27.03.

1785: The Mystery of Louis XVII – The Boy who was to Inherit the Crown from his Executed Father

1785: The Mystery of Louis XVII – The Boy who was to Inherit the Crown from his Executed Father
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 27 March 1785
  • The son of Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette was imprisoned with his parents at the time of the French Revolution. His parents were executed in 1793, so the monarchists began to consider the boy the new king (Louis XVII).

On this day in 1785, a son was born to French king Louis XVI. He was the heir to the throne, but met a tragic end during the Revolution. He was named Louis just like his father, and was born by the king’s wife, the famous Queen Marie Antoinette.

Of course, the child’s father and mother were executed at the guillotine during the Revolution and, after his father’s death, some declared little Louis the new French king, Louis XVII.

Little Louis was only four years old when the French Revolution broke out. According to the year of his birth he was almost a peer of American folk hero Davy Crockett, and the peer of Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jérôme Bonaparte. As the heir to the throne, Louis had the title Dauphin de France, which was roughly equivalent to the British Prince of Wales.

In 1792 revolutionaries imprisoned the royal family in the Temple Prison in Paris. Little Louis was seven at the time, and spent his time in prison with his father Louis XVI and his mother Marie Antoinette.

Louis’s parents were executed in 1793, after which the monarchists began to consider him King Louis XVII of France.Still, Louis was never crowned nor did he have any chance to rule, since France had been declared a republic in the meantime.

The last days of little Louis were historically problematic. It appears he died in 1795 in Temple Prison, aged only 10. A lot of individuals who claimed to be Louis XVII appeared later on, claiming they had survived the Revolution. Just like in the case of Russian grand princess Anastasia, most were exposed as frauds during their lifetimes.

In 2000, DNA analysis showed that the heart of the boy who died in Temple Prison matches that of the child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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