02.08.

1776: French Prince who Tried to Become King of Poland

1776: French Prince who Tried to Become King of Poland
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 2 August 1776
  • An especially interesting fact about French prince de Conti is that he was a candidate for the Polish throne. In this effort he was privately supported by his cousin King Louis XV, even though official French policy supported the candidate of the Saxon dynasty.

Louis François, Prince de Conti, member of the French royal Bourbon dynasty, and pretender to the Polish throne, died on this day in 1776.

The de Conti princes were members of a respected younger branch of the French royal dynasty. In principle, they were the third branch according to seniority, after the Orleans and Condé branches. All mentioned branches had the right to bear the rank of so-called Princes of the Blood (French:Princes du Sang).

On his mother’s side, Prince de Conti was a descendant of none other than the powerful Louis XIV (the Sun King). Namely, his maternal grandmother was an illegitimate (but later legitimized) daughter of Louis XIV, who arranged a good marriage for her.

An especially interesting fact about French prince de Conti is that he was a candidate for the Polish throne. In this effort he was privately supported by his cousin King Louis XV, even though official French policy supported the candidate of the Saxon dynasty. This led to an interesting situation where the French royal ministers supported the Saxon candidate while King Louis XV indirectly supported Prince de Conti through his private channels.

Louis XV’s secret policy led to the birth of an entire secret service, called Secret du Roi. Several notable Frenchmen participated in it, including Pierre de Beaumarchaise and the duc de Noailles. Prince de Conti failed to become the King of Poland, but the Secret du Roi continued working its operations in other matters.

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