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Castle at Bourbon l'Archambault, France
Castle at Bourbon l'Archambault, France

House of Bourbon

The Bourbons were, and still are, nobles from France, where the castle of Bourbon used to be their home.

By the way, Bourbon whiskey derives its name from Bourbon county, Kentucky. These royals here had nothing to do with it, at least not directly.

However, many locations in the U.S. were named in honor of French assistance in the American Revolution. It so happened that Bourbon whiskey was first distilled at Paris, Bourbon county, KY, in 1790.

Back to the Bourbons in France.


With interruptions, the Bourbon dynasty provided kings of France from 1589-1848.

These were the Bourbon kings who ruled France from 1589 to 1792:

Henry IV of France 1553-1610
Henry IV
who ruled 1589-1610,
the first Bourbon king of France

Louis XIII  1601-1643
Louis XIII
who ruled 1610-1643

Louis XIV  1638-1715
Louis XIV
who ruled 1643-1715

Louis XV 1710-1774
Louis XV
who ruled 1715-1774

Louis XVI 1754-1793
Louis XVI
who ruled 1774-1792

The Bourbon Kings After 1792


The French Revolution ended Louis XVI's reign and life.

After he had been guillotined on January 21, 1793,
French royalists proclaimed his son Louis-Charles as the next King Louis XVII.


Louis XVI 1754-1793
Louis XVI
(lived 1754-1793)




(lived 1785-1795)
But wee Louis-Charles died on June 8, 1795, age ten.

Next in line was the younger brother of Louis XVI.
His name was Louis-Stanislas-Xavier and he was eager to be King Louis XVIII.


Either way, with a Bourbon king available or not, France had officially abolished the monarchy on September 21, 1792.


What is the Restoration?

From the root word restore, the Restoration with capital R refers to a reestablishment of the monarchy, either the action of restoring or the period marked by this event, or both.

In English history, for example, the Restoration period refers to the years 1600-1688, following Cromwell's Commonwealth, which was replaced by the monarchy under  Charles II (who ruled 1660-1685) and under James II (who ruled 1685-1688).

In French history, the Restoration refers to the reinstatement of the Bourbons in 1814. And there we have the first and the second Bourbon Restoration.


The First Bourbon Restoration


After Napoleon had been shipped to Elba in April 1814, the Bourbons reclaimed the throne with  Louis XVIII.

Louis XVIII 1755-1824
(lived 1755-1824)

Louis could thank  Charles-Maurice Talleyrand for this diplomatic accomplishment. Considering what the French went through since 1789 in order to get rid of the monarchy, it was not a given that another monarch would be welcome — a member of the Bourbon family at that.

Louis XVIII reigned until 1824, but the First Bourbon Restoration lasted only from May 3, 1814 to March 13, 1815.

What happened?


The Second Bourbon Restoration

The reign of Louis XVIII was interrupted by Napoleon's return, also called Napoleon's Hundred Days, which lasted from March 20 - July 8, 1815.

Interestingly, Louis XVIII chose to flee the country during this time rather than to trust his army and his subjects not to turn traitor and defect to Napoleon. And it turned out that that was a smart decision.

Charles X 1757-1836
Charles X
(lived 1757-1836)
Louis XVIII died in 1824, and Charles-Philippe, the youngest brother of Louis XVI, became King Charles X.

Forced by the July Revolution, Charles abdicated on August 2, 1830.

The Second Bourbon Restoration lasted from July 8, 1815 to August 2, 1830.


The Last Bourbon Monarch Over France


After Charles X had abdicated, Louis-Philippe became the king of France on August 9, 1830, also called the Citizen King.

Louis-Philippe 1773-1850
(lived 1773-1850)

Louis-Philippe, however, was a member of a different branch in the Bourbon family tree, the line of Bourbon-Orléans. And it is connected as follows:

Louis-Phillippe (lived 1773-1850) was the son of Philippe Égalité.

Philippe Égalité (lived 1747-1793) was the son of Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans.

Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans (lived 1725-1785) was the son of Louis, duc d'Orléans.

Louis, duc d'Orléans (lived 1703-1752) was the son of Philippe II, duc d'Orléans.

Philippe II, duc d'Orléans (lived 1674-1723) was the son of Philippe I de France, duc d'Orléans. When Louis XV became king, by the way, it was Philippe II, who ruled during Louis' minority.

Philippe I de France, duc d'Orléans (lived 1640-1701) was the son of King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, and the younger brother of King Louis XIV.


The Bourbons in Spain

In Spain, the House of Bourbon is the Casa de Borbón.
And whiskey is el whisky, but that just as a useful side-note.

The Bourbon's ascent to the Spanish throne was rather bumpy. As the second of Louis XIV's grandsons, Philippe duc d'Anjou qualified and became Philip V, or Felipe V.

See also War of the Spanish Succession

With interruptions, members of the Bourbon dynasty are the kings and queen of Spain since 1700. Here they are:

Philip V (Felipe V)
who ruled 1700-1724

Louis (Luis)
who ruled January 15 - August 31, 1724

Philip V (Felipe V) again
who continued to rule 1724-1746

Ferdinand VI (Fernando VI)
who ruled 1746-1759

Charles III (Carlos III)
who ruled 1759-1788

Charles IV (Carlos IV)
who ruled 1788-1808

Ferdinand VII (Fernando VII)
who ruled in 1808

[interruption by Joseph Bonaparte 1808-1813]

Ferdinand VII (Fernando VII) again
who continued to rule 1814-1833

Isabella II (Isabel II)
who ruled 1833-1868

[Interregnum 1868-1870]

[interruption by Amadeus I 1870-1873]

[Republic 1873-1874]

Alfonso XII
who ruled 1874-1885

Alfonso XIII
who ruled 1886-1931

[Republic 1931-1939]

[Nationalist regime / Franco 1939-1975]

Juan Carlos
who rules since 1975


The Bourbons in France & Spain Simultaneously

At times, both France and Spain were ruled by members of the Bourbon family simultaneously. This led to three treaties between them, called the Pacte de Famille, or Family Compact.

These agreements were concluded between:

Philip V of Spain
and Louis XV of France
Family Compact of 1733

Philip V of Spain and Louis XV of France
Family Compact of 1743

Charles III of Spain and Louis XV of France
Family Compact of 1761

Regarding the Family Compact and its impact on foreign politics in view of the
 American Revolution, see also Vergennes.


Map of Bourbon Ruled Territory

Europe about 1560
1560 Europe

Treaty Adjustments, 1713-1763. Treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt, Baden, Stockholm, Frederiksborg, Nystad, Passarowitz, Vienna, Belgrade, Breslau, Dresden, Aix-la-Chapelle, Paris, Hubertusburg. Insets: Acadia and Newfoundland. Eastern North America.
1713-1763 Treaties

Europe about 1740. Inset: The Growth of Savoy, 1418-1748.
1740 Europe


See also Governments of France.

And maybe

Timeline of the Napoleonic Wars - 1814

Timeline of the Napoleonic Wars - 1815




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