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!

7 comments:

soulMerlin said...

I can understand that he never returned to France!!

henry

Anji said...

Henry: Yes, I think there were quite a few that never returned.

Anonymous said...

I think the card is written by him - Louis Philippe - or perhaps you already know that, in which case, apologies! I wonder who he was writing to....

Anji said...

Thank you Anon. We didn't know that. we sold the card a while ago. I wonder if the buyer knew...

Anonymous said...

Hi Have just found your postcard of The Duke of Orleans I have recently become interested in him as I have some Verascope Richard positive slides which I think were taken by him or a close friend some which are very interesting of the Royal Wedding at Wood Norton and also various members of the household staff. There are about 700 slides on various subjects I am hoping the writing on your postcard may help as some of the slides are written on and I can now compare the writing to see if they really are taken by him. Sue

Anji Knutsen said...

Sue: I don't think that he wrote the postcard! Though if you do match the handwriting, perhaps he did. Postcards of all sorts of people were popular at the time - even politicians.

Whose wedding was it at Wood Norton? He and his wife didn't have any children.

Interestingly enough; I looked up the story of how Peach Melba was created with one of my students - and the singer, Nellie Melba was honored with this dessert at a dinner party given by the Duke! He was a very handsome man, I imagine he charmed a lot of ladies.

Thank you for your useful comment

Anji Knutsen said...

It was the wedding of his sister, Princess Louise of Orleans, though I expect that you knew that...