Louis Joseph (27th February 1711 - 28th September 1760) is the third son, fifth child of Louis the Sun-Emperor and his wife, Elisabeth Justine. He is the current Duc de Brabant and was a former Imperial Prince before his aunt ascended the throne. Known to be a fiercely loyal son to his father, he would often be seen reprimanding those who questioned the Emperor.
He became increasingly vocal in his opposition to his aunt Sophie and her husband as the Sovereigns. This tension increased, peaking at the attack on Nassau. He is often regarded as the head of this rebel movement.
Reign of Louis XI - Duc de Brabant
Louis would be born on the afternoon of the 27th of February. The room would not be as busy as some of the earlier births, greeting the Dauphin and first daughter, but the High Nobility would be present for the event. The Cardinal Vosges was present to bless the birth and in the case of complications that might have arisen.
He, like all Imperial children, was cared for by the Imperial Governess, the Marquise de Vendome. He saw little of his father but was always taught of his position. He grew up with the understanding of his position, and the exaltation of his father. Unlike some of his brothers, he was not affected by his fathers' distance, much to Louis XI's admiration. By age 5, he was baptised, and given the name Louis Joseph.
In 1718 he was sent to be educated by Cardinal Nassau. He was given the typical education of boys for his status. By the age of 16, plans had been drawn up for his marriage, but none ever came to fruition. He spent much of his life quietly at the palaces of the court, only getting into minor disagreements over those who spoke against his father.
His father was impressed by Louis and often spoke of him positively, as he appreciated the strength and loyalty the boy showed, in comparison to his brothers, which Louis XI viewed as meek and incapable. Louis once wrote;
"Having grown in the circumstances shared by all his brothers, Louis Joseph is unique in that he has not turned his situation into a circle of self-pity. He is loyal and understands the duties of an Emperor in this. his strength is matched by that only of Mars."
In 1730, Louis Joseph left to serve the Imperial army, commissioned to the rank of Major. He served valiantly in the war against the Holy Roman Empire and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. Louis XI awarded him the Order of Saint-Michael the archangel.
The outbreak of smallpox at court did not affect Louis as he had moved to Flavigny to avoid the situation. He would return to court and present however at the departure of his father in 1739.
Regency of Sophie - Duc de Brabant
The regency of Sophie was never entirely popular with the Louis. He would never show this displeasure during the beginning of her rule. He continued to serve in the Imperial army during this time. He would even work to defend against the great rebellion during the first years of Sophie's regency. However, within his own diaries, he would write of his intentions. He would state his anger and frustration at the fact he himself had never been picked as regent.
Increasingly Louis would be hostile to his aunt and spoke with radical groups within Nassau. This would culminate in the sacking of the Palais de Saint-Louis-en-Nassau.
Louis would remain in Nassau with the rebels, until in September 1744, would begin moving towards Liege.
Titles and Styles
27th February 1711 - 28th September 1760 His Imperial Highness, Duke of Brabant