12 Louis XVII of France, The Dauphin, Prince Royal
March 27, 1785-June 8, 1795
Born March 1785 as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s second son and third child, Louis-Charles de France became the heir apparent and Dauphin of France when the eldest son, Louis Joseph, passed away in June 1989. When the King and Queen realized the revolution was eminent, they made a show of support as an attempt in order to secure their own safety. This included Louis XVII learning songs of the revolution to sing at the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille. After the time period of this play, the Dauphin was imprisoned in August 1972, at the age of seven, and later that same year was separated from his family. At the trial of Marie Antoinette, the Dauphin accused his mother of sexually abusing him.
Louis-Charles died from tuberculosis at the age of ten. Following his autopsy, the doctor preserved his heart and enclosed it in an urn which his uncle, Louis XVIII later refused to accept, not wanting to believe that the heart belonged to his nephew. DNA testing in 1999, however, proved that the heart was that of Louis XVII and in 2004, the heart was interred in the Saint Denis Basilica, along with his parents’ remains.
Bibliography of Sources:
“Louis XVII of France.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XVII_of_France.
Weber, Caroline. Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006.
Fig. 1. After Alexander Kucharski, Portrait of Louis XVII, the Dauphin. Late 18th-first half 19th Century, pastel on stretched parchment, 623 x 521 mm. Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Available from: ARTstor. Accessed April 29, 2019. http://www.artstor.org.