About Us

Our mission is to educate the world about the Kingdom of France and to support the restoration of the legitimate dynasty of France, the House of Orleans.

What is a French Unionist?

A Unionist (Fusioniste) is a Legitimist who supports the claim of the House of Orleans to the throne of France.

Henri 5
Henri V, Comte de Chambord

After the death of the Count of Chambord, the de jure Henri V of France, the throne of France passed to Prince Philippe d’Orleans, Count of Paris (Philippe VII).

Philippe 7
Philippe VII, Comte de Paris

Since Chambord’s death in 1883, the House of Orleans has been the rightful and legitimate Royal House of France.

At that point most legitimists supported Prince Philippe as the rightful king.  This union of two previously opposed factions became known as Unionism; hence the term “Unionist.”

What is a Legitimist?

Legitimism is the simple belief that the laws of the realm determine the rightful king. In the case of France, this means the Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom of France prior to the French Revolution.

While many erroneously define legitimism as the support of the elder branch, this is not the case. It was only prior to Chambord’s death in 1883 that Legitimists supported the elder branch.

Historical Background

Charles 10
Charles X of France

Charles X was overthrown and forced to “abdicate” in the July Revolution. This purported abdication, of course, was illegal and violated the Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom.

Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans then usurped the throne, being called “King of the French.” By law, he was king of nothing, a usurper illegally occupying the throne of Charles X.

Caricature of Louis-Philippe turning into a pear.

The reign of the Usurper King was called the July Monarchy, which lasted until Louis-Philippe, in a form of cosmic justice, was overthrown. The Second French Republic was proclaimed, headed by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte as President.

Being a Bonaparte, however, Louis-Napoleon did an auto-coup against his own government and had himself proclaimed Napoleon III, “Emperor of the French.” Like his more famous uncle before him, the new Napoleon was a usurper occupying the throne of France. At this point, the throne rightfully belonged to the aforementioned Count of Chambord, the rightful Henri V of France.

Chambord died without issue in 1883. He was the last of the elder branch of Bourbons in France.

The elder branch of the remaining Bourbons were Spanish, and the Fundamental Laws required the King to be French. Further, the Spanish Bourbons renounced their rights to the French throne in the Treaty of Utrecht, which brought an end to the War of Spanish Succession. It is true that under normal circumstances renunciations are invalid, but the war was not a normal circumstance and the renunciation was necessary for France to have peace with the rest of Europe.  This is called a force majeure.

Prior to his death, Chambord understood and recognised Philippe d’Orleans as his heir.

After Chambord’s death, most Legitimists recognised Philipe d’Orleans as the rightful Philippe VII of France.

It was only a small minority who supported the claim of the head of the Spanish Bourbons, the Count of Montizon. Montizon, of course, was too busy trying to gain the Spanish throne to really attempt to gain the French one, but that is neither here nor there.

Count of Montizon, de jure King of Spain

Montizon’s supporters became known as Blancs d’Espagne (Spanish Whites), a term of derision used by Unionists who saw them as wanting to put a foreigner on the throne simply because they hated the House of Orleans.

Jean d’Orleans, titular Jean IV of France

Vive le Roi!

[Flag variant – CC 3.0 licence – Sodacan]