Thursday, November 20, 2008

Louis XVIII

Louis XVIII


Louis XVIII (1755-1824) ruled France from 1814 to 1824.

Louis began life as the Count de Provence. His older brother became King Louis XVI in 1774.

The French Revolution broke out in 1789, and the Count de Provence at first posed as a supporter of the revolution, before fleeing abroad in 1791.

In 1793, Louis XVI was executed. In 1795, Louis XVI's ten year old son died, supposedly of TB and poor treatment, while being held prisoner in Paris.

Louis XVII


The Count de Provence then proclaimed himself King of France as Louis XVIII.

In 1814, Napoleon was defeated and the French Senate accepted Louis XVIII as king.



Louis XVIII was married to Marie-Joséphine of Savoy.

Marie-Joesphine has been described, by unkind people, as ugly, dirty and foul-smelling.

She was lesbian and had a relationship with Madame de Gourbillon, one of her ladies-in-waiting.

Louis XVIII produced no children.

Decazes

Louis XVIII had a number of male favourites.

One of these was Élie Decazes (1780-1860), who served the King in various government roles including Prime Minister.

Louis spent time with Decazes every day and wrote to him as "my dear child" and "my son."

Évelyne Lever wrote about Louis's love for Decazes: "Never had Louis XVIII loved with such abandon. This passion henceforth filled his entire existence."

A Louis XVIII medallion



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