Fontaine Honore de Grandelumiere (3rd May 1727 - 8th November 1784) was a Grandelumierian nobleman and illegitimate offspring of Louis XI. He was never recognised as legitimate and does not frequently see his birth father. He was raised by his mother, Elisabeth and her husband, Louis.
Reign of Louis XI
Fontaine was born at the Chateau de Saint-Etienne, on the 3rd of May, 1727 to his mother Comtesse Elisabeth de La Marche. His birth father was Louis XI, emperor of Grandelumiere. His mother was married during her affair to Louis, Comte de La Marche. His mother and adoptive father were made Comte and Comtesse de La Marche during Louis' affair with his mother. He saw little of Louis XI, when his mothers' period as Maitresse-en-Titre ended, she moved with her husband and children back to the Chateau de Vendome.
He was baptised aged 5 and named Fontaine Honore. He was brought up until the age of 7 by the family governess, Lucie de Saint-Antoine. He was educated by clerics and his own official uncle, Joseph-Baptiste. Joseph was a Cardinal and Marquis de Vendome and was the brother of Louis de La Marche. He studied music, English and French alongside horse riding until age 12, when he was sent to be a pageboy under the employ of the Prince and Princesse de Bretagne.
Regency of Sophie
During the Regency of Sophie, in which he served as a page, he met the son of Louis Auguste, Leon, the favourite grandson of Louis XI. They would both have a romance which lasted for some time, until Leon's death. Fontaine adored his lover and would often write of him in his diaries. He was terrified when he went to serve in the army, fearing his death. He remained close, however, with his uncle, Cardinal Joseph-Baptiste.
The affair would be discovered and spread about the court, which resulted in Leon departing from court life, leaving Fontaine distraught. Though Leon seemingly managed fine and, it is rumoured, took on affairs with military officers while in the army. Fontaine would be further devastated by these rumours as the only person he would truly love slipped further from him. He would not be present at Leon's death in the Chateau de Lillemont.
It would begin further affairs after some years had passed, though, through diaries, it is known he never truly gained from these and were treated merely as distractions to his mind.
Return of Louis XI
When his birth father returned, he would be brought in as a Valet of the bedchamber. In this position, he became a little closer with his father, though Louis XI would continue to treat him with the same distance as he did his legitimate offspring.
In 1745, aged 18, he was wed to the young 15-year-old Marie-Felicite de Turenne. The couple remained greatly unhappy in their marriage. Though the marriage was consummated eventually, this resulted in stillbirth. Widely speculated, this miscarriage was probably the result of stress caused after a heated argument between the couple which became violent shortly thereafter.
This caused the two to drift apart, even living in separate buildings. Fontaine, who'd been gifted a small residence by the name of Chateau de la Muyre, would allow his estranged wife to reside there. While she stayed there in the company of a few close friends, Fontaine would often spend his time between Saint-Etienne and Chateau Vendome.
It wouldn't be until the year of 1752 that things changed. With many legitimate Princes dying from the smallpox, including Louis Emmanuel le Dauphin, Marie Henriette, Jacques Charles and Sophie de Bretagne, Louis XI was left with fewer Heirs. This meant that by 1753, in June, Fontaine would be pronounced Legitimised Prince and therefore in the line of succession, should the older siblings on their descendants die out.
Rumours persisted to his holding orgies. Though, he would write that he himself derived no real pleasure from this, though he held them, and at an increasingly frequent rate. He wrote, "I had hoped only to achieve my goal in finding love, that which I have not truly felt since my dear Leon. They provide but a welcome distraction from my enduring loneliness." These rumours caused more anguish between himself and his wife, documented in letters between the two which often devolved into petty name-calling arguments on paper.
By 1776, now aged 48, these orgies which had been held were becoming less often held, and Fontaine became more reclusive. He'd remain in his rooms, viewing old letters he'd kept and, from time to time, visiting his wife. These visits were twice annually, with him visiting her in the new years to exchange some gifts, and she coming to court for Easter to attend Easter Mass together. These visits were cordial and the debates had ended, with the two reconciling. Though they would never be friends, they kept a good understanding.
Death of Louis XI
In 1780, his father, Louis XI, would die. The Will would leave Fontaine little of note, bar some emeralds and a sweetmeats box. Though, it was asked that Fontaines legitimised status be kept. He would mourn his father, and move from court to the Chateau Vendome for some time following.
Reign of Louis XII
Return to Court
During the reign of his nephew Louis XII, Fontaine would return to court for short periods, though he came to dislike the court. He was happy to retain his granted title of Prince and made more frequent visits to his wife. The two would keep to discussing casual small talk, though occasionally would console one another for their griefs. Fontaine forged a romantic interest in one Chevalier de Montmercy, though this was nothing sexual and purely a romantic relationship, there was the odd rumour.
By the outbreak of the revolution, Fontaine would be ill-informed of the situation, hearing only odd bits from travelling staff and minor nobles who visited. While staying at La Muyre with his wife, Fontaine was visited by the revolutionary guard and almost literally dragged from his home. His wife, screaming, was left behind.
He would be unsettled visiting Dijon under such circumstances, but things would get much worse when he was forced with the court to go to le Tour. By then, Fontaine being in his mid 50's, was in no fit position to deal with the conditions of le Tour, getting ill during his stay. He, like many of the nobility, were not present to see the death of the Emperor but made well aware as his head was mounted on a pike before le Tour. He was later tried himself and sentenced to death. He was well aware of his actions and pleaded mercy to no avail.
When the day of his execution came, he mounted the podium, and forgave his enemies, forgave those who had brought forth his death, and asked forgiveness of his wife for the pain against her, and forgiveness of God, before adding, "Might I now join my dear Leon above." He was then forced to kneel and recited his prayer to commend his spirit to God before the sword was brought down.
With his wife, Marie-Felicite, they had two pregnancies.
- Stillborn male (1746)
- Marie-Olympe de Parme, later married the Prince de Monaco (1747)
Titles and Styles
- 3rd May 1727 - 15th June 1753 His Lordship, Seigneur de Vendome
- 15th June 1753 - Present His Imperial Highness, Prince Legitimised, Duc de Parme