Philippe II, Duke of Orléans

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Philippe d'Orléans (Philippe Charles; 2 August 1674 – 2 December 1723) was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres. His father was Louis XIV's younger brother Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, known as Monsieur; his mother was Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate.

In 1692, Philippe married his first cousin, Françoise Marie de Bourbon - the youngest legitimised daughter (légitimée de France) of Philippe's uncle Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. Named regent of France for Louis XV until Louis attained his majority in February 1723, the era of his de facto rule was known as the Regency (1715–1723). He died at Versailles in 1723.

He is referred to historically as le Régent.



In March 1661, his father married his first cousin Princess Henrietta Anne of England, known as Madame at court. The marriage was stormy; Henriette was a famed beauty, sometimes depicted as flirtatious by those at the court of Versailles. Philippe's father was a homosexual whose liaisons with men were also well known at court.

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