Sunday, May 16, 2010
The man who could have been King
Philippe Duke of Orleans would have been the King of France if it weren’t for the French revolution. He was very interested in wildlife and nature as well as writing.
He owned a property near to Evesham in Worcestershire (UK), Wood Norton. Which is where I come in. He had his own zoo there and when my father was asked to clear some ground there in the 70s, I remember him coming home and telling us that he’d dug up bones of the animals that must have been in the zoo. Wood Norton was also used as a training centre by the BBC at the time that I worked in the bank at Evesham. We saw students from all over the world – oh happy days.
Back to Louis Philippe Robert d'Orléans, he was born in 1869 in England and died in 1926 in Sicily. At one point he was put in prison for returning to France from where he had been exiled, but was granted his freedom after a few months. He never returned to France.
I know that there was a wedding of some importance at Wood Norton. I saw photographs at the museum in Evesham. The town was honoured on that occasion by the visit of Edward VII no less!