Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry

From Academic Kids

Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry (1778 - February 13, 1820) was the younger son of Charles X of France and Marie-Thérèse de Savoie.

His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Bourbon. She was the youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese..

He was born at Versailles. At the French Revolution he left France with his father, then comte d'Artois, and served in the army of Condé from 1792 to 1797. He afterwards joined the Russian army, and in 1801 took up his residence in England, where he remained for thirteen years. During that time he married an Englishwoman, Anna Brown, by whom he had two daughters, afterwards the baronne de Charette and the comtesse de Lucinge-Faucigny.

The marriage was cancelled for political reasons in 1814, when the duke set out for France. His frank, open manners gained him some favor with his countrymen, and Louis XVIII named him commander-in-chief of the army at Paris on the return of Napoleon from Elba. He was, however, unable to retain the loyalty of his troops, and retired to Ghent during the Hundred Days. In 1816 he married the princess Caroline Ferdinande Louise (1798-1870), eldest daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies.

On February 13, 1820 he was mortally wounded, when leaving the opera-house at Paris with his wife, by a saddler named Louis Pierre Louvel. Seven months after his death the duchess gave birth to a son, who received the title of duke of Bordeaux, but who is known in history as the comte de Chambord. A daughter, Louise, was born in 1819 and later married Charles III of Parma.

The duchess of Berry was compelled to follow Charles X to Holyrood after July 1830, but it was with the resolution of returning speedily and making an attempt to secure the throne for her son. From England she went to Italy, and in April 1832 she landed near Marseille, but, receiving no support, was compelled to make her way towards the loyal districts of Vendée and Brittany. Her followers, however, were defeated, and, after remaining concealed for five months in a house in Nantes, she was betrayed to the government and imprisoned in the castle of Blaye.

Here she gave birth to a daughter, the fruit of a secret marriage contracted with an Italian nobleman, Count Ettore Lucchesi-Palli (1805-1864). The announcement of this marriage at once deprived the duchess of the sympathies of her supporters. She was no longer an object of fear to the French government, who released her in June 1833. She set sail for Sicily, and, joining her husband, lived in retirement from that time till her death, at Brunnensee in Switzerland, in April 1870.

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