French Royalists gather each January 21st, the date King Louis XVI was beheaded. For 1600 years, France had a Catholic monarchy (remember the Avignon Papacy). His death marked the end of the French monarchy and beginning of the French Republics.
Royalists like to point out that the French president is a political figure and believe that as a result, doesn’t represent all the citizens. According to them, only a king could represent all French and unify the country. I find it hard to understand how a king that involves himself with the running of the country wouldn’t become a political figure? I freely admit that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around concepts associated with modern monarchies. To repeat, I’m American and so its a really foreign concept for me.
At present, Royalists don’t have any real political power (the Alliance Royale, a group that wants to choose a king by referendum, got just 0.031% of the vote in the 2004 European elections). Nevertheless, they disagree over who is the rightful successor to the French throne. The two most often named potential kings of France are Prince Jean d’Orléans the Duke of Vendôme, Prince Louis Alphonse Duke of Anjou, who is a descendent of the Bourbon dynasty.
Not surprisingly, there’s bad blood between these rivals and it goes back generations. It’s good to be king and, well, there’s only one king. Also not surprisingly, there’s a third claimant, Napoléon VII, Charles Marie Jérôme Victor Napoléon, who descends from Emperor Napoléon I.