Philippe II, Duke of Orléans

Portrait of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans in armour by Jean-Baptiste Santerre.png
Philippe II's signature
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (Philippe Charles; 2 August 1674 – 2 December 1723), was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres. His father was Louis XIV's younger brother Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, his mother was Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate.

In 1692, Philippe married his first cousin, Françoise Marie de Bourbon - the youngest legitimised daughter (légitimée de France) of Philippe's uncle Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. Named regent of France for Louis XV until Louis attained his majority on 15 February 1723, the period of his de facto rule was known as the Regency (1715–1723). He died at Versailles in 1723.

He is also referred to as le Régent.

In March 1661, his father married his first cousin Princess Henrietta Anne of England, known as Madame at court. The marriage was stormy; Henrietta was a famed beauty, sometimes depicted as flirtatious by those at the court of Versailles.

Nonetheless, the marriage produced three children: Marie Louise d'Orléans, future queen of Spain, who left France in 1679 when Philippe was just five; Philippe Charles (1664–1666), Duke of Valois; and Anne Marie d'Orléans, born at Saint-Cloud in 1669, later queen consort of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia (they became the maternal grandparents of Philippe's future protégé Louis XV).

Madame Henriette died at Saint-Cloud in 1670; rumors abounded that she had been poisoned by her husband or his long-term lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine; the two would remain together till the death of the Duke of Orléans in 1701.

In the following year, the Duke of Orléans wed Princess Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, only daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel. The new Duchess of Orléans, who had converted from Protestantism to Catholicism just before entering France, was popular at court upon her arrival in 1671 and quickly became the mother of Alexandre Louis d'Orléans in 1673, another short-lived Duke of Valois. The next year, the duchess gave birth to another son, Philippe Charles d'Orléans.

Philippe Charles d'Orléans was born at the Château de Saint-Cloud, some ten kilometers west of Paris. As the grandson of King Louis XIII of France, Philippe was a petit-fils de France. This entitled him to the style of Royal Highness from birth, as well as the right to be seated in an armchair in the king's presence.[1]

This page was last edited on 29 June 2018, at 18:18 (UTC).
Reference:,_Duke_of_Orl%C3%A9ans under CC BY-SA license.

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