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Louis XVII
(1785–1795)

Louis XVII(1785–1795)

Louis XVII of France also known as Louis-Charles, Duke of Normandy (1785-1789), Louis-Charles, Dauphin of Viennois (1789-1791), and Louis-Charles, Prince Royal of France (1791-1793), was the son of King Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette, who never actually reigned as king of France.

During the French Revolution, Prince Louis was imprisoned with his parents. As the eldest living son of King Louis XVI, he was proclaimed king of France on January 28, 1793 by the declaration of his uncle, «Monsieur» (Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, the Comte de Provence) issued in exile in the city of Hamm, near Dortmund, Westphalia, a territory of the Archbishop of Cologne. The declaration at the time was without authority, since France was a republic; however, when the nation and the European powers accepted Louis-Stanislas-Xavier as Louis XVIII of France in 1815, the numbering tacitly recognized Louis XVII's rights.

While the Royal Family was being held at the forbidding prison of the Temple, he was separated from his mother and sister in the summer of 1793 to prevent any monarchist bid to free him. He remained imprisoned alone, a floor above his sister, until his death in June, 1795. He was ironically called a «Capet,» the family name that the revolutionaries applied to the French royals, Hugh Capet being the non-royal founder of the ruling dynasty's antecedents. The little boy was set to hard work as a cobbler's assistant and was taught to curse his parents. He was officially reported to have died in the prison from what is today recognized to have been tuberculosis. Reportedly, his body was ravaged by tumors and scabies. An autopsy was carried out on the child's frail body at the prison. Following a tradition of preserving royal hearts, his heart was removed by the physician, Philippe-Jean Pelletan, who smuggled it out in a handkerchief and finally preserved it in alcohol. His body was buried in a mass grave.


Ajman, 1972, Louis XVII

Chad, 1971, Louis XVII

France, 1989, Jean Baptiste Drouet

Madagaskar, 1989, Royal Family in prison

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