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Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orléans (1747 – 1793)

Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans

Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orléans (13 April 1747 – 6 November 1793) was a member of the House of Bourbon, the ruling dynasty of France and the Duke of Orléans from 1785 to his death. He became an active supporter of the French Revolution, voted for the execution of his cousin Louis XVI and adopted the name Philippe Égalité, but was guillotined during the Reign of Terror.


From 1780 onwards, Louis Philippe controlled the Palais-Royal. Finding himself in debt, he lined the three arcades of the palace with 60 shops, which were lent out to reestablish the Duke's finances. The palace galleries were kept busy until two in the morning, and the building became a meeting place for crooks, swindlers and the debauched. It was known for its theatres, cafés, gambling dens and prostitution.[1]

During the revolution, Louis Philippe adopted the name Philippe Égalité and renamed the Palais-Royal the Palais Égalité, which became a nerve center of activity for revolutionaries such as the Jacobins.[1] Around this time, he met with the Italian double-dealer Jean-Baptiste Rotondo up to ten times a day at the Palais-Royal to receive intelligence.[2]

In 1793, Louis Philippe's son, the Duke of Chartres, made a failed attempt with Charles François Dumouriez to overthrow the revolutionary government in Paris, and deserted from the army. All members of the House of Bourbon, Louis Philippe included, were arrested. He was guillotined shortly afterwards.[3]



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