded by all the members of his immediate family, even his three children by Etiennette Le Marquis, Louis-Philippe died on 18 November 1785, at Sainte-Assise at the age of sixty. He was buried at the Val-de-Grâce convent in Paris, built by his ancestor Anne of Austria to celebrate the birth of Louis XIV of France, Louis Philippe's great grandfather.



Titles and styles

  • 12 May 1725 – 4 August 1752 His Serene Highness the Duke of Chartres (Monseigneur le duc de Chartres)
  • 4 August 1752 – 18 November 1785 His Serene Highness the Duke of Orléans (Monseigneur le duc d'Orléans)