Charles X of France was King of France from 1824 - 1830. For most of his life, however, he lived in exile from France following the French Revolution, and did not expect to ever take the throne. His reign ended in the July Revolution in 1830, when he was overthrown by his cousin Louis Philippe I and forced into a second exile. He was the last French ruler from the senior House of Bourbon.
|Full Name||Charles Philippe de France|
|Who||King of France|
|Birth Date||October 9, 1757|
|Death Date||November 6, 1836|
|Cause of Death||cholera|
|Father||Louis, Dauphin of France|
|Mother||Maria Josepha of Saxony|
|Spouse||Maria Theresa of Savoy|
Louis XVIII of France
Maria Clotildle of France
Elisabeth of France
Louis Antoine, Duke of Angouleme
Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry
Through his sibling's marriages, Charles was the brother-in-law of Marie Antoinette, Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, and Marie Josephine of Savoy.
Charles was betrothed to Louise Adelaide de Bourbon around 1771. However, this was eventually cancelled, because Bourbon was of a much lower rank than he was. While his original fiancee could have become Queen of France, she never married, and later became a nun.
Charles married Maria Theresa of Savoy in 1773. Though in general their marriage was a good one, Charles was considered the most handsome man in the royal family, while Theresa was considered quite ugly. Consequentially, Charles had many mistresses and affairs, and a lifelong love with another woman.
Charles was a close friend of his sister-in-law Marie Antoinette, and part of her most intimate social circle. He first met her upon her arrival in France in 1770, when he was 12 years old. As they both grew up, they became increasingly close, like brother and sister. Gossip-mongers frequently attempted to stir up rumors that the two were having an affair.
The love of Charles' life was Louise d'Esparbes de Lussan, whom he made his "favorite" after meeting her upon her entrance into the French royal court, and immediately falling in love with her. The two shared a very long, passionate relationship for the rest of Lussan's life. When she died in 1804, Charles was so devastated that he took a vow of chastity for the rest of his life, which he appears to have never broken. Following her death, Charles' public and social life became models of goodness, and he gave to charities and became more religious.
Charles was an acquaintance of Yolande de Polastron.
Charles opposed France's minister of finance, Jacques Necker, and had him dismissed in 1789.
During his first exile from France, Charles went for a time to live with his uncle, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, in Trier, Germany. There, he made plans to re-take France from the revolutionaries.
In exile due to the French Revolution, Charles recieved sanctuary from George III of England in 1792. The two men got along well, and the English king gave Charles a generous allowance. During this time, Charles lived with Lussan in both London and Edinburgh.
Once he returned to the French royal court, Charles enjoyed acting as a patron to writers and young politicians, though he seemed to have also had an ulterior motive. These individuals always happened to be ultra-royalists - disapproved of by his brother the king, Louis XVIII. Some of the men that Charles supported included statesman Jules de Polignac, writer Francois Rene de Chateaubriand, and Jean Baptiste de Villele. Once Charles took the throne as king himself, he made Villele his Prime Minister.
Charles was initially a social friend of his cousin Louis Philippe I, who returned from his own exile to the French royal court in 1815. The two cousins partially bonded over the fact that neither agreed with their family member Louis XVIII's rule. When Charles took the throne in 1824, Philippe at first supported him. However, as time passed in Charles' reign, Philippe grew to oppose more and more of the king's policies, and was a constant and dangerous threat to the security of his throne. In 1830, Philippe helped to lead the July Revolution, and Charles was overthrown by his cousin, who siezed the throne and forced him into a second exile.
Following uproar throughout France at Charles' royalist policies in 1828, Charles dismissed his current Prime Minister Villele and replaced him instead with Jean Baptiste Gay.
Adolphe Theirs opposed Charles, and published in his powerful newspaper in 1830 a call to revolt against his reign. The petition of sorts was signed by 43 journalists.
Charles' second exile was spent in England. However, unlike the first time he had come to England an exiled monarch and recieved friendship and generosity from George III, this time he was greeted coldly by the English royal family and the ruling king, William IV of the United Kingdom. The current Prime Minister, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, curtly informed Charles that he and his family would be expected to arrive as private French citizens, not royalty. Upon reaching English shores and walking onto land, they were greeted mockingly with flags supporting Philippe.
Around 1831, unhappy so close to the condescending English royal court, Charles and his family moved to Edinburgh to live with his daughter-in-law, Marie Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile. Their relationship proved to be uneasy, and they clashed over Bourbon-Sicile's idea to name her son the rightful heir to the throne of France, as Charles' grandson. She made plans to attempt to overthrow Philippe and place her son Henry on the throne. Charles disapproved of this, thinking it a bad idea and unlikely to succeed. However, once it became clear that Bourbon-Sicile would carry out her idea with or without him, he agreed to support her claim after she landed in France. She was quickly imprisoned, much to Charles' embarassment. After she was released, she immediately married a Napoleonic nobleman, much to Charles' fury. As a result, he forbid her from ever seeing her children again.
Charles and his family were invited by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, to reside in his royal court in Prague in 1832. As Charles had not exactly been welcomed in England, he accepted. He and his family were treated better there, taken into the royal palace. Celebrations were even held for his grandson's birthday.