Speaking of Royals . . .

In honor of the birth of yet another royal baby – a discussion between William Hanlin and General McClellan concerning the French princes on McClellan’s staff – and royalty in America:

. . . the door swung open and three men, two in magnificently tailored uniforms, the other dressed like a private, strode into the room.

Philippe_d'Orleans_Comte_de_Paris_1862McClellan was on his feet in an instant, moved to them with hand extended. He shook hands with them in turn while uttering a string of French greetings.

The result of all that was a taxing of my rusty French and my introduction to three surprising additions to McClellan’s staff – the Prince de Joinville and his nephews, the Duc de Chartes, and the Comte de Paris. Three princes of the House of Orleans.

They left us in heightened moods, a standing invitation to a HD_PrinceRobertD'Orleansnight at The Willard, sore shoulders from their back slaps, and a sudden desire for foie gras.

“You know, of course, that the Comte de Paris is pretender to the throne?” McClellan said as their powerful boot steps receded down the hallway.

le-prince-de-joinville“Sure,” I lied, “and unless you loan him your army when we’re done here, he’ll be the pretender for life.”

“We’ll have to see about that,” he laughed.

“They’d make you a peer,” I observed.

“Well, then, perhaps . . . imagine, Willie, a Prince, a Duke, and a Count on my staff, who would have ever thought it?”

“I don’t know Mac, I think our forefathers fought a war to rid us of titles.”

“You believe that, Willie?” He answered, no longer laughing, “Before you answer, I remind you that you, a Boston Brahmin are addressing a Philadelphia Main-liner.”

“We don’t have titles designating that, do we?”

“Think we need them, Colonel?”

~ from The Falcon, Volume Two of William Hanlin’s Civil War.


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