The history. Great Characters. Known for preferring his male favourites to his wives, more at home in Paris than at Versailles, he won a famous military victory over William of Orange in He nonetheless scored a brilliant victory over William of Orange at the Battle of Cassel on 11th April , one of the defining engagements of the Franco-Dutch War. Philippe died at Saint-Cloud in
Philippe Duc d’Orleans (1640 – 1701); Didn’t Ask, Didn’t Tell
Louis XIV of France - Wikipedia
Even though Philippe I died before the Spanish Succession war really commenced it is nice to know something of Philippe I of Orleans in order to put French Court life into perspective. In general Mazarin's policy was directed at centralizing authority, meaning the whole country should submit to the king. This policy was also adapted in bringing up the royal family. So, while Louis XIV was brought up to rule, Philippe's education was not directed at being the smartest man at court. This meant he was not required to study much and was allowed to play a lot. I cannot say whether his upbringing brought up a feminine trait in his character, or this trait just surfaced during his youth, but Philippe later became known for it. Saint Simon gives this portrait of his looks of Orleans: Monsieur was a little man with a belly.
Was Louis XIV of France tolerant of his gay brother Philippe (1640-1701)?
It was not a position to be envied. Having the Grand Monarque as a sibling must have been trying sometimes in the extreme, but Monsieur, as Philippe was always called, had a way of getting out of the tedium of his proximity to power: he was gay. We know that his brother Louis detested homosexuality, and yet he seems to have tolerated it in his brother, of whom, we understand, he was very fond. He had two wives, Henrietta Maria, a Stewart and the sister of Charles II of England , and after her tragically short life ended, this merry widower married again, a hearty German girl, Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine. Both times, the frail Monsieur despaired of being able to perform his marital duties, but by dint of prayer and holy medals, tucked into inopportune places, he somehow managed.
It was no secret. In 17th century France, homosexuality was a crime and Louis XIV himself was no fan of men loving men, yet had to tolerate it due to his brother. After all, if he were to punish the men of his court who openly showed off their male lovers, he would have to start with his own flesh and blood.