m. 24 Nov 1615
Facts and Events
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (21 September 1640 – 9 June 1701), was the youngest son of Louis XIII of France and his wife, Anne of Austria. His older brother was Louis XIV, le roi soleil. Styled Duke of Anjou from birth, Philippe became Duke of Orléans upon the death of his uncle Gaston in 1660. In 1661, Philippe also received the dukedoms of Valois and Chartres. Following Philippe's victory in battle in 1671, Louis XIV added the dukedom of Nemours, the marquisates of Coucy and Folembray, and the countships of Dourdan and Romorantin. During the reign of his brother he was known simply as Monsieur, the traditional style at the court of France for the younger brother of the king.
Unabashedly effeminate and openly gay, he nonetheless fulfilled his dynastic duty by marrying twice and begetting several children. In fact, he was the founder of the House of Orléans, a cadet branch of the ruling House of Bourbon, and thus the direct ancestor of Louis Philippe I, who ruled France from 1830 till 1848 in the July Monarchy. Through the children of his two marriages, Philippe became an ancestor of most modern-day Roman Catholic royalty, giving him the nickname of "the grandfather of Europe". Philippe's other achievements include his decisive victory as military commander at the Battle of Cassel in 1677. Through careful personal administration, Philippe greatly augmented the fortunes of the House of Orléans.