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Louis XVIII (2 July 1810- 1 April 1888) was the only surviving child of his parents, Louis XVII and marie-Ludovica. Since he was the only child he was often spoiled by his parents and developed traits of greediness and selfishness as a result of his upbringing. He became king after his father's death in 1873 and had to deal with the growing tension between the Franco-Spanish relationship.
|King Louis XVIII by Antonia Fancoisa, 1874|
|King of France and Navarre, later
King of the French
|Reign||18 October 1873- 1 April 1888|
|Coronation||29 May 1874|
Princess Maria Antonia
Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Princess Maria Sophia
Princess Maria Teresa
|Louis Charles Francis de France|
|House||House of Bourbon|
|Born||2 July 1810|
1 April 1888 (aged 78)
Palace of Versailles, France
21 April 1888
Chapel Royal, Versailles
Louis was the only surviving child of his parent, Louis XVII and Marie-Ludovica. His mother became increasingly close to Louis because she suffered from multiple miscarriages. In 1816 she was pregnant with twins but the twins died soon after birth making Louis the only surviving heir to the French throne. His royal bedroom was scrubbed twice a week to avoid illness. He became the Dauphin of France in 1812 when his father became the new king.
Louis' father, the King of France arranged a marriage for him and he was betrothed in 1831 to Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies. She was four years younger than him but was raised in a very wealthy family. The dowry for the marriage was set to 125,000 crowns (a little lower than average). The marriage was not a romantic one, and after she bore Louis two daughters he decided he needed another wife.
The Divorce Trials lasted a total of 61 days. After the divorce the King of France made it his goal to find his son a better bride than Maria Antonia. Louise of Hesse-Kassel was betrothed to Louis and they married soon after the betrothal was announced. The marriage was childless and after Louis started having mistresses, the government of France avoided a large scandal by forcing the couple to divorce with a Divorcement Trial lasting only 6 days.
Louis quickly married his mistress the beautiful Maria Amalia in February 1844 after hearing news that she was pregnant however she has a miscarriage a month after their wedding. Maria Amalia than gave birth to Princess Anne-Johanna and a year later his mother died. This devastated Louis and made him go into a deep depression for a long time. During this period he heavily avoided his wife and took several mistresses.
Maria Amalia gave birth to Maria Teresa on 22 April 1849 making Louis unhappy. Remainder of the marriage was uneventful and not happy years for the two. Their divorce and negotiations were long but finally settled in 1853.
Louis had a mistress for an entire year before he married her in 1855, two years after he divorced his third wife. Her name was Maria Ana and she was no doubt by historians, Louis' favorite wife. Mainly this is because died a "hero" in the eyes of both Louis XVII and Louis XVIII because she died in childbirth giving birth to the future King of France and her death ended the Succession Crisis of 1848
Succession Crisis of 1848
Based on French monarch law, no female is able to rule French territory in her own right especially if she is ruling all of France. None of the King or Dauphin's female sibilings are allowed to produce heirs for the crown. In the year 1848 the government along with the King of France decreed that there was a Succession Crisis in France because all the children Dauphin Louis was having was daughters. He started taking mistresses and the king begged him to end all ties with mistresses and stay with his wife, Maria. Maria, was once his mistress herself, was heartbroken at finding out her husband was taking mistresses she told the King of France, "How shall I produce a King in my womb, when my husband does not go to my bedchamber?" So much was being expected of the couple, that eventually Louis, against his father's will, divorced.
He married again this time the Succession Crisis was developing more rapidly with some distant royal family member of the House of Bourbon plotting to install their own male heir to the throne.
His wife was pregnant and it was announced when she was four months pregnant. She was then taken to Argentan, Normandy, France in order to be safer free from assassination attempts. Many in the country were plotting to end the monarchy by killing Maria Ana; however, she died from childbirth the day her son was born.
Third Franco-Spanish War 1873-1878 1883-1885
In October 1873, King Louis XVII died at 88 years old in the company of the soon-to-be-King of France. King Louis XVIII took the throne and on 30 November 1873 he declared war on Spain claiming that the Spanish poisoned him (although this is highly unlikely and it appeared to be a type of infection of his lungs or chest).
In 1875 France invaded Pyrenees Mountains that originally belonged to France before Spain invaded and took over the mountains in Pyrenees which used to be the natural border of France and Spain. France wanted the mountains to once again be the natural border.
In 1876 Spain took the precious resources of Aquataine which put France into major national debt. However in six months time the French army took the city back and continued invading Franco-Spain. Both Spain and France were suffering from serious debt and a stalemate was declared. All military units pulled out for a five-year period for both countries to help themselves build their economy. When the five year stalemate's expiration date occurred both Spain and France went immediately into battle against each other. France called Austria for help and Spain called Italy to help them fight France. Italy rejected this offer because Louis was once married to two different Italian princesses which would create friction for the daughters of Louis. Britain declared war on France on 2 February 1884.
France had to surrender in the year 1885 to Britain and Spain losing the city of Aquataine and increasing Spain's rich land. Louis spent the rest of his reign in misery at his horrible defeat that took over his entire reign as king.
Death & Fourth Franco-Spanish War
Dauphine Louis Charles Frederick Alexander became King Louis XIX after his father's death on 1 April 1888 and his first order as king was to declare war on Spain and he ruptured the Fifth Franco-Spanish War just seven weeks into his reign. King Louis XVIII died of natural causes.
Louis XVIII married firstly to Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies (1814-1898) on 20 May 1832. However the marriage did not last long and a divorce took place on 4 June 1838. They had the following issues:
1. Princess Sophie (12 February 1834- 8 April 1860) Not married. No issues
2. Princess Maria Sophia (March 11 1837- 29 January 1886) Married. Had issues
Louis XVIII married secondly to Louise of Hesse-Kassel (1802-1898) on 31 October 1838. The marriage remained childless and the government forced them to separate and get a divorce on 19 December 1843.
Louis XVIII married third to Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies (1818-1857) on 15 February 1844. After years of fighting that put a strain on the marriage they were divorced on 27 July 1853. They had the following issues:
3. miscarriage (November 1844)
4. Princess Anne-Johanna (26 October 1846-12 November 1873) Married. Had issues
5. Princess Maria Teresa (22 April 1849- 5 January 1879) Married. Had issues
Louis XVIII married fourthly to Maria Ana (1827-1859) on 17 July 1855. Maria was a widow at 28 and Louis was 45 years old desperate for an heir to succeed him. They had the following issues:
6. King Louis XIX (3 July 1859- 19 March 1934) Married. Had issues