Princess Blanche with her mother Princess Marie-Thérèse, Duchess of Montpensier.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Pool Van der Putten/Croy.

Today, Princess Blanche d’Orléans celebrates her sixtieth birthday!

The Count and Countess of Clermont with their four eldest children, 1965.
From left to right: Princess Marie, Princess Blanche, the Countess of Clermont holding Prince Jean, the Count of Clermont, and Prince François.

Born on 10 September 1962 at Ravensburg, Princess Blanche Elisabeth Rose Marie d’Orléans was the third child and second daughter of the then-Count and Countess of Clermont. Blanche’s parents, Prince Henri d’Orléans (1933-2019; later Count of Paris) and Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg (b.1934; later Duchess of Montpensier), had married in 1957. Princess Blanche joined two older siblings, Princess Marie (b.1959; married Prince Gundakar of Liechtenstein) and Prince François (1961-2017), and was followed by two younger siblings, Prince Jean (b.1965; married Philomena de Tornos) and Prince Eudes (b.1968; married Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot).

The Countess of Clermont and her children with their maternal grandmother Duchess Rosa of Württemberg, Christmas 1981.
The Duchess of Montpensier with her five children, 1984.

Both Blanche and her older brother François were born with mental and physical handicaps which only became apparent as the children grew up. Their mother had unknowingly developed toxoplasmosis during these two pregnancies. In 1977, Marie-Thérèse told Point de Vue: “François, whom you saw with us, and Blanche form the center of our family, through their exquisite kindness, the purity of their souls and the deep joy they engender in our hearts.” In 1981, the Countess of Clermont commented when asked about these two special children: “You ask me for news of François and Blanche. It touches me and I thank you for it. Although their health forever prohibits them from exercising responsibility – I am their legal guardian – they are nonetheless the radiant center of our family life. Their gentleness and peace have certainly helped to deepen all of our lives. This does not prevent many practical problems from having to be solved. Thanks be to God, we have always succeeded.” 

We wish the Princess a very happy birthday!

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