The Restoration and the July Monarchy

Under the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, the court spent little time at Fontainebleau. Under Louis-Philippe a restoration campaign was undertaken at the château for the wedding of the Duke of Orléans and Princess Helen of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

© All Rights Reserved
© All Rights Reserved

A Château for Posterity ?

On 15 June 1816, Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies came to France to marry the Duke of Berry, son of the Count of Artois (the future Charles X). Reconnecting with its august past, the Château de Fontainebleau played host to brief but frequent hunting trips for the French royal princes.

This tradition continued with Louis-Philippe’s sons who took up residence in the Appartement des Chasses (hunting apartment) overlooking the Cour Ovale. Several major 18th century paintings by Oudry, Desportes, Bachelier and other illustrious artists were sent to illustrate this room, with the aim of reconnecting the château with its history. Further conversions show evidence of this trend for “historicism”.

On 30 May 1837, Ferdinand-Philippe, Duke of Orléans and oldest son of Louis-Philippe I, married Duchess Helena Luisa Elizabeth of Mecklenburg-Schwerin at Fontainebleau. Both Catholic and Protestant wedding ceremonies, along with the festivities which were organised, gave rise to significant restoration work (the Chapel of the Trinity, the Ballroom, etc), as well as architectural conversions (e.g. the former Salle Louis-Philippe – now known as the Salle des Colonnes – the Papal apartment allocated to the Duke and Duchess, etc).

The former Spanish queen consort, Maria Christina, visited on 20 and 21 November. On 16 April 1846, former forest ranger Pierre Lecomte attempted to assassinate Louis-Philippe I. On 15 and 16 December of the same year the Bey of Tunis, Sidi Achmet, was received at Fontainebleau.

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