WI: Louis XVII survived?

Just what it says in the title. What if Louis XVII survived his captivity in the Temple? Lets say he wasn't held in such deplorable conditions and subsequently didn't die of Scrofula or Tuberculosis or what ever he actually died of (the whole thing, from his imprisonment to his death is pretty much shrouded in mystery). What happens next? Would he be traded along with his sister in a prisoner exchange? Or would he be kept in France as a hostage? Would he remain in Vienna, where his sister was initially sent, or would he continue to join his uncle and technical Regent in Courland? Who would he marry? Would a surviving Louis XVII lead to an earlier Restoration? If he's restored at the same time as his uncle, how would he reign? How would the long imprisonment at the Temple effect him? Would he be a more liberal King or an arch-conservative?
 
Since he died at age 10, it's fairly impossible to say what sort of man he would have grown into. I don't think any regime would have let him get away, having the legitimate King in your custody is just too good to give up even if you don't believe in kings.

I would be tempted thus to look to Ivan Grozny of Russia as a model for the sort of man he would grow into, but that's only one of several possibilities.
 
Since he died at age 10, it's fairly impossible to say what sort of man he would have grown into. I don't think any regime would have let him get away, having the legitimate King in your custody is just too good to give up even if you don't believe in kings.

I would be tempted thus to look to Ivan Grozny of Russia as a model for the sort of man he would grow into, but that's only one of several possibilities.
Really, Ivan the Terrible? That's a bit extreme. At most I would think he would be similar to his uncle Charles X. France would no longer be an Absolute monarchy so I doubt Louis XVII could get away with even half of what Ivan did. Hell I'm inclined to think that no European ruler could have gotten away with what Ivan did.
 
How would Napoleon react to a living Bourbon King though?
Well, presumably the same as he reacted to a living Bourbon king (Louis XVIII) in OTL.

Well to both of you it depends on where Louis XVII is. Is he a hostage in France or an exile in Vienna? If he remains in France there will be various factions, including those around Tallyrand, who are going to consider using him as a puppet ruler, someone who can offer a sense of Legitimacy to France in the eyes of Europe. On the other hand, if he's in exile, then Napoleon probably won't really care. Though I remember reading that of all the members of the Royal Family the French people only remembered and really cared about Madame Royale, the Duchesse d'Angouleme. So perhaps a surviving Louis XVII would have a higher popularity due to sympathy about what he was put threw by his own people.

An interesting idea would be if Louis remains in France. When Napoleon go's off to Egypt there was an attempt to put together a new Coalition to restore the Bourbons by the Louis XVIII and the Great powers. However it obviously failed because Napoleon returned too quickly to France and would launch a coup within a year. So with Napoleon out of commission in Egypt, his enemies could decide to remove the Directory and restore Louis XVII in an attempt to preempt the Allies. If the monarchy was restored in 1798/99 I wonder what would happen.
 
Hm. Well, if he initially took refuge in Vienna, I would think that the French would demand his expulsion as pert of the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. So he probably ends up in Courland, as per Louis XVIII. And then as OTL.

If he is in France, then he is presumably a close prisoner, and probably suffers the same fate as the Duc d'Enghien.

One interesting though would be if Louis XVII were somehow able to escape to the Vendee in 1793 or so. Perhaps after initially taking refuge in Vienna ? I'm not sure what Louis would actually achieve in such a case (was he any good as a soldier ?) , but he would make a wonderful figurehead - and perhaps, by lending legitimacy to the revolt, make it more successful ?
 
Hm. Well, if he initially took refuge in Vienna, I would think that the French would demand his expulsion as pert of the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. So he probably ends up in Poland, as per Louis XVIII. And then as OTL.

If he is in France, then he is presumably a close prisoner, and probably suffers the same fate as the Duc d'Enghien.

One interesting though would be if Louis XVII were somehow able to escape to the Vendee in 1793 or so. Perhaps after initially taking refuge in Vienna ? I'm not sure what Louis would actually achieve in such a case (was he any good as a soldier ?) , but he would make a wonderful figurehead - and perhaps, by lending legitimacy to the revolt, make it more successful ?

I agree with you about the Vienna part and the expulsion part, Though I think that at that point Louis XVIII was in Courland, so Russia.

as for sharing the same fate as the Duc d'Enghien, I completely disagree. There's a HUGE difference between executing a the son of a minor Cadet-Branch and the rightful King. For one the Duc d'Enghien was accused of conspiring against France and aiding in a coup against the government. How could Louis XVII be accused of this while he's in custody in France? Not to mention it would villianize Napoleon completely in the eyes of Europe and would damage his popularity in France itself. Remember of all the members of the Royal Family the only ones not accused of crimes against the state were Marie-Therese Charlotte and Louis XVII. Napoleon's not dumb enough to kill one of the only two semi-popular and more importantly remembered members of the Royal Family.

As for the Vendee, it would be impossible. In 1793 Louis XVII was 8. He's not going to be any help at all. In truth the earliest Louis XVII could start to make any moves on his own would be in 1801/2, when he would be 16/17.

If he's still a prisoner when the Treaty of Amiens is being negotiated he'll probably be sent to Britain as part of the Treaty.
 
I doubt he'd be competent to rule, the shit he whent through would probably leave him a psychological freak.
The POD is he's not held in such deplorable conditions. Plus I'm inclined to believe that at least some of the legends about his imprisonment is overexaggerated. Also it depends on when he's freed. When his sister is ransomed or later? Remember Marie-Therese as also imprisoned and she turned out OK.
 
Emperor Constantine said:
The POD is he's not held in such deplorable conditions. Plus I'm inclined to believe that at least some of the legends about his imprisonment is overexaggerated. Also it depends on when he's freed. When his sister is ransomed or later? Remember Marie-Therese as also imprisoned and she turned out OK.
Even if Louis XVII's imprisonment doesn't turn out as bad as it did according to the legend, I'm pretty sure he would still be traumatized by the events. After all, he was there when the crowd invaded Versailles then the Tuileries and his parents were sent to the Guillotine by the Revolutionnaries. Possibly, he also was forced to accuse his mother of incest unless that was butterflied away. And then, we have to account for his imprisonmenl: I'm not sure a kid would took well being imprisonned.

You mentionned his sister Marie-Therese: I think one could explain the fact she became a reactionnary because of what she went through. It's quite likely Louis XVII could go the same path she did.

That being said, a lot will depend on how he is treated during the events.
 
Even if Louis XVII's imprisonment doesn't turn out as bad as it did according to the legend, I'm pretty sure he would still be traumatized by the events. After all, he was there when the crowd invaded Versailles then the Tuileries and his parents were sent to the Guillotine by the Revolutionnaries. Possibly, he also was forced to accuse his mother of incest unless that was butterflied away. And then, we have to account for his imprisonmenl: I'm not sure a kid would took well being imprisonned.

You mentionned his sister Marie-Therese: I think one could explain the fact she became a reactionnary because of what she went through. It's quite likely Louis XVII could go the same path she did.

That being said, a lot will depend on how he is treated during the events.
I agree that it will depend on how traumatized he is. I can't see the revolutionaries passing up a chance to ruin Marie Antoinette's reputation even more. That being said from what I've read on Wikipedia it seems that we can dismiss his supposed mistreatment by the Simons as fiction by later Royalist writers. I mean he wasn't educated as a Prince by any means but the very idea that the Revolutionaries had him raped by Prostitutes to try to infect him with venereal diseases has got to be pure fiction. My idea for the POD is Louis isn't mistreated after the Simon's departure or perhaps they never leave. As I said earlier the whole of Louis XVII's imprisonment from the time he was separated from his mother is hard to document. I'm inclined to dismiss the worst offenses as Royalist propaganda but the part about him being locked in a room alone for six months has yet to be dis proven.

As for Marie-Therese, no doubt that her treatment by the Revolutionaries colored her views later in life. That being said I wouldn't call her a reactionary. To me she was very conservative but she did oppose several of her father-in-law Charles X's actions, including the Four ordinances of Saint-Cloud. I think that it really depends on how he was treated and how much of the revolutionary education sank in. I think he'll definitely be conservative but how conservative is up for debate.

If he's treated fairly well, as he seemed to be by the Simons, then he might just end up more sympathetic to the Revolutionaries, or at least more like Louis XVIII then Charles X. If he's treated bad or similar to the legends, then I'll bet he'll be an earlier, younger Charles X.

Any guesses as to who we would marry? DO you think there might be a chance of him marrying Napoleon's OTL second wife, Marie Louise? Or would he remain single until the Restoration, like his cousin the Duc de Berry?
 
Any guesses as to who we would marry? DO you think there might be a chance of him marrying Napoleon's OTL second wife, Marie Louise? Or would he remain single until the Restoration, like his cousin the Duc de Berry?
His marriage might be politicaly motivated so the question is who is he trying to woo. It might be a foreigner to cement an alliance to serve as warning to the rabble of who he can count on to come to his aid (though this might piss them off in the long run) or he might chose to pick a commoner as a sign of the end of absolute autocracy (though this in turn might be perceived in other countries as a dangerous precendent). In the end, he might simply have married any French noblewoman with a bit of cash leftover from before the revolution.
 
His marriage might be politicaly motivated so the question is who is he trying to woo. It might be a foreigner to cement an alliance to serve as warning to the rabble of who he can count on to come to his aid (though this might piss them off in the long run) or he might chose to pick a commoner as a sign of the end of absolute autocracy (though this in turn might be perceived in other countries as a dangerous precendent). In the end, he might simply have married any French noblewoman with a bit of cash leftover from before the revolution.
No Bourbon Monarch has married a commoner/French noblewoman as a Queen (Louis XIV's second wife was French but was never acknowledged.) so a Foreign Princess is the only real answer. And of course the marriage would be politically motivated, all State/Royal marriages were. Though I fail to see how marrying a foreigner would piss off the commoners. After all after the Bourbon Restoration the Duc de Berri married a Neapolitan Princess and all of the d'Orleans children married foreigners as well.

If Louis XVII marries while in exile the two matches I think would be the best would be either an Austrian Archduchess or a Russian Grand Duchess. OTL Paul I was very generous to the exiled Bourbon family so I can see him offering a daughter to Louis XVII. And Francis II wanted Marie-Therese to marry his brother Archduke Charles so TTL he might try to go for a double marriage, either with his daughter Marie Louise or Sister Maria Amalia.Or my personal favorite, and the most unlikely, a match with Princess Amelia of Great Britain. I can't see a pre-restoration match with Spain, considering the Spanish Bourbons would be a close Nepoleonic ally. For Naples/Sicily the only option I can find would bePrincess Maria Antonia, OTL first wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.

I think that's all the options though if anyone else has ideas feel free to share them.
 
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