Did You Know: Louis Antoine

Did you know that Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, was King of France for twenty minutes?

Louis Antoine of France, Duke of Angoulême (6 August 1775 – 3 June 1844) was the eldest son of Charles X of France and, from 1824 to 1836, the last Dauphin of France.

After his father’s abdication in 1830, he enjoyed a disputed reign of twenty minutes, and after his father’s death in 1836 was the legitimist pretender as Louis XIX, King of France and of Navarre.

In July 1830, in what became known as the July Revolution, masses of angry demonstrators demanded the abdication of Charles and of his descendants, in favour of his cousin Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, and sent a delegation to the Tuileries Palace to force his compliance.

When Charles reluctantly signed the document of abdication on 2 August 1830, Louis Antoine and his wife became king and queen of France, though the brevity of his effective reign makes it often unaccounted for by historians.

It is said that the now-King Louis XIX spent the next twenty minutes listening to the entreaties of his wife not to sign, while the former Charles X sat weeping.

After that he also abdicated (in favour of his nephew, the Duke of Bordeaux), making history as the shortest-ever reigning king.