93 Facts About Louis XVIII


Louis XVIII, known as the Desired, was King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a brief interruption during the Hundred Days in 1815.


Louis XVIII spent twenty-three years in exile: during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and during the Hundred Days.


Louis XVIII fled, and a Seventh Coalition declared war on the French Empire, defeated Napoleon again, and again restored Louis XVIII to the French throne.


Louis XVIII ruled as king for slightly less than a decade.


Louis XVIII's reign was further marked by the formation of the Quintuple Alliance and a military intervention in Spain.


Louis had no children, so upon his death the crown passed to his brother, Charles X Louis XVIII was the last French monarch to die while still reigning, as Charles X abdicated and both Louis Philippe I and Napoleon III were deposed.


Louis XVIII was the grandson of the reigning King Louis XV.


Louis XVIII was christened Louis Stanislas Xavier six months after his birth, in accordance with Bourbon family tradition, being nameless before his baptism.


The name of Louis XVIII was bestowed because it was typical of a prince of France; Stanislas was chosen to honour his great-grandfather King Stanislaus I of Poland who was still alive at the time; and Xavier was chosen for Saint Francis Xavier, whom his mother's family held as one of their patron saints.


Louis XVIII Stanislas found comfort in his governess, Madame de Marsan, Governess of the Children of France, as he was her favourite among his siblings.


Louis XVIII Stanislas was taken away from his governess when he turned seven, the age at which the education of boys of royal blood and of the nobility was turned over to men.


Louis XVIII Stanislas was an intelligent boy, excelling in the classics.


The most common theories propose Louis XVIII Stanislas' alleged impotence or his unwillingness to sleep with his wife due to her poor personal hygiene.


Louis XVIII never brushed her teeth, plucked her eyebrows, or used any perfumes.


At the time of his marriage, Louis XVIII Stanislas was obese and waddled instead of walked.


Louis XVIII never exercised and continued to eat enormous amounts of food.


The Dauphin and Louis XVIII Stanislas did not enjoy a harmonious relationship and often quarrelled, as did their wives.


Louis XVIII Stanislas did impregnate his wife in 1774, having conquered his aversion.


Louis XVIII attempted to gain admittance to the King's council in 1774, but failed.


Louis XVIII Stanislas was left in a political limbo that he called "a gap of 12 years in my political life".


Louis XVIII Stanislas travelled about France more than other members of the Royal Family, who rarely left the Ile-de-France.


The four provincial tours that Louis XVIII Stanislas took before the year 1791 amounted to a total of three months.


However, Louis XVIII Stanislas did not remain heir to the throne much longer.


Louis XVIII Stanislas commissioned a pavilion for his mistress on a parcel of land at Versailles which became known as the Parc Balbi.


Louis XVIII Stanislas lived a quiet and sedentary lifestyle at this point, not having a great deal to do since his self-proclaimed political exclusion in 1774.


Louis XVIII kept himself occupied with his vast library of over 11,000 books at Balbi's pavilion, reading for several hours each morning.


Calonne's proposition was rejected outright by the notables, and, as a result, Louis XVIII XVI dismissed him.


Louis XVIII Stanislas was the only notable to vote to increase the size of the Third Estate.


Louis XVIII exploited a document that he and Louis XVI had written before the latter's failed escape to Varennes-en-Argonne.


Louis XVIII would join the other princes-in-exile at Coblenz soon after his escape.


Louis XVIII's only surviving sibling was his sister Marie-Therese, who was not considered a candidate for the throne because of France's traditional adherence to Salic law.


Louis XVIII negotiated the release of Marie-Therese from her Paris prison in 1795.


Louis XVIII desperately wanted her to marry her first cousin, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angouleme, the son of the Count of Artois.


Louis XVIII deceived his niece by telling her that her parents' last wishes were for her to marry Louis-Antoine, and she duly agreed to Louis XVIII's wishes.


Louis XVIII was forced to abandon Verona when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the Republic of Venice in 1796.


Louis XVIII succeeded when Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, agreed to relinquish his custody of her in 1796.


Louis XVIII moved to Blankenburg in the Duchy of Brunswick after his departure from Verona.


Louis XVIII lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment over a shop.


Louis XVIII was forced to leave Blankenburg when King Frederick William II of Prussia died.


Desperate to display to the world a united family, Louis XVIII ordered his wife Queen Marie Josephine, who at the time was living apart from her husband in Schleswig-Holstein, to attend the wedding.


Louis XVIII knew that his nephew Louis-Antoine was not compatible with Marie-Therese.


In 1800, Louis XVIII attempted to strike up a correspondence with Napoleon Bonaparte, urging him to restore the Bourbons to their throne, but the future emperor was impervious to this idea and continued to consolidate his own position as ruler of France.


Louis XVIII encouraged his niece to write her memoirs, as he wished them to be used as Bourbon propaganda.


In 1796 and 1803, Louis XVIII used the diaries of Louis XVIII XVI's final attendants in the same way.


Louis XVIII then intended to set off to the Kingdom of Naples.


The Count of Artois asked Louis XVIII to send his son, Louis XVIII-Antoine, and daughter-in-law, Marie-Therese, to him in Edinburgh, but the King did not do so at that time.


However, having to live under less generous conditions than those enjoyed under Paul I, Louis XVIII decided to embark for England as soon as possible.


Louis XVIII was forced to leave Jelgava when Tsar Alexander informed him that his safety could not be guaranteed in continental Europe.


In July 1807, Louis XVIII boarded a Swedish frigate bound for Stockholm, bringing with him only the Duke of Angouleme.


Louis XVIII then took up residence in Gosfield Hall in Essex, leased to him by the Marquess of Buckingham.


In 1808, Louis XVIII brought his wife and queen, Marie Josephine, to join him in England.


Louis XVIII's stay at Gosfield Hall did not last long; he soon moved to Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire, where over one hundred courtiers were housed.


Louis XVIII replaced Avaray with the Comte de Blacas as his principal political advisor.


That same winter, Louis XVIII had a particularly severe attack of gout, which was a recurring problem for him at Hartwell, and he had to take to a wheelchair.


Louis XVIII took up residence in the Tuileries Palace the same day.


Louis XVIII opposed the senate's constitution and stated that he was "disbanding the current senate in all the crimes of Bonaparte, and appealing to the French people".


The Great Powers occupying Paris demanded that Louis XVIII implement a constitution.


Louis XVIII responded with the Charter of 1814, which included many progressive provisions: freedom of religion, a legislature composed of a lower house styled the Chamber of Deputies and an upper house, styled the Chamber of Peers.


Louis XVIII signed the Treaty of Paris on 30 May 1814.


Louis XVIII had to pay no war indemnity, and the occupying armies of the Sixth Coalition withdrew immediately from French soil.


Louis XVIII assured the French that the unpopular taxes on tobacco, wine and salt would be abolished when he was restored, but he failed to do so, which led to rioting in Bordeaux.


Louis XVIII admitted the Count of Artois and his nephews the Dukes of Angouleme and of Berry to the Royal Council in May 1814, upon its establishment.


Louis XVIII took a large interest in the goings-on of the Congress of Vienna.


Louis XVIII was horrified by Prussia's intention to annex the Kingdom of Saxony, to which he was attached because his mother was born a Saxon princess, and he was concerned that Prussia would dominate Germany.


Louis XVIII wished the Duchy of Parma to be restored to the Parma branch of the Bourbons, and not to the former Empress Marie-Louise of France, as was being suggested by the Allies.


Louis XVIII protested at the Allies' inaction in Naples, where he wanted the Napoleonic usurper Joachim Murat removed in favour of the Neapolitan Bourbons.


Louis XVIII succeeded in getting the Neapolitan Bourbons restored immediately.


Louis XVIII was not particularly worried by Bonaparte's excursion, as such small numbers of troops could be easily overcome.


That same day, Louis XVIII quit the capital with a small escort at midnight, first travelling to Lille, and then crossing the border into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, halting in Ghent.


The Allies came to the consensus that Louis XVIII should be restored to the throne of France.


King Louis XVIII was worried that the counter-revolutionary element sought revenge.


Louis XVIII promised to grant a constitution that would guarantee the public debt, freedom of the press and of religion, and equality before the law.


Wellington rejected their pleas outright, declaring that "[Louis XVIII is] the best way to preserve the integrity of France" and ordered the delegation to espouse King Louis XVIII' cause.


Louis XVIII instead called for continuity and reconciliation, and a search for peace and prosperity.


Louis XVIII kept to the policy of minimizing Austria's role but reversed Napoleon's friendly overtures to Spain and the Ottomans.


The Royal Council, an informal group of ministers that advised Louis XVIII, was dissolved and replaced by a tighter knit privy council, the "Ministere de Roi".


The ministry hoped for moderate deputies, but the electorate voted almost exclusively for ultra-royalists, resulting in what King Louis XVIII called the Chambre introuvable.


Louis XVIII chose the Duke of Richelieu to be his new Prime Minister.


Louis XVIII dissolved the Chambre introuvable on September 5,1816, after a rise in anti-monarchical sentiments.


Louis XVIII publicly deplored such illegal acts, but vehemently supported the prosecution of those marshals of the army who had helped Napoleon in the Hundred Days.


Louis XVIII's government executed Napoleon's Marshal Ney in December 1815 for treason.


The King was reluctant to shed blood, and this greatly irritated the ultra-reactionary Chamber of Deputies, who felt that Louis XVIII was not executing enough.


In November 1815, Louis XVIII's government had to sign another Treaty of Paris that formally ended Napoleon's Hundred Days.


Louis XVIII always dreaded the day he would die, believing that his brother, and heir, Artois, would abandon the centrist government for an ultra-royalist autocracy, which would not bring favourable results.


The royal family was grief-stricken and Louis XVIII broke an ancient tradition by attending his nephew's funeral, whereas previous kings of France could not have any association with death.


Louis XVIII's health began to fail in the spring of 1824.


Louis XVIII was experiencing obesity, gout and gangrene, both dry and wet, in his legs and spine.


Louis XVIII died on 16 September 1824 surrounded by the extended royal family and some government officials.


Louis XVIII was succeeded by his youngest brother, the Count of Artois, as Charles X As a historical footnote, the young science of disinfection had advanced in the early 1820s to the point where it was recognized that chlorides of lime could be used to both eliminate smells and slow decomposition.


The body of Louis XVIII was washed with chlorides by a French scientist, Antoine Germain Labarraque, permitting his corpse to be "presented to the public without any odour" in 1824.


Louis XVIII is portrayed by Orson Welles in the 1970 film Waterloo.


Louis XVIII was the last French monarch, and the only one after 1774, to die while still ruling.


Louis XVIII was interred at the Basilica of St Denis, the necropolis of French kings.