Real Legitimism

We have said it before and will say it again: we are Legitimists.

“What is a Legitimist?” you might say.  Or aren’t the supporters of Don Luis Legitimists?

Definition and Etymology

First, we must define what Legitimism/a Legitimist is.

Google defines it as “support for a ruler who claim to a throne is based on direct descent.” says: “a supporter of legitimate authority, especially of a claim to a throne based on direct descent.”

Websters says: “adherence to the principles of political legitimacy or to a person claiming legitimacy.” has: “One that believes in or advocates rule by hereditary right.”

Colins has more than one:

a supporter of legitimate authority or, esp., of claims to monarchy based on the rights of heredity


1. a monarchist who supports the rule of a legitimate dynasty or of its senior branch
2. (formerly) a supporter of the elder line of the Bourbon family in France
3. a supporter of legitimate authority

It is clear that different dictionaries give different definitions, so let’s get a definition from a Legitimist organisation.

The Russian Legitimist says Legitimism is “notion that the laws of a dynasty or a kingdom determine the identity of the rightful king.”

[By the way, the Russian Imperial House recognises the Orleans, not the Spanish Bourbons, as the Royal House of France.]

Let us examine the etymology of the world.

Legitimism comes from the Latin legitimus (“lawful”).  Based on the etymology of the word, the definition of the Russian Legitimist appears to be correct.

Direct Descent?

The claim that Legitimism is simply support by direct descent cannot possibly be true.

Bastards have no dynastic rights, but are clearly the direct descendants of their parents.

The same is true for women.  The Salic law denies the throne to women, even though they are direct descendants of their fathers.  The 16th century jurist Pierre de Belloy says as much:

Also as we cannot deny, that naturally under the name of Children, the girls are understood, and their posterity: So that causes, which are judged by the only instinct of the blood and natural explanation of the word Children, hope from the entrails of Nature, all its and all lines must be heard, as the name of parents, includes the paternal and maternal line: However, as regards and belongs to the effects of the ordinance of the civil law, or the singular law of Here [France], the denomination of the children must be made by the interpretation and the civil significance of those who descend from the males, to whom only the law has had regard, and on which it has placed its intention.

[On the Salic Law. P. 84-85]

It is clear and evident that the law supersedes direct descent.  From this, we must likewise conclude that the definition of the Russian Legitimist is correct.

Legitimism is based on law, not blood, not direct descent.

The Law

The law in this case refers to the Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom of France.

The throne passes by primogeniture (by lawful marriage), male to male, with the exclusion of females.  The right to the throne is based on custom, and the king cannot abdicate, renounce, or alter the line of succession.  The King must be Catholic and French.

The history behind the Fundamental Laws is even clearer.  Since the election of the French Hugh Capet over the foreign Charles de Lorraine, it is impossible to say that there has ever been a foreigner to become King of France.

And ever since the Hundred Years’ War, every foreigner has been rejected.

Against False Claims

Anjouists make many claims which are either erroneous, ahistorical, or dishonest.


First is their claim that nationality is a “Revolutionary” or “Post-Jacobin” concept.  This is untrue, and quite frankly, many of them know better than to make such a claim.  It is true that the term “nationality” did not exist during the Old Regime, but that is not the same as them not knowing the difference between a Frenchman (regnicole) and a foreigner (etranger/aubain).

It would be a rare thing to find an Anjouist who denies the existence of the Droit d’Aubaine, a policy whereby the property of a foreigner would be seized by the state upon the person’s death.  The very existence of such a policy requires them to understand the difference between a foreigner and a Frenchman.

Nationality is simply the contemporary word used for the sake of simplicity, but Ajouists have decided to twist this out of context into a totally distorted and ahistorical argument.

Jus Sanguinis

Anjouists claim the Spanish Boubons are “French by blood” (jus sanguinis).  Unfortunately for them, the Old Regime did not use jus sanguinis, so there was no such thing as “French by blood.”  The standard was jus soli — to be “born in the kingdom, country, lands and lordships of the obedience of the King of France.”

In the Old Regime, a child born abroad of French parents generally needed letters of naturalness or they would be considered foreign.

It was only after the Revolution that jus sanguinis alone could be used to claim French nationality.  So, ironically,  it is the Anjouist view of nationality that is actually Post-Jacobin.

So, in 1713 the standard for being French was jus soli.  Felipe V’s letters of naturalness were revoked, meaning all his children, born abroad, were foreigners.

Blood of France

Anjouists claim that a foreign prince is not simply a prince who is foreign, but one who is not of the “Blood of France.”  We refute this claim here.

But here is a statement from Pierre de Belloy, which clearly states what a foreign prince is:

Now it is quite certain that, without a Salic law, the Crown would have been exploited by an infinite number of non-French Princes [Princes non François], by the marriages of my daughters, daughters of France, who are married in a foreign nation, often in England, Spain, in Germany, in Lorraine, in other provinces of Europe…

[ On the Salic Law. P. 86]

See the words of André Favyn:

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.

Foreign Kings

Anjouists like to claim that foreigners have become King of France.  There is no evidence that any of the Capetian monarchs were foreign.  We discuss this issue here.

The most famous example of a “foreign” king is Henri IV.  This, however, is not the case.  Henri was born in Béarn in 1553.  Béarnais were ruled to be French in 1505.  This was confirmed again in 1579.  We discuss Henri IV’s case here.

French by Decree

Anjouists claim, that because nationality is a civil act, a foreigner can be made French by decree and be given the throne to France.

This, however, violates the fundamental laws, both Inalienability of the Crown and the Salic law.  Arrêt le Maistre specifically stated that any treaty to put the throne in foreign hands would be invalid:

 …said court declares all treaties made and to be made hereafter for the establishment of a foreign prince and princess of null effect and value, as done to the prejudice of the Salic law and other fundamental laws of the state.

Treaty” meant and can mean any legal document regulating matters of import.  For example, the French Wikipedia page for Henri IV even refers to the Edict of Nantes (an edict of toleration for Protestants) as a “peace treaty.”

[See also: Refuting Saint-Simon and Refuting d’Aguesseau.]