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  #101  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:09 PM
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Sold is sold , I am proud about my royal item which was expensive.
A friend of mine said "The Comtesse de Paris would be happy you had it"
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  #102  
Old 12-10-2008, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Sold is sold , I am proud about my royal item which was expensive.
A friend of mine said "The Comtesse de Paris would be happy you had it"
You have a part of history which is fantastic. When Princess Margaret's items went on sale I had my eye on one piece but the price far exceeded what I wanted to pay. You are lucky you got what you wanted. Cherish it!
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  #103  
Old 02-25-2009, 10:27 AM
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It was reported in a UK newspaper a few months ago that main reason for the auction was that the late Comte de Paris had squandered alot of the family fortune on his misstress Mrs Monique Friesz & the house they shared.
There were estimates that the fortune had been vastly reduced to around £10 million or less.
Fingers were pointed in the direction of Mrs Monique Friesz & the lavish refurbishment of the house.
I hope that they are able to recoup what has been lost.
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  #104  
Old 03-04-2009, 02:35 PM
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Well, I think they are unlikely to restore the ancient fortune of the family, as it is reported to have been mainly lost much before this person met the late count of Paris.
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  #105  
Old 03-04-2009, 03:01 PM
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I believe Ms. Friesz and the late count met in 1976, according to Vincent Meylan's book that is. In the early nineties the count sold several items, and later it was discovered he did so far under market value.

Still, most money he lost was due to his lifestyle before that (residences in Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, France), the financing of his various political causes and not to mention having 11 children....
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  #106  
Old 03-04-2009, 04:27 PM
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Also, two of his financial councillors fleed with his money, in the late 50es and the 60es.
And I think he didn't inherit as much as one could have expected as a descendant of Louis-Philippe, who had granted truely enormous fortunes to his sons, and to his grandson the count of Paris. But, first, they had numerous families (6 married children for the count of Paris, four for the dukes of Guise, parents of the late count of Paris), they tried to remedy this problem by marrying between descendents of Louis-Philippe; secondly, the dukes of Guise are said to have spent very large amounts of money, both for political and vanity reasons, so that the fortune of the Orléans was not so considerable.
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  #107  
Old 03-04-2009, 04:35 PM
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The huge orléans fortune was largely spent before the late comte de Paris inherited what was left of it. To give you an idea, i translated the amount of money inherited by the comte de Paris' uncle, the duc d'Orléans, in euros and it amounts to about 100 millions euros.

Nothing if you compare it to the fortune of the billionaires we have today; But this equivalence in money only (francs of 1900 into euros of 2009) does not take in account the huge variations in prices. For example, in 1900 a female servant was paid around 500 francs a year, which represents around 5000 euros of today.

Furthermore, there were no income taxes...
Therefore what the duc d'Orléans could afford in 1900 for a sum which equivalent in today's money is 100 millions euros, was much much more that what you would get today.

So it can be said the duc d'Orléans was a really rich prince. When he died in 1926 he left 10% of his original fortune. The huge estates in normandy, about 50 000 acres of woods, had been sold, as well as the château d'Eu, Wood norton manor in england and the main part of the shares he had inherited from his father and his uncle the duc d'Aumale.
And he left that very small fortune to his sister queen amélie of Portugal, includin gjewelry and heirlooms.

His younger brother, the duc de Montpensier died absolutely broke havin spent all his fortune. The only things left were the château de Randan and a few jewels he left to his widow.

When the comte de Paris's father, the duc de Guise, became the french heir to the crown, he owned around the equivalent of 50 millions euros in today's money. And when he died in 1940, that money was shared EQUALLY between his 4 children.
The comte de Paris got a quarter of this, and furthermore he had to wait untill his mother died in 1960 to get the main part of it.
Therefore most of the brilliant life, he, his wife and their 11 children led between 1950 and 1960 at the manoir du coeur Volant was led on credit, selling goods, parts of the forests they owned. And furthermore at the same time the comte de Paris made very bad investments which cost him at least one third of his estate( figures given by the comtesse de Paris).

The only raise in his level of fortune was the considerable changes which occured in the 60s, 70s and 80s, in the value of works of art. This is the reason why he stared selling.
He did not sell under market value, except for one thing, the famous parure inherited by queen marie amélie and which is now in the louvre in Paris. And for a very commendable reason, he AGREED to sell it to the museum at "stones value" before the auction which should have been conducted by Sotheby's in Geneva in 1985. Many rubbish has been said and written about this, but this has been confirmed officially by sotheby's who added that president Mitterrand had given the official authorization to sell the jewels in swizzerland to the comte de Paris.

When the comte de Paris died in 1999, his estate was valued around 16 or 18 millions euros (all included) and his 10 heirs shared it among them. The succession is not over yet because there is a second part of that fortune which consists of 75 works of art given by the comte and the comtesse de Paris to the fondation Saint Louis who owns the château d'Amboise, the chapelle royale de Dreux and the building in Paris where the comtesse de Paris used to live.
The story of the fondation is very long, but one thing is certain these buildings and châteaux were never the personal property of the comte de Paris, they belonged to the société civile du domaine de Dreux of which the comte de Paris was a very minor shareholder. The other shares belonged to all the other descendants of king LOuis PHilippe : the belgium, spanish, bulgarian, brazilian, portuguese and wurtemberg royal families. They all gave their shares in order to establish the fondation.

Coming back to the works of art, the fondation and the heirs have been talking for ten years about their future, but no agreement has been reached yet. As the gift was never officialized by a written act, the 10 heirs have a right of property on these objects. Should they be given some money, in lieu of, or should the objetct be given back to them ? This is all the question.

One thing is sure the value of these object should be established in millions euros. For example, the 40 drawings by Louis XIV, in a red leather album bearing his coat of arms, are priceless. Much more than the wallet embroided by Marie Antoinette which was the main lot of the last auction. Talking about Marie Antoinette, there is also a writing table which used to belong to her...

The 10 heirs have a good chance to inherit one day a sum of money, or some works of art worth that sum, which could bring them as much as what they have allready received.

If you compare this to the value of mme Friesz small house (around 300 000 euros) and the insurance she received (around 300 000 euros), you can draw your own conclusions. Furthermore it has to be said, that mme friesz estate has been largely examined by the french justice and it has been officially stated that she did not own anything more than what is mentionned above.

Sorry to be a bit long, but this thing is a bit (very) personal for me. And it has nothing to do with my writing a book about these persons. The comte de Paris was not a good businessman, he was not a good politician either, his relations with his family are his, and his children's business, but he was a very sweet, charming, fascinating and kind man who has a very special place in my memory.

Furthermore, and i know this might seem strange, he had a very special and strange charm, almost hypnotic, any member of his family or entourage wold confirm this.
And then, of course, he was such a "grand seigneur". His wife, the late comtesse de Paris, used to say "henri would look like a king even if he was sitting on a wood box".
I can still hear his very strange voice and it is amazing that ten years after he died, all the people who knew him, i mean staff, bankers, journalists, some of his children and grandchildren, not to mention his many nephews, still think about him as someone who really left a mark on us.

A few days ago, i was in a restaurant in paris with one of his grand children and a very famous writer came to us because he had recognized the grandson; First thing he said was : "Oh i do remember your grandfather so well, he was such a grand seigneur.."

P S : I did not say anything about the late comtesse de Paris because she does not need to be defended, you all know she was so unique, in a different way. And i am sure she would have agreed with all the lines i have written above.
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  #108  
Old 03-04-2009, 07:10 PM
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Thank you Vincent about the posting. Regardless of what your relation was with the late comte, the writing was fascinating and informative.
From all I read so far, obviously from people who did not know him, the comte was a very difficult ,demanding, capricious man. You made me think again about how much we actually know from what we read in books and magazines.
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  #109  
Old 03-05-2009, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Odette View Post
Thank you Vincent about the posting. Regardless of what your relation was with the late comte, the writing was fascinating and informative.
From all I read so far, obviously from people who did not know him, the comte was a very difficult ,demanding, capricious man. You made me think again about how much we actually know from what we read in books and magazines.
I think this is a problem regarding maybe all royals...for example King Baudouin was said to be a sad man, but several sources assert the contrary, and the same is about Prince Philippe...
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  #110  
Old 03-05-2009, 04:25 PM
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I think this is a problem regarding maybe all royals...for example King Baudouin was said to be a sad man, but several sources assert the contrary, and the same is about Prince Philippe...
Very true. I suppose this goes for almost everyone who does not go infront of the cameras to tell their own story.
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  #111  
Old 03-05-2009, 04:40 PM
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I suppose that the two articles you (vincent) wrote for Point de Vue a few years ago discussed the matter too? I have read one of the articles, which was quite a struggle as my French isn't what it ought to be.

My memory of the late count and Ms Friesz is from articles that made it to my Dutch newspaper, which found it rather saucy to tell a story of a prince, selling the family heirlooms to finance a female friend and upsetting his children in the process. Now I suppose that newspaper (as well as many others) overreacted in order to make a juicy story for their readers.

Funny you should mention the 'grand seigneir' part of the late count. That was indeed the impression he made on me, judging from only a few photos. I believe he was the only non-reigning royal on the cover of the book 'De Europese vorstenhuizen : de gekroonde families die het oude continent maakten' by Christian Cannuyer (I guess because the late count wrote the prefix of the book) and he looked more royal than most reigning monarchs that were included there!
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  #112  
Old 03-06-2009, 04:09 PM
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Thank you all for your comments. Very happy Marengo that you noticed the "grand seigneur" style of the comte de Paris. Let it be clear that i am not saying that he was perfect, fahr from this. Simply a
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  #113  
Old 03-26-2009, 10:59 PM
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Vincent your book is fantanstic, I read it in two days ( french is not my language), I must congratulate you. I am a fan of the French Royal Family, in special of Madame and Monseigneur, they were such a unique couple.
Again thank yo so much for giving us such a marvellous book!!!
Do you know if there is a book with photos of the Royal family, the grand children and great grand children of Louis-PHilippe I ?
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  #114  
Old 07-10-2009, 04:22 PM
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I have not checked this entry on the board for months and Claudia i do apologize for taking such a long time to answer you. Thks for your compliments. You are absolutely right in saying they were such a unique couple.
I do not think such a book as the one you are mentionning does exist. The closer you could find would be the album published by HRH prince Michael of Greece uisng his oncle's photographical archives (which sadly have all been sold). It is called :
"Henri, comte de Paris, mon album de famille".
Strangely, it seems i have some difficulties to leave them. I am currently writing another book which has nothing to do with the orléans family. The title is "Secret archives" Boucheron : 1958-2008. The idea is to explore the archives of that jeweller and explain all the customers (i mean from the past) what they bought and so on...
And guess who i found around in the archives books from the year 1950s ? The Comte and the comtesse de Paris who were very regular customers...
I guess some stories never end...
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  #115  
Old 08-12-2009, 10:43 AM
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Thank you so much Vincent for all the interesting things that you tell us.
Please let us know when your new book will be published because I will be one of the first to buy it, no matter if I live at the south of the world.
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