This claim is patently absurd, as can be shown by looking at history and the context of when it was written. This was written in 1711, near the end of War of the Spanish Succession. Much like the “Observations” of Aguesseau, this was written in support of Felipe V of Spain.
Earlier jurists, however, have been very clear that the king must be French, and that a foreigner cannot take the throne of France.
Even a few decades before this Bousset said:
What need be to speak of the Most Christian House of France, which by its noble constitution is incapable of being subject to a foreign family, which is still dominant in its head, which alone in the whole universe and in every century, after seven hundred years of established kingship…
The timing of Saint-Simon’s opinion automatically makes its veracity highly questionable.
In Contrast to the Fundamental Laws
Saint-Simon’s opinion is in contrast to the Fundamental Laws and the opinions which came before him.
Multiple jurists and historians railed against putting the kingdom into “foreign hands.” Many such quotes can be found on this site.
Arrêt le Maistre states that it is “against the laws of the kingdom” to put the crown in “foreign hands.”
JUDGMENT of the sitting parliament in Paris which annuls all treaties made or to be made which would call to the throne of France a foreign prince or princess, as contrary to the salic law and other fundamental times of the state.
The term “treaty” means a legal document regulating any important matter. This meant they could not declare a foreigner a “Frenchman” in order to give him the throne. If the king “became French” by becoming king, there would be no need to prevent such a thing and attempting to make a prince “French” by decree would be unnecessary.
It is clear from the words above that the Parlement of Paris had much forethought in preventing people from putting the kingdom into foreign hands.
Arnulf opposed the Nobility of France, who never wished to recognise a Foreign Prince for their king; even if he is the blood of France.
Thus, Odo (Eudes) was recognised as the first Robertian King of the Franks. The Robertians were the ancestors of the Capetians. It is clear we see a pattern, at least in the minds of 16th century writers: Carolingians were becoming foreign and being rejected by the French in favour of the French Robertians.
Take the election of Hugh Capet. Charles of Lorraine, a vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor, was viewed as foreign, so the throne was given to Hugh Capet.
There remained of the Carolingian race only Charles, Duke of Lorraine. This Prince was absent [and thus foreign], of little virtue, and very bad in the minds of the French; Hugh Capet, on the contrary, was in the heart of the Kingdom [meaning he was French], Mighty and esteemful…
It could be said that this poor Prince [Charles de Lorraine] had deposed himself by making himself a foreigner, and that this state could not suffer a chief who was a vassal of another king.
Finally, the words of Belloy:
For a foreign king, non-French [non François], would like to see the foreigners, and those of his nation, every day at the estates and offshoots of the kingdom: Who would eventually bring about an intolerable confusion and disorder in the French nation…
[On the Salic Law. P. 90]
Belloy makes is clear that a foreigner who becomes king is still a foreigner. This means the throne would be in foreign hands, a violation of the Fundamental Laws.
It is clear, based on history and the legal thought of the Frenchmen who came before him, that Saint-Simon is incorrect in his assertion. A foreigner is a foreigner, and in the words of Charles IX, “Incapable of all succession.”