On this day in history, March 27th, in 1785, Louis Charles de France was born at the Palace of Versailles. He was the third surviving child and second son born to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, and was known as the Duke of Normandy.
He was a large and healthy child, like Marie Therese Charlotte had been, a great contrast to his frail elder brother, the Dauphin Louis Joseph. Marie Antoinette once described him in a letter as “A peasant child…big…fresh-faced and fat”. He was a sweet nurtured and loving child, and was given the nickname of “Chou d’Amour” by his mother.
Upon the death of his older brother in 1789, he became the Dauphin of France. He was imprisoned along with the rest of his immediate family during the French revolution, and he became titular King of France after his father’s execution.
Soon after his father’s death, the eight year old boy was forcibly taken from his mother and given into the care of a cobbler named Antoine Simon. Louis Charles was horrible abused and mistreated, forced to drink alcohol and made to give horrible accusations against his family members.
He would die in prison of tuberculosis two years later, at the age of just ten. There would be many young men who would later claim to be the lost little King, supposedly having been spirited out of his prison somehow. However, DNA testing done on his heart that was removed during his autopsy would prove the heart was indeed that of Louis Charles. The heart was reburied in the Basilica of St. Denis, the traditional burial place of French Kings since the 10th century.