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Philippe II, duc d' Orléans

French, 1674 - 1723

Chartres, Philippe II, duc de

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The son of Philippe I, duc d'Orléans [1640-1701, younger brother of Louis XIV] and Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, Philippe II was known as the duc de Chartres during his father's lifetime, succeeding Philippe I as duc d'Orléans in 1701. Philippe II married Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, legitimatized daughter of Louis XIV. Despite his reputation for drunken and licentious behavior, Philippe II became regent for the five-year old Louis XV upon the death in 1715 of Louis XIV, although Louis XIV's will placed actual power in the hands of his legitimatized sons. If the sickly Louis XV were to die, the legitimatized princes would have endorsed Philip V of Spain, Louis XIV's grandson, as heir to the throne over Philippe II. Phillipe II, however, induced the Parlement of Paris to overthrow the King's will, and attempted to secure his secession to the throne. In 1716 he concluded an alliance with Great Britain ensuring the latter's support against Philip V's claim of secession; France and Great Britain went to war with Spain in 1719, and in 1720 Philip V was forced to renounce his claims and recognize Philippe II as Louis XV's heir. Philippe II's machinations to secure his secession turned out to be for naught; his Regency ended when Louis XV came of age in 1723, and Philippe II died the following year. His son, Louis, duc d'Orléans [1703-1752], was governor of Dauphiné, commander of infantry, and chief of the Conseil d'Etat. After the death in 1726 of his wife, Auguste-Marie-Jeanne, princess of Bade, Louis retired to a religious life in the Abbey of Sainte-Geneviève. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS]

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