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Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou

Louis Alphonse
Duke of Anjou (disputed)
Louis XX.jpg
Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
as Louis XX
Pretendence 30 January 1989 – present
Predecessor Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz
Heir apparent Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Born (1974-04-25) 25 April 1974 (age 43)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse María Margarita Vargas Santaella (m. 2004)
Issue Princess Eugénie
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Prince Alphonse, Duke of Berry
Full name
Luis Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú
House Bourbon
Father Alfonso de Borbón-Segovia, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz
Mother María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
Religion Roman Catholicism
French royal family
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of France, 1814/15-1830

HRH The Duke of Anjou
HRH The Duchess of Anjou

  • HRH The Duke of Burgundy
  • HRH The Duke of Berry
  • HRH Princess Eugenie

Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou[1][2] (Spanish: Luis Alfonso Jaime Marcelino Manuel Víctor María de Borbón-Segovia y Martínez-Bordiú, French: Louis Alphonse Gonzalve Victor Emmanuel Marc de Bourbon;[3][4][5] born 25 April 1974 in Madrid) is a member of the Royal House of Bourbon, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French throne as Louis XX.

As the senior male heir of Hugh Capet by traditional male-line primogeniture, he is often recognised as the "Head of the House of Bourbon", and by Legitimist royalists as the rightful claimant to the French crown, being the senior agnatic descendant of King Louis XIV of France (ruled 1643–1715) through his grandson King Philip V of Spain.[6]

Louis Alphonse is patrilineally the senior great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, but because that descent is through his grandfather's morganatic marriage, the crown of Spain descended to his second cousin, King Felipe VI of Spain. Through his mother, he is also a great-grandson of Spain's former dictator, General Francisco Franco and through his father, a great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.[3]



Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou (2006).

Louis Alphonse was born in Madrid, the second son of Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz, and of his wife Doña María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, granddaughter of Francisco Franco. Alfonso was at that time the dauphin (using "Duke of Bourbon" as title of pretence) according to those who supported the claim of his father, Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia to the French throne. On 20 March 1975, the Infante Jaime ("Henri VI" by Legitimist reckoning) died. Alfonso then asserted his claim to be both Head of the House of Bourbon and Legitimist claimant to the throne of France. As such, he took the title "Duke of Anjou",[7] and on 19 September 1981 gave Louis Alphonse the title Duke of Touraine.[citation needed]

Louis Alphonse's parents separated in 1982, and their Catholic marriage was annulled in 1986. His mother has since remarried civilly twice; he had two stepsisters Mathilda (deceased) and Marella, and a stepbrother Frederick, all born before his mother's marriage to Jean-Marie Rossi and a half-sister, Cynthia Rossi, born afterwards. On 7 February 1984, Louis Alphonse's older brother Francisco died as the result of a car crash in which Louis Alphonse was also injured, although less so than their father, who was driving the automobile.[8] From that date Louis Alphonse was recognised as the heir apparent to his father by the Legitimists. As such, he was given the additional title Duke of Bourbon on 27 September 1984 by his father.[8] In 1987, the Spanish government declared that titles traditionally attached to the dynasty (such as the Dukedom of Cádiz) would henceforth be borne by its members on an lifetime only basis, forestalling Louis Alphonse from inheriting that grandeeship.[8]

On 30 January 1989, his father died in a skiing accident near Vail, Colorado. Later, in 1994 Louis Alphonse would receive 150 million pesetas following a lawsuit against Vail Associated, which owned the ski resort where the accident occurred.[8] Louis Alphonse was recognised by some members of the Capetian dynasty as Chef de la Maison de Bourbon (Head of the House of Bourbon)[8][9] and took the title Duke of Anjou, but not his father's Spanish dukedom. He is considered the rightful pretender to the French throne by adherents of the Legitimist movement.[8]

Louis’ father was elected by the French Society of the Cincinnati to be the representative of Louis XVI (leading to the resignation of the Count of Paris, who had represented the Admiral d'Orléans). On 16 June 1994, Louis Alphonse was elected to succeed his father as the representative of Louis XVI,[10] whose military aid was instrumental to the independence of the United States of America.

In addition to his Spanish citizenship, Louis Alphonse acquired French nationality through his paternal grandmother, Emmanuelle de Dampierre, also a French citizen.[8] He attended the Lycée Français de Madrid, obtaining his COU in June 1992.[8] He studied economics at the IESE Business School. He worked several years for BNP Paribas, a French bank in Madrid. Although he regularly visited France, where his mother lived for several years, he continued to live in Spain.[citation needed]

In June 2006, Louis Alphonse did not attend his mother's third wedding, because he disapproved her separation from his stepfather, whom he greatly respected, and disagreed with her "celebrity" lifestyle.[11]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Louis Alphonse's engagement to marry Venezuelan María Margarita Vargas Santaella, the daughter of Victor Vargas, was announced in November 2003. They were married civilly in Caracas on 5 November 2004 and religiously on 6 November 2004 in La Romana, Dominican Republic. None of the members of the Spanish royal family attended the wedding. Although no official reason was given, it was no secret that the then king, Juan Carlos I, did not approve his cousin's claim to the French throne, nor the fact that Louis Alphonse issued the wedding invitations styled as "Duke of Anjou".[12] As from 2005, the couple resided in Venezuela, where he worked at Banco Occidental de Descuento, before moving to the United States[when?]. Subsequently they took up residence in Madrid.[citation needed]

Louis Alphonse and Maria Margarita had their first child and daughter, Eugénie, on 5 March 2007, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, Florida. She was baptised at the papal nunciature in Paris in June 2007. Her godparents are Prince Charles-Emmanuel of Bourbon-Parma and his wife Constance. Legitimists recognise her as Princess Eugénie (in Spain her name is Eugenia de Borbón y Vargas).

The couple had twin sons, Louis and Alphonse, on 28 May 2010.[13]Their father has conferred upon them the French titles of, respectively, Duke of Burgundy (duc de Bourgogne), and Duke of Berry (duc de Berry). Prince Louis, as Legitimist Dauphin of France, is expected to succeed his father as head of the French royal house in Legitimist reckoning (in Spain, the twins are Don Luis and Don Alfonso de Borbón y Vargas).[citation needed] Louis and Alphonse were baptised on 5 September 2010 at St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Louis' godparents were Arancha Martínez-Bordíu and Francisco D'Agostino and Alphonse's were Amparo Corell de Trenor, Baroness de Alacuas and Lorenzo Perales.


Patrilineal descentEdit

Louis is a member of the House of Bourbon, the senior-surviving cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, itself a branch of the Robertians.

Louis' patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son (in accordance with Salic law). It follows the Kings of Spain, then of France, the Dukes and Counts of Vendôme, the Counts of La Marche, the first Duke of Bourbon, a Count of Clermont, and before them, again the Kings of France. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest dynasties in Europe.



Titles and stylesEdit

The title "Duke of Anjou" was the last French title used by Philip V of Spain, in his capacity as a French prince, prior to his accession as Spanish king. It had long merged with the French crown, last granted by Louis XV to his grandson Louis XVIII of France in 1773. Legitimist pretenders use this style as a courtesy title.[7][15] According to Legitimist usage, dynasts who are French nationals are accorded the style Prince of the Blood (prince du sang).

He was expected to succeed to the Dukedom of Franco, held by his grandmother Carmen Franco and through his mother, but his grandmother did not bequeath that title to Louis Alphonse's mother, who will not be Duchess of Franco but Marquise of Villaverde.[16]


House ordersEdit

As French throne pretender, Louis Alphonse is claimant Grand Master of the dynastic orders of chivalry of his ancestors. The Grand Magistry of these orders is disputed between (1) Prince Louis Alphonse as Legitimist pretender and (2) Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France, the Orleanist pretender, both recognised claimaints as such by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry (2016).[17] The Legitimist pretenders to the French throne have continued to nominate members of the Order of the Holy Spirit long after the abolition of the French monarchy itself.

Foreign ordersEdit


  1. ^ His name as described in his biography at the website of the Institut Duc d'Anjou is "Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, duc d'Anjou Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.."
  2. ^ His name is given as "Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon and Martínez-Bordiú, Duke of Anjou" by Olga S. Opfell in Royalty who wait: the 21 heads of formerly regnant houses of Europe (2001), p. 11.
  3. ^ a b c Eilers, Marlene A. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Princess Beatrice. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. pp. 166, 181; ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  4. ^ Enache, Nicolas. La Descendanace de Marie-Therese de Habsburg Reine de Hongrie and Boheme. Maison royale regnante d'Espagne. ICC/Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris, 1999, p. 535. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X.
  5. ^ a b Willis, Daniel A. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. The Descendants of Princess Anne, The Princess of Orange. Clearfield, Baltimore, 2002. p. 231. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1
  6. ^ Opfell, Olga S. (2001). Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0901-3. 
  7. ^ a b Gazette du Palais, Tribunal de grande instance de Paris (1re Ch.) 21 décembre 1988, accompanied by the comments of G. Poulon, président de chambre honoraire à la cour de Paris. Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon. 8 March 1990. In French.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Les Manuscrits du CEDRE V, Le Royaume d'Espagne III. Cercle d'Etudes des Dynasties Royales Europėennes (CEDRE), Paris, 1992, ISSN 0993-3964 p. 162-164
  9. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XV. "Spanien". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, p.98. ISBN 3-7980-0814-0.
  11. ^ "relaciones". Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  12. ^ "de Dampierre, a cuchillo contra Carmen Martínez Bordíu". Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  13. ^ Terra Noticias. "Los Duques de Anjou anuncian el nacimiento de sus hijos Luis y Alfonso". Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  14. ^ a b Louda, Jirí; MacLagan, Michael (1999). Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe (2nd ed.). London, U.K.: Little, Brown and Company. 
  15. ^ Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans et autres c. Prince Alphonse de Bourbon, 21 Dec 1988. JCP 89.II.21213.
  16. ^ López, Gema (20 June 2013). "La familia Franco se reparte los títulos: Carmen Martínez Bordiú será marquesa de Villaverde; Luis Alfonso de Borbón nunca será duque de Franco" (in Spanish). Vanitatis. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ État présent de la maison de Bourbon. Quatrième édition. Paris, Le Léopard d’or, 1991; p. 222: « Louis XIX, Henri V, Charles XI et Jaques I continuèrent à donner l’ordre dans la discrétion et en 1972, Jacques-Henri VI suivit leur exemple, son fils Alphonse II faisant de même. L’État présent... donne ensuite le nom de quatre chevaliers, créés par lettres patentes de 1972 et 1973.
  19. ^ Warner, Gerald (29 May 2010). "French royalists celebrate the birth of twin sons to Louis XX, rightful King of France". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2012. The Duke and Duchess of Anjou and their daughter were recently received in private audience by Pope Benedict XVI, when the head of the Bourbon dynasty wore the cordon and plaque of the Order of the Holy Ghost, of which he is hereditary Grand Master. This news will give immense pleasure to French legitimists and traditionalists who have never abandoned the principles of Throne and Altar and for whom Louis XX is the embodiment of the France of Saint Louis and his descendants, the Most Christian Kings. 
  20. ^ "Biographie de Monseigneur le Duc d’Anjou". Institut du Duc d'Anjou. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2012. En qualité de chef de la Maison de Bourbon, il est le Grand-maître des ordres de Saint-Michel (fondé par Louis XI) et du Saint-Esprit (fondé par Henri III). 
  21. ^ Les chevaliers de l’humanitaire - website of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta


  • Thierry Ardisson. Louis XX. Contre-enquête sur la monarchie., Olivier Orban, 1986, ISBN 2-85565-334-7
  • Jean Foyer, Titre et armes du prince Louis de Bourbon, Diffusion-Université-Culture, 1990.
  • Apezarena, José. Luis Alfonso de Borbón: Un príncipe a la espera. Forthcoming.
  • Cassani Pironti, Fabio. "Bref crayon généalogique de S.A.R. la Princesse Marie-Marguerite, Duchesse d'Anjou, née Vargas Santaella", Le Lien Légitimiste, n. 16, 2007.
  • Opfell, Olga S. H.R.H. Louis-Alphonse, Prince of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou: Royal House of France (House of Bourbon), Royalty Who Wait: The 21 Heads of Formerly Regnant Houses of Europe. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2001. 11-32.

External linksEdit

Louis XX of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 25 April 1974
French nobility
Preceded by
Alphonse II
Duke of Anjou
30 January 1989 – present
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Preceded by
François de Bourbon
Duke of Bourbon
27 September 1984 - present
New title Duke of Touraine
19 September 1981 – 27 September 1984
Title dissolved
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Alphonse II
King of France and Navarre
Legitimist pretender to the French throne
30 January 1989 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Bourbon monarchy deposed in 1830
Prince Louis, Duke of Burgundy