About This Project
Biography – Prince Henri d’Orléans – Earl of Paris – Duke of France
Henri d’Orleans is Earl of Paris, Duke of France and current head of the Royal House of France. He was born in Belgium in 1933. At that time, the Royal Family had been living outside France since 1886, when the Law was passed, and all the male descendants of the families who had reigned in France, the Bourbon-Orleans and the Napoleons, were exiled. An anecdote says, however, that Prince Henry was born in the land of France. In fact, the Duke of Guise, his Great Father, had preserved in a little bag of the land of Paris. He distributed the contents in four saucers, which he placed under the feet of the bed where the little Dauphin was born.
In 1939 the French family, like so many Frenchmen, fled the Nazi invasion. She took refuge in Brazil in her maternal family, the Orleans-Braganza, whose great-grandmother, the Empress Dona Isabel, abolished slavery in Brazil, which brought about the end of her reign. In 1940, all find themselves in Morocco, the Duke of Guise had died there. It is at this time that the young Prince, like his brothers and sisters, learns to draw and paint, this passion will never leave him. In the same way he learns solfeggio and piano. In 1944 exile continues in Spain, college, preceptors, art and sport. In Pamplona it is first the Basque pelota, but also the fencing, the horse and especially the aerobatics. In 1946 the large family moved to Portugal.
By 1948, the Prince is allowed to pursue his studies in Bordeaux thanks to a special permission from Vincent Auriol, President of the Republic. There, he made friends such as Jacques Chaban-Delmas.
He enlisted as a volunteer in 1957 and left for Algeria. Decorated with the Cross for Military Valour, the Prince was called in 1959 to the Secretariat General for National Defence by General de Gaulle. He was then in the Foreign Legion for five years, in Bonifacio (Corsica) and Mers-el-Kebir (Algeria). He was awarded the Legion of Honor for his military career in 2009 by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic. Having left the Army in 1968, he chose to integrate the Bank, fluently speaking four languages, he was in charge of developing the international networks. Then on 21 January 1974 he met Princess Micaela, he left the Bank. Thanks to his knowledge and his address book he puts himself at the service of French companies to help them export. He participated in a French mission in Argentina: Dumez, Wiliam-Saurin and others signed contracts there.
In 1976 he created his first perfume with L’Oréal. Passionate about creativity, he works with designers: glassmakers, packaging, with a « nose » of which he is a friend, draws the bottle chooses the fragrances and travels for his promotion. At the same time he created the Center for Studies and Research on Contemporary France. It opens some twenty offices in the provinces. With the Princess Micaela they travel to France and go to meet the French during study tours. At the heart of his permanent quest, far from any cleavage, it is man, his dignity and his place in society that interests him in the first place.
He got married in Bordeaux in 1984 with Micaela Cousino Quinones de Leon, Princess of Joinville, daughter of the Marquise de San Carlos (Great of Spain), and Luis Maximiliano Cousino (a descendant of pioneers who founded Chile).
Painter out of personal inclination, Prince by status, the Earl of Paris has made more than a hundred watercolors to capture the rustlings that surround us, those that tell him about his country, his land,…a hundred of messages from France.
Condemned by destiny to be born king, the Earl of Paris wrote several essays and a novel that disclose his thoughts and his contemplations. Throughout the pages, one can feel his wisdom, his composure and his kindness caressing the passing of Time and History over France, over you, over us…
The beautiful, the sacred in the service of Man. Perfumes, painting, drawing, writing, … and now Champagne, Prince Henri combines artistic creation in many forms. Like a kingdom of freedom, far from the deafening world, yet without intrenching it in an ivory tower. The Prince is a free, independent, permanent consciousness, which plays with reductive labels and defies ephemeral modes. No matter after all that one shares all its options or adheres to its analyzes, it is an original voice that comes from afar, resonates in the great questions of the moment, which may be echo in the future. A future view that he would like to build with the French, animated by his passion for France and the desire – always renewed since Hugues Capet – to serve the common good, the « Res-Publica ».
Henri d’Orleans made use of the full arms of France (« of Azure with three gold lilies »).