In the 1870s the openly-monarchist President of the French Republic, Patrice de Mac Mahon, backed by a monarchist-dominated National Assembly, orchestrated the restoration of the French Monarchy with an end to the rivalry between the Légitimist and Orléanist claimants to the French throne.
Essentially, the childless Légitimist Henri V named his sixth cousin, the Orléanist heir of the populist Louis-Philippe (who had reigned 1830-1848), as his heir-apparent, thus effectively uniting the two Capétien lines. The fully-resorted monarchs of France (by male-preference primogeniture) are as follows with their de jure dates of reign:
- Louis XV (1715-1774)
- Louis XVI (1774-1793) who had been overthrown by the 1792 Révolution and beheaded
- Louis XVII (1793-1795) who died age 10 and was succeeded by his uncle
- Louis XVIII (1795-1824) who was briefly on the throne 1814,1815-1824
- Charles X (1824-1836) who succeeded his brother, forced to abdicate in 1830
- Louis XIX (1836-1844) who was forced to abdicate half-an-hour after father in 1830
- Henri V (1844-1883) who theoretically ascended after the 1830 abdications, formally restored to the throne in 1879
- Philippe VII (1883-1894) who was the grandson and heir-apparent of Louis-Philippe, King of the French
- Philippe VIII (1894-1926) – current to "Diplomacy" timeline
- Jean III (1926-1940)
- Henri VI (1940-1999)
- Henri VII (since 1999)
- The Dauphin of France (heir-apparent) is Henri's second son, Prince Jean (born 1965)
Having learned well from history, the throne was restored as a limited constitutional monarchy with the King as Chief of State and with a parliamentary Prime Minister as Head of Government.
In order to ensure stability, the other claims to the French throne were also addressed at the time of the restoration. For the Bonapartist heirs of Napoléon, the new title of Archiduc de Corse (or “Archduke of Corsica”) was created. Urged by his mother, Eugénie de Montijo, the 23-year old pretender Louis Napoléon (formerly known as Napoléon IV by his supporters) accepted this title and renounced all claims to the throne of France for himself and all descendents of the House of Bonaparte in perpetuity.
The strongest claim to the throne of France at the time belonged to the 30-year old Carlos duque de Madrid, Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain, and, as Henri V’s fourth cousin, heir presumptive to his claim to the French throne. Over the vehement objections of his father, Juan conde de Montizón (who had abdicated a decade earlier), Carlos accepted Henri V’s former title Duc de Bordeaux (or “Duke of Bordeaux” – which is rendered in the Spanish as Duque de Burdeos) as well as his beloved royal Château de Chambord in exchange for a similar renunciation of all claims to the throne of France in perpetuity.
The only other possible, and weakest, claimant to the throne of France was the Scottish House of Stuart, dethroned in the coup d'état of 1688. Their titular pretender in 1879 was the 29-year old Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (whom the Jacobites styled Queen Mary IV of Scotland and III of England). No Jocobite, however, has made a public claim to their titles since the death of Henry Benedict Stuart (Henry I and IX) in 1807. There is no evidence that Maria Theresa was either offered or accepted a title from King Henri V on behalf of the House of Stuart.
With the end to interregnum, Patrice de Mac Mahon resigned as the last President of the French Republic on Thursday 30 January 1879 upon the formal coronation of His Majesty King Henri V by the French Parliament – thus establishing the current Kingdom of the French Republic.