Photo of the Week

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Left to right: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Ferris Wheel. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Drawing through the ages

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"Apples" (1944), by Henri Matisse. Eric Coatalem Gallery.

> Salon du Dessin: 39 galleries showing works on paper, from Old Masters to contemporary. Palais Brogniart, Paris, March 22-27.

Contemporary drawing fair
> Drawing Now: 73 galleries, Carreau du Temple, Paris, March 23-26.

More contemporary drawings
>Ddessin: 20 galleries. Atelier Richelieu, Paris, March 24-26.

Art and design fair
> PAD (Paris Art + Design),
67 galleries, Tuileries Garden, Paris, March 22-26.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Audrey Dana's Si j'Étais un Homme, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Feb. 24.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Royalists in France

Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris

France’s monarchists are down for the count: Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris. Photo from the cover of his 2003 book "L’Histoire en Héritage" (Tallendier).

Believe it or not, there are still French people who would like to see a return of the monarchy. In fact, there are enough of them to have formed not one, but two political parties, the Alliance Royale and ...

Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris

France’s monarchists are down for the count: Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris. Photo from the cover of his 2003 book "L’Histoire en Héritage" (Tallendier).

Believe it or not, there are still French people who would like to see a return of the monarchy. In fact, there are enough of them to have formed not one, but two political parties, the Alliance Royale and Action Française, both proposing to put a king back in power.

However, as is always the case with royal successions, there is some question as to who should get the old orb and scepter, in the unlikely event that either party ever actually wins a national election. The most likely pretender to the throne is Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d’Orléans, Count of Paris and Duke of France. Now aged 77, he is the heir more or less apparent of Louis-Philippe, the last king to rule the country (from 1830 to 1848).

But he wasn’t always the top choice. His father, also named Prince Henri, Count of Paris (probably just a coincidence), stripped the current count of his titles in 1984 after he had the effrontery to marry his second wife, Micaëla Anna María Cousiño y Quiñones de León, Princess of Joinville, in a civil, i.e., non-Catholic, ceremony. Apparently this is a “one strike you’re out” kind of thing for dyed-in-the-ermine royalists. (It’s true that he was divorced, but my guess is that with names like theirs to wade through in the “I do’s” he just wanted to strip the ritual to the minimum so everyone could get out of there on the same day.)
So for several years he was the Aristocrat Formerly Known as Prince, but eventually the tensions eased and Henri regained his status as frontrunner for the crown. He even got his first marriage annulled by the Vatican just last year so he could re-marry Micaëla in front of a priest and keep everyone happy, somehow without affecting the legitimacy of the five children he had with Mrs. Henri the First. Now that, dear readers, is what I call power and privilege. Anyone who can call in a favor like that deserves to spend his wedding night yelling, “Who’s the state? Who’s the state?”

I find it mildly amusing that noblesse still obliges such machinations in the 21st century. But I find it even more amusing to imagine the conversation between Count Senior and Count Junior back in 1984 when their little tiff began. I like to think of the elder Henri saying, “Marry her if you must, son, but if you do, mark my words: you’ll never, ever, ever be king of France!”

David Jaggard

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