Louis XX the Spanish duke who claims that he should be the next King of France
Enter Louis XX! Meet the (rather handsome) Spanish duke who claims that he should be the next King of FRANCE
Louis Alphonse de Bourbon is the descendant of King Louis XIV
A French pro-royal faction called the Legitimists want him on the throne
41-year-old banker uses the title Duke of Anjou – although it is unofficial
In total there are four claimants to the defunct throne of France
Until 1801, the throne of France was also claimed by the British royals
By MAILONLINE FEMAIL TEAM
PUBLISHED: 11:41, 22 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:38, 22 May 2015
He boasts a pedigree that would put the Queen to shame and, as an added bonus, looks every inch the dashing Prince Charming.
Meet 41-year-old Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and the most senior living male descendant of France’s last Bourbon king, Louis XIV.
Although the French monarchy came to a sticky end at the hands of Robespierre and later Napoleon, the Legitimists, a pro-royal faction in France, remain committed to restoring the Bourbon line to the throne.
Born in Madrid, the 41-year-old banker is also a great-grandson of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco via his mother, María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco.
Colourful though his ancestry is, it is for his good looks that he has made the most headlines, with excitable articles such as a recent effort by blog Messy Nessy that described him as being ‘kind of a babe’ published on a regular basis.
Other publications to take note of the French royal’s good looks include the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair, which made him a cover star, and Hola! which has run numerous spreads on the Duke.
But not everyone is so enamoured of Louis Alphonse, who married his glamorous Venezuelan wife María Margarita Vargas Santaella, 31, in 2004 and with whom he has three children.
His cousin Juan Carlos I, former King of Spain, is thought to be less than impressed by his claims to the French throne and was allegedly furious when he sent out wedding invitations bearing his French title which he holds in pretence rather than in reality.
One that he can certainly lay claim to, however, is the Spanish Dukedom of Franco – a courtesy title created by Juan Carlos I in 1975 and bestowed on General Franco’s daughter Carmen from whom Louis Alphonse is descended.
According to the Legitimists, the Duke, who is Spanish by birth, is also entitled to the French courtesy title of Prince of the Blood following his decision to take French citizenship.
While Louis Alphonse is arguably the most handsome, the royal isn’t the only pretender to a now defunct European throne.
Indeed, he isn’t even the only pretender to the Crown of France. In total there are no fewer than four, including the Duke, among them the Bonapartist Charles, Prince Napoléon, a 64-year-old minor politician.
His son, 28-year-old Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon is also popular with Bonapartists, while the Orléanist faction favours Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris, 81.
Another potential monarch for France is the Queen, who has a claim that comes from mediaeval king Edward III.
The son of the deposed Edward II and Isabella of France, he turned England into a formidable military power during his reign, directing most of his firepower at France and winning a string of stunning victories.
He later staked a claim to the throne, citing his uncle Charles IV of France. His descendants, among them Henry V who actually managed to be crowned King of France, continued to challenge for the French title and even quartered the French fleur-de-lis in their royal arms.
The fleur-de-lis were finally removed in 1801 by which time the French Revolution had left France without any sort of monarch at all.