The last king of France: Found in India

Balthazar Napoleon de Bourbon, an Indian lawyer, is being feted as the long-lost descendent of the Bourbon kings who ruled France from the 16th century to the French revolution. He is alleged to be not only related to the current Bourbon king of Spain and the Bourbon descendants still in France, but to have more claim than any of them to the French crown.

Prince Michael of Greece, the cousin of (British) Prince Philip, this week published a historical novel called Le Rajah de Bourbon, which traces the story of Mr Bourbon’s first royal ancestor in India. Prince Michael believes Jean de Bourbon was a nephew of the first Bourbon French king, Henry IV. In 1560, during a voyage across the world, he turned up at the court of the Mogul emperor Akbar. It was the beginning of a long line of Bourbons in India, who centuries later would serve as the administrators of Bhopal and become the second most important family in the region.

Michael of Greece, who lives in Paris and is of Bourbon descent, believes his detective work on his newfound Indian “cousins” is more than just the latest whimsy in a history of attempts to uncover relatives of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

“If I am right then Balthazar Bourbon would be the eldest in the line,” he told the Guardian.

From his home in the Bhopal suburbs, Mr Bourbon, 48, said he would be glad to take a DNA test, but remained stoical about the “hypothetical question” of whether he was heir to the throne. Conscious of the bloody outcome for royals in France, he felt royal status could bring “trouble”, not to mention questions from skeptical historians. […]

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