WI: The French Royal Family fled to Britain?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Emperor Constantine, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    So I recently learned that Queen Marie-Antoinette of France and Queen Charlotte of England had a close friendship. Though they never met, the had a long correspondence. Marie had confided her fears about the French Revolution to Charlotte. At one point the British Queen had organized apartments to be prepared and ready for the refugee royal family of France to stay in. So lets say the French Royal family takes up her offer and manages to successfully flee to England. What then? Will the revolution escalate? Will Britain launch an invasion to Restore Louis XVI? An interesting thought I had was for the Dauphin to marry Princess Amelia of Great Britain. They were close in age and it would help bind the two countries closer together.
     
  2. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    id imagine itd be exactly the same as otl, cept after france is defeated, theyd just be restored...most likly to a constitutional monarchy
     
  3. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Really, nothing changes at all? At the very least the Restored Bourbons might last ;onger under Louis XVII, since he would have been exposed to parliamentary government at an early age.
     
  4. wolf_brother Banned

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    So are we assuming a successful Flight to Varennes ITTL? EDIT: Or at least one that makes it out of France. I could see the radical revolutionaries invading the Austrian Netherlands in order to try to re-capture the royal family after it became known that they had fled France, and in such a situation the royals might after all find it better to cross the channel than to try and force their way across the German states.
     
  5. Coffeelatte Well-Known Member

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    Would n't they rather be exiled to Austria since MA was related to the Habsburgs
     
  6. Thoresby Well-Known Member

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    I've heard the idea expressed before but I've always though that if the Flight to Varennes had been successful escaped they would have gone to Vienna like Louis XVIII did in OTL as it was a close ally and Marie Antoinette was from there. After that I suspect they would have moved around as political circumstances dictated much like Louis XVIII did in OTL. All in all not that different apart from a different monarch getting restored in 1815.
     
  7. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Like what Wolf Brother said, it might be easier to cross the Channel then go across the German States to get to Austria. Any thoughts on a marriage between Louis XVII and Princess Amelia? Or who Madame Royale would marry in such a scenario? I doubt she would still marry the Duc d'Angouleme. Maybe the Princes of Asturias? or perhaps Archduke Charles?
     
  8. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    their not gonna marry into/with the british royal family...
    first...france and england have, to that point, being enemies...the public would never support a marriage
    second...religion
    third...their a exiled monarchy, who, if they get the throne back, may likly die out quickly, causing the british to have a shot at a restored throne...parliment would never allow a situation like another hanover, where a british-franco union could ever come about


    also to wat i said earlier..i meant otl til after the war...who knows what happens if they get their throne back or not
     
  9. Falastur Fighting Swiss-wank since 1291

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    These aren't that much of an issue really.

    Political marriages were an accepted reality and while marriages between English and French royals weren't frequent, they did happen from time to time. If anything, the public accepted them simply because they reduced the likelihood of the two countries going to war in the next 10 years, and every now and again you do need a breather from constant wars.

    Religion was an issue, yes, but the general solution was that the female of the engaged couple (since the female was usually the less important/lower ranking of the two) would convert to the male's religion, or during the time of the Stuarts what would generally happen is that the Catholic wife would be allowed to remain Catholic if she agreed to attend Anglican services and never practise her Catholicism outside of her own apartments. It was generally accepted that any children of the marriage would be brought up following the male's religion (again, in history this generally tended to be the English Protestant).

    A union of the crowns is highly unlikely. For a start, the British royals already had a claim to the throne, and up until the year 1802 presented themselves is King of Great Britain, Ireland, Hanover and France (or words to that effect). Since the British already had a claim to the throne - which they hadn't pressed for 350 years - there would be little fear that a new claim to the throne would appear. Secondly, the French had already established that according to their law, claims to the throne could not pass through any female line - they instituted this law purely to stop Edward III of England from claiming their throne in the first place. Thus, if it's a female French royal who is marrying, the French would claim that there is no way the throne could pass to any of her children, and thus the throne of France would never unite with that of Britain. Similarly, Parliament would not be concerned as it would know that their own monarch would never accidentally become the legitimate claimant, and they would not support him pressing his existing claim militarily. A union of the crowns is an impossibility, marriages or no marriages.
     
  10. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    First of all, a Franco-British Union would be incredibly unlikely. Amelia was George III's youngest daughter. So ALL of her brothers and sister would have to die childless for that to happen. Plus she's marrying a Catholic, so she'll lose her spot in the succession anyway. Second of all, religion wasn't a big deal. In Britain yes, but in France not so much. Amelia would either convert or worship privately. Hell, during the July Monarchy, the heir to the throne married a protestant and no one made a big deal out of it. As for public support, well that never mattered with royal marriages. Even if the whole House of Bourbon dies out, the throne would go to the House of Orleans, not to the British.
     
  11. wolf_brother Banned

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    So, semi-successful Flight to Varennes, the royal family finds itself in England while the French have over-run or at least kicked the beejebus out of the Austrian Netherlands.

    Leopold II is still going to issue his Padua Circular calling the European monarchs to help put down the French. However, ITTL, with the royal family in self-imposed exile, the National Constituent Assembly isn't going to declare the king to be inviolable. Now, I'm not entirely sure the assembly would decree a republic right then and there, after all the constitutional monarchy carried on IOTL until late 1792. However once the other German states start to dogpile in on the war effort, I don't think it'll take long for a republican government to come to fruition. That's not that big of a step really, as France had been essentially governed by the various Parisian committees and assemblies since 1789. We're probably going to see something like the National Convention take power. In this timeline the Declaration of Pillnitz is just a footnote in history, because Austria is already moving against France now that the royal family has fled, and Louis XVI is certainly going to be shouting out loud and clear 'kill them all.' So, France is run by an ad-hoc bureaucracy, fighting a war against Austria and the various German states. Sounds vaguely like IOTL so far. However we're likely to see something akin to the War in the Vendée much earlier, and much greater in scope. As well the extent of the radicalization of the revolution is likely to be even greater, as its seen that the royalty turned on the people, as opposed to the other way around IOTL. That's going to have a fairly large effect going onward. And let's not forget, the king is still alive in Britain. Any potential peace between France and the various European powers is going to depend on awful lot on how diplomatic Louis can be (which, luckily for the revolutionaries, isn't very much).
     
  12. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    While it's not entirely the same due to the fact that there was already a revolutionary French era in the past for comparison which made the British more cautious about backing one horse, you could perhaps look at how Louis-Philippe fled to Britain after the 1848 Revolution in OTL. Queen Victoria's letters record some of the debates about what to do (Scroll down to March 1848).
     
  13. funnyhat Well-Known Member

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    Note that the future Louis XVIII did, in fact, live in Britain for several years during his exile.
     
  14. Just a Rube Well-Known Member

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    Note that things have changed significantly from Stuart times. By the Act of Settlement (1701) any English royal who marries a Catholic loses his or her place in the line of succession.
     
  15. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Yes thats true but I don't think it would really matter for the youngest daughter. I mean there's practically no chance she'll inherit the throne in the first place, so Amelia marrying the Dauphin wouldn't do much.
     
  16. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    There was also little chance of Victoria getting the throne at first....then her father and his brothers all died with no legitamate issue in relativly short time....so...not exactly unlikly

    edit: also if the revolution spreads further, or even the Napoleonic wars still happen, then theres a chance the Hanovarian branch may get done in as well...the one fact about saying someones distant in a royal succesion...they dont always stay that way
     
  17. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    OK three deaths is a whole lot different than TWELVE. Have every single person ahead of Amelia in the line of succession die, legitimately childless, is getting close to ASB territory. And what do you mean by the Hanoverian Branch? The reigning British House?
     
  18. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    mean Ersnt & co...i know he was born in England and that, but...kinda think Hanover suited him much better, so i kinda class him as that side more than any...just a personal thing

    and only two of the others in the line (saying that all the regular guys who went stiff, still go dead and including Ernst) had actual issue...so not extremly hard to see them kick it either....the point im trying to make really, shes still close enough to get the throne to stop her marrying into the French Royalty, if alot of luck went her way...and back then...it was all about luck
     
  19. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    But if Amelia married into the French Royal Family it wouldn't matter who died she would have no rights. Though if worst came to the worst and the ENTIRE upper line of succession died out, something I find very hard to believe, then the throne could go to a second son of Louis XVII and Queen Amelia, who would convert to Anglicanism. I'm sure that Amelia's potential inheritance wouldn't be shocking and there would be time to figure out what to do and get the necessary laws passed. I mean between George IV and William IV they have 17 years to figure out what to do.
     
  20. Just a Rube Well-Known Member

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    But there is still the issue of motivation. English princesses post-Glorious Revolution weren't generally marrying French princes anyway. I'm not sure why they would change that to get a marriage with a deposed exile; it's not like the Bourbons have any leverage at that point. And remember that the Royal Marriage Act is in effect, so they have to get an ok from the King or Parliament.

    So why would a British prince/princess trade even a remote chance at succession for a marriage to a homeless exile?