The Info List - Gaston, Duke Of Orléans

Gaston, Duke of Orléans
Duke of Orléans
(24 April 1608 – 2 February 1660), was the third son of King Henry IV of France
and his wife Marie de Medici. As a son of the king, he was born a Fils de France. He later acquired the title Duke of Orléans, by which he was generally known during his adulthood. As the eldest surviving brother of King Louis XIII, he was known at court by the traditional honorific Monsieur.


1 Early life 2 Marriages 3 Later life 4 Ancestors 5 See also 6 References

Early life[edit] Gaston Jean Baptiste was born at the Palace of Fontainebleau
Palace of Fontainebleau
on 24 April 1608 and at birth was given the title of Duke of Anjou. As a child, he was raised under the supervision of the royal governess Françoise de Montglat. In 1626, at the time of his marriage to the young Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier, he received in appanage (with their respective titles) the duchies of Orléans[1] and Chartres, and the county of Blois.[2] He had nominal command of the army which besieged La Rochelle
La Rochelle
in 1628,[3][4] having already entered upon a course of political intrigue that would occupy the remainder of his life. He was the heir presumptive to the throne of France
from the death of his brother Nicolas Henri in 1611 until the birth of his elder brother's first son in 1638. On two occasions, he had to leave France
for conspiring against the government of his brother and his Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Cardinal Richelieu. After waging an unsuccessful war in Languedoc
leading to the Battle of Castelnaudary in 1632, he took refuge in Flanders. Reconciled with his brother Louis XIII, he plotted against Richelieu in 1635, fled from the country again, and then submitted to the King and the Cardinal. Soon afterwards, the same process repeated itself. Orléans conspired with the marquis de Cinq-Mars to attempt Richelieu's assassination, and then deserted his unfortunate accomplice (1642). In 1643, upon the death of Louis XIII, Gaston became Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom, and fought against Spain on the northern frontiers of France. He was created duc d'Alençon in 1646. During the wars of the Fronde (1648–1653), he demonstrated no particular loyalty to the crown and passed with great facility from one side to the other. Marriages[edit] Gaston first married on 6 August 1626, at Nantes
to Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier, daughter and heiress of Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier.[5] They had a daughter, Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier (29 May 1627 – 5 April 1693), called Mademoiselle de Montpensier, but later being best known as the Grande Mademoiselle. Marie de Bourbon died six days after giving birth (4 June 1627), leaving her daughter the last of the line of the Montpensier line of the House of Bourbon. While taking refuge from the wrath of Cardinal Richelieu
Cardinal Richelieu
in Lorraine, Gaston fell in love at first sight with Marguerite of Lorraine, the sister of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine.[6] But as France
and Lorraine were then enemies, he was refused the king's permission to marry a sister of its duke. Nonetheless, Gaston fled again to Lorraine and, in a secret ceremony in the presence of her family at Nancy during the night of 2 – 3 January 1632, Gaston took the princess Marguerite as his wife.[6] Because he had not obtained the prior permission of his elder brother, the king — one of his many acts of defiance — the couple could not appear at the French court and the marriage was kept secret. But in November of that year, Henri II, Duke of Montmorency, on his way to the scaffold, betrayed Gaston, his former co-conspirator, and Louis XIII and Richelieu learnt of the elopement.[6] The king had his brother's marriage declared null and void by the Parlement of Paris
Parlement of Paris
in September 1634 and, despite the protest of Pope Urban VIII,[7] the Assembly of the French clergy held in September 1635 that a prince du sang could enter matrimony only with permission of the king — consistent with French sovereignty and custom.[6] Although Marguerite and Gaston had re-celebrated their marriage before the Archbishop of Malines, a French emissary persuaded the Pope not to protest the matter publicly, and Gaston formally accepted the annulment of his marriage.[6] It was not until Louis XIII was on his deathbed in May 1643 that he accepted his brother's plea for forgiveness and authorized his marriage to Marguerite, whereupon the couple undertook nuptials for the third time in July 1643 before the Archbishop of Paris at Meudon, and the Duke and Duchess of Orléans were finally received at court.[6] By right of her marriage, Marguerite became known as Madame at court. After the death of his mother in 1642, Gaston was bequeathed the Luxembourg Palace, which became the couple's Parisian residence under the name Palais Orléans once they were restored to royal favour. They also sojourned at the Château de Blois, in the Loire Valley, where their first child was born in 1645. Marguerite and Gaston d'Orléans had five children, of whom three daughters survived into adulthood:

Marguerite Louise d'Orléans (28 July 1645 – 17 September 1721) married Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
and had issue. Élisabeth Marguerite d'Orléans
Élisabeth Marguerite d'Orléans
(26 December 1646 – 17 March 1696) married Louis Joseph of Lorraine, Duke of Guise and had issue. Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans
Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans
(13 October 1648 – 14 January 1664) married Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
but died childless. Jean Gaston d'Orléans, Duke of Valois (17 August 1650 – 10 August 1652) died in infancy. Marie Anne d'Orléans (9 November 1652 – 17 August 1656) died in infancy.

Gaston had an illegitimate daughter by Marie Porcher:

Marie bâtarde d'Orléans (1 January 1631, Paris – ?).

He also had an illegitimate son by Louise-Roger de La Marbelière:[8]

Louis bâtard d'Orléans, chevalier de Charny, (13 January 1640, Joué les Tours – 1692, Spain), later General under the service of Spain.

Later life[edit]

After the death of Gaston's brother Louis XIII in 1643, his nephew Philippe, brother of the new king Louis XIV, became the new Monsieur. To differentiate the older Monsieur from the younger, Gaston, the uncle, was called Le Grand Monsieur and Philippe, the nephew, was called Le Petit Monsieur. After the Fronde, Gaston was exiled by Cardinal Mazarin
Cardinal Mazarin
to Blois in 1652, and remained there until his death. All of his Orléans titles then went to his nephew, now the only Monsieur. Ancestors[edit]

Ancestors of Gaston of France

16. Francis, Count of Vendôme

8. Charles, Duke of Vendôme

17. Marie of Luxembourg

4. Antoine of Navarre

18. René, Duke of Alençon

9. Françoise of Alençon

19. Margaret of Lorraine

2. Henry IV of France

20. John III of Navarre

10. Henry II of Navarre

21. Catherine of Navarre

5. Jeanne III of Navarre

22. Charles, Count of Angoulême

11. Marguerite of Angoulême

23. Louise of Savoy

1. Gaston of France

24. Ludovico di Giovanni de' Medici

12. Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

25. Maria Salviati

6. Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

26. Pedro Álvarez de Toledo y Zúñiga

13. Eleanor of Toledo

27. María Osorio y Pimentel

3. Marie de' Medici

28. Philip I of Castile

14. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor

29. Joanna of Castile

7. Joanna of Austria

30. Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary

15. Anne of Bohemia and Hungary

31. Anne of Foix-Candale

See also[edit]

Kingdom of France
portal Biography portal

Charles de Lorme, personal medical doctor to Gaston List of works by James Pradier


^ Moote, A. Lloyd (1991) Louis XIII, The Just p 192. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06485-2 ^ Pitts, Vincent Joseph (2000) La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France: 1627-1693 JHU Press p. 3, ISBN 0-8018-6466-6 ^ Patmore, Katherine, The Court of Louis XIII, Methuen & Co, 1909, p. 144. ^ Chisolm, Hugh, Encyclopædia Britannica, Published 1911, p. 284. ^ Pitts, Vincent Joseph. La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France, p. 2 ^ a b c d e f Velde, François, Heraldica.org, Morganatic and Secret Marriages in the French Royal Family, Royal Consent: the case of Gaston d'Orléans, retrieved 27 February 2010 ^ Campagnes de Charles IV, duc de Lorraine et de Bar, en Allemagne, en Lorraine et en Franche-Comté, 1634-1638, d'après des documents inédits, par F. des Robert, Paris, Nancy, 1883, p. 336. ^ Born in 1619, Louise de La Marbelière, nicknamed la belle Louison met Gaston of Orléans in a ball at the Hotel de la Bourdaisière in 1639. One year later, she gave birth a son, Louis, who was legitimized by his father and entrusted to his oldest half-sister the Grande Mademoiselle, born from Gaston's first marriage. Abandoned, Louise entered in the convent of the Visitation in Tours, where she died in 1711, aged 92.

Gaston Jean Baptiste de France
Duc d'Orléans Gaston, Duc d'Orléans Accessed February 24, 2008

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Orleans, Jean Baptiste Gaston, Duke of". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

v t e

Princes of France

The first generation are the children of Henri IV; these males held the rank of Son of France
or Grand son of France;

1st generation

Louis XIII Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans* Gaston, Duke of Orléans*

2nd generation

Louis XIV Philippe, Duke of Orléans Jean Gaston, Duke of Valois*

3rd generation

Louis, Dauphin of France Philippe Charles, Duke of Anjou* Louis François, Duke of Anjou* Philippe Charles, Duke of Valois* Alexandre Louis, Duke of Valois* Philippe, Duke of Orléans

4th generation

Louis, Duke of Burgundy King Felipe of Spain Charles, Duke of Berry*

5th generation

Louis, Duke of Brittany* Louis, Duke of Brittany* Louis XV

6th generation

Louis, Dauphin of France Philippe, Duke of Anjou*

7th generation

Louis, Duke of Burgundy* Xavier, Duke of Aquitaine* Louis XVI* Louis XVIII* Charles X

8th generation

Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France* Louis XVII* Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
(Louis XIX)* Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry

9th generation

Henri, Count of Chambord
Henri, Count of Chambord
(Henry V)*

* died without surviving issue

v t e

Dukes of Anjou

Hereditary Dukes

Louis I Louis II Louis III René I Charles IV

Appanage of Anjou

Louise Henri François Gaston Philippe Philippe Charles Louis François Philippe Louis Philippe Louis

Courtesy title

Jaime Alfonso Carlos Jaime Alfonso

Current claimants

Charles Philippe Louis

v t e

Dukes of Orléans

Dukes of Orléans

Philippe Louis Charles Louis Henri Charles Louis Charles Maximilian Alexandre Édouard Nicolas Henri Gaston Philippe Philippe Louis Louis Philippe Louis Philippe Joseph Louis Philippe Ferdinand Philippe Philippe François

Current claimants


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 54301649 LCCN: n87921603 ISNI: 0000 0001 2133 6441 GND: 119021048 SUDOC: 031319955 BNF: cb13495815k (data) SN