Saturday, 30 May 2015

Louis de Bourbon, Comte de Vermandois

Louis de Bourbon was born at the Château Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 2 October 1667 to Louise de La Vallière and Louis XIV. Louis was legitimised in 1669 at which point he was given the title of Comte de Vermandois.
It is very likely that he was brought up alongside his sister by Madame Colbert. His relationship with his mother was not strong and after she joined a convent, they saw as good as nothing of each other.

Louis, Count of Vermandois.PNGInstead, Louis moved to the Palais-Royal where he lived with his uncle, the Duc d'Orlèans. Here he struck up a relationship with an unlikely part: Elizabeth Charlotte, the Duchesse d'Orlèans who was otherwise known to despise Louis XIV's bastards. Despite this odd companionship their relationship remained strong.

During his stay at the Palais-Royal, Louis met the infamous Chevalier de Lorraine who was rumoured to be the lover of both Louis' uncle and aunt. Apparently, the young Louis fell under his charm as well and after their meeting it was whispered that Louis was now also homosexual.
Louis XIV was furious at the news; he had always treated his brother's sexuality with nonchalance without approving of it but the idea that his son - although illegitimate - had been "infected" by the Italian vice was too much.
Both Louis de Bourbon and the Chevalier was exiled.

It was suggested that Louis was to marry to draw attention from the scandal but it never came to anything. His exile brought Louis to Normandy in 1682. It was thanks to Louis' aunt that the King came to the conclusion that his son might benefit from a trip to the front. So, Louis was sent to Flanders where he was to participate in the Siege of Courtray.
While there, Louis became ill but was still so desperate to regain his father's affection that he insisted on fighting. That would become his death. Louis died on 18 November 1683 at the age of 16 years old.

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