Christina, Queen of France (Reign of Three Queens)

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Christina, Queen of France was the Queen of France from 1821 until 1848. By the end of the reign of her father, King Louis XVII she was his only surviving descendant and recognized heir presumptive, she was six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne, and was the first undisputed queen regnant of France as the Constitutional Charter of 1814 abolished Salic Law and established a Male-preference primogeniture order of succession, but her succession was disputed by her great uncle Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, whose refusal to recognize a female sovereign led to the Legitimists Wars.

Her effective reign was a period marked by palace intrigues, back-stairs and antechamber influences, barracks conspiracies, and military pronunciamientos. The following years of his reign were dominated by political disputes as France had only become a constitutional monarchy in 1814 and the balance of power between the sovereign and parliament was still in dispute. She was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1858 and she was forced to abdicate in favour of her ten-old son. Her son, Louis XVIII, became king in 1858.

Childhood and early reign

Birth and regencies

Christina was born at the Royal Palace of Paris in 27 September 1829 to King Louis XVII and his Italian second wife, Queen Marie Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. She was said to have been born prematurely and was the only child of Louis to survive him. On December third, six days after her birth, she became the first undisputed queen regnant of France when her father died. Christina succeeded to the throne because the Constitutional Charter of 1814 set aside France's ancient frankish held Salic law, and established a Male-preference primogeniture system which accords succession to the throne to a female member of a dynasty if and only if she has no living brothers and no deceased brothers who left surviving legitimate descendants.

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The first pretender to the throne, Louis's brother Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, fought seven years during the minority of Christina to dispute her title. Charles and his descendants' supporters were known as Legitimists, and the fight over the succession was the subject of a number of Legitimists Wars in the 19th century. The Legitimists political heirs of the Ancien Régime, sought to get back their traditional feudal privileges from the reestablished constitutional and parliamentary government and Constitutional Feuillants and Resistance Moderates. Furthermore, they believed their traditional influence and authority was being usurped by the new bourgeoisie class.

Christina was a six-day-old infant when she inherited the throne, France was ruled by regents until she became an adult. Queen Marie-Caroline became regent on 29 September 1821, when her nine-day old daughter Christina was proclaimed sovereign on the death of the king. After the Legitimists Wars, the regent, Maria-Caroline, resigned to make way for Marshal General Jean-de-Dieu Soult, the most successful and most popular Cristino general. Soult, a Resistance Moderate, remained regent for only two years.

Her minority saw tensions the abolition of slavery in the French West Indies.

Soult was turned out in 1829 by a military and political pronunciamiento led by Marshals Étienne Maurice Gérard and Édouard Mortier. They formed a cabinet, presided over by Hugues-Bernard Maret. This government induced the Parliament to declare Christina of age at the traditional 13.

Reign as an adult

Personal Reign

Christina declared of age at thirteen. On 25 October, Christina was crowned Queen at the Cathedral of Reims. Christina's coming-of-age and subsequent coronation deprived them of the Legitimists pretext for revolt. The Legitimists Wars gradually ,lost steam and ended in 1828, when Charles fled to Germany. The uneasy alliance between Constitutional Feuillants and Resistance Moderates that had toppled Soult in July 1843 was already cracking up by the time of the coming of age of the queen.

Following a brief government led by Liberal Jacques de Bourgeois, he was voted out of office. The Queen commissioned a Moderate, Casimir Pierre Périer to form a new ministry. The Prime Minister at once became a powerful influence on the politically inexperienced Queen, who relied on him for advice.

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Feuillant Decade

Dominated by the figure of Marshal Édouard Mortier the so-called "Feuillant decade" began in 1840. Perier resigned after the Constitutional Feuillants and Jacobites voted against a bill to suspend the Autonomic Charter of Guadeloupe. The bill removed political power from the creole plantation owners who were resisting measures associated with the abolition of slavery. The Queen commissioned a Constitutional Feuillant, Mortier to form a new ministry. The constitutional reforms devised by Mortier moved away from the 1814 Charter by rejecting national sovereignty and reinforcing the power of the monarch, to the point of a "co-sovereignty" between the Parliament and the Queen.

On 10 October 1845, the Constitutional Feuillants made their sixteen-year-old queen marry her double-first cousin Francisco de Asís, Duke of Cádiz (1822–1858), her husband was given the title Prince Consort. Disgusted by her marriage, Christina reportedly commented later to one of her intimates: "what shall I tell you about a man whom I saw wearing more lace than I was wearing on our wedding night?". The marriages suited Spain and Queen Maria Isabella, who as a result bitterly quarrelled with Britain. However, the marriages were not happy; persistent rumour had it that few if any of Christina's children were fathered by her prince-consort, rumoured to be a homosexual. The Legitimist party asserted that the heir-apparent to the throne, who later became Louis XIX, had been fathered by the captain of the musketeers of the guard, Louis de Pointe du Lac.

In 1847, a major scandal took place when Christina, age eighteen, publicly showed her love for General Luynes and her willingness to divorce from her husband Francisco de Asís; though Mortier and Christina's mother Marie-Caroline solved the problem posed to the monarchical institution—Luynes was shifted away from the capital to the post of Governor-General of Algeria. Following the near-revolution of 1848, was authorised to rule as dictator to repress insurrectionary attempts up until 1849.

In 27 September 1848 she gave birth to a male heir, who was baptised on 7 December 1848 as Louis Francis at the Palace of Fontainebleau. The boy, named Louis and automatically upon birth heir to the throne and Dauphin of France. But was assumed by historians to be the biological son of Louis de Pinte de Lac.

Overthrow of the Christino Monarchy

Under the government of the Count of Maine (whose ascension to premiership had been solely founded on the support from the networks of the royal court), the system was in a critical state by June 1854. The main issues of contention between the new monarch and the legislators were the retention of her cabinet ministers, since political division prevented Christina from appointing a balanced council and the 1814 Charter gave the legislature the power to vote for the dismissal of her cabinet. From May 1853 to January 1854, Parliament convened for an unprecedented 171 days, this session was dominated by political infighting from the four parties Constitutional Feuillants, Resistance Moderates, Progressive Liberals, and Independent none were able to gain a majority.

On 28 June 1854 a military pronunciamiento intending to force the queen to oust the government of the Count of Maine, featuring Étienne Maurice Gérard (a "puritan" moderate), took place in Île Saint-Louis. The military coup was organized by a group of Army officers headed by Gérard. Several politicians were also part of the conspiracy, and allegedly included former Prime Minister Bourgiese. The Bourbon Palace was invaded and captured the royal family and the officers murdered Prince Francis in front of the pregnant Christina. They took Christina and her children to the Tuileries Palace, where crowds of spectators denounced her as an adulteress and murderer.

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